Early morning at Gatwick is never a huge amount of fun. Shaking off the grogginess of an early start amid crowds of stressed travelers and a distinct lack of seating is not the most pleasant way to start the day. I decided to forgo the unpleasantries of the airport experience and seek refuge in one of Gatwick’s numerous airport lounges.
My Lounge is run by No.1 Lounges but is a lot more relaxed. Children are welcome and its quite affordable, even for walk-up bookings. Prices for pre-booked access are £25 ($32) or £30 ($38) on the door. Children under 12 are half price and under 2s are free. It is open daily from 05:00 until 14:00, later in the high season.
Finding the lounge is pretty easy, as Gatwick handily group all the lounges in one place. After snaking through duty free and entering the departures hall, head to the left and follow the signs for lounges. All the lounges are accessed from a corridor to the right. My Lounge is the first lounge you’ll come to in this corridor.
While there is no real reception desk, there were attentive staff waiting to greet visitors. Most were using Priority Pass to access the lounge, but I was paying for the visit. Thanks to staying in the Bloc Hotel the night before, I had a voucher for 25% off, which took the walk up price down to just £18 ($23) for the visit.
The lounge is fairly small and open plan, so you can see all of what there is immediately upon entering. When I arrived at 06:30 it was pretty quiet, but by the time I left (around 08:30) it was really filling up.
At the entrance are a few small sofas as well as a work desk with space for two.
In the middle of the room is a huge dining table, seating around 12. Down the middle of this table is a selection of magazines for guests to read. More magazines and the morning newspapers can be found dotted around the lounge.
Behind the long table is a bar area with high chairs that looks out of a window. This is where I decided to park myself. Although there was no apron view from this window, the morning sun rising over the buildings added to the sense of space and made it feel like a pleasant enough place to be for a couple of hours.
Down at the back of the room is a more relaxed seating area, with sofas and lounge chairs with coffee tables. Behind these are closed off rooms, one the games room and cinema and the other a private room with a leather sofa around three walls.
The overall vibe here is modern, funky and laid back. The furnishings are very Scandi inspired with a touch of industrial chic. Overall, it was an inviting place to settle into before my flight.
My Lounge has a selection of hot and cold food items in a serve-yourself set up. There’s not a massive amount of choice, being a relatively small lounge, but there’s almost guaranteed to be something to satisfy any taste.
Beginning with the hot selection, during my visit there were two types of mini frittatas and ‘Boston beans’ available. The frittatas were either ham and cheese or spinach and goats cheese. Both were tasty and not dried out at all.
The Boston beans seemed to consist of baked beans with peppers and tomatoes, with a smokey barbecue sauce added. Rather unexpected but not entirely unpleasant.
Also at the hot food station was a huge vat of porridge, with a selection of nuts and dried fruits to add to it. Not being a porridge fan, I didn’t try this, but plenty of others seemed to enjoy it.
Over at the cold food counter was a selection of fresh pastries, including mini doughnuts, cinnamon swirls and croissants. A bowl of Greek yogurt was accompanied with a fresh fruit salad which was delicious and definitely freshly made this morning.
My favorite thing, however, had to be the pancake machine. Serving up hot pancakes at the touch of a button, it was fun to use and made some tasty treats. To accompany the pancakes was a selection of toppings, including chocolate sauce, berry compote, bacon jam and agave sauce.
All drinks are supplied on a serve-yourself basis. My Lounge advertises a ‘mix it yourself’ cocktail bar, which is really just a selection of spirits and a soda machine. There is a fridge with bottled drinks, but this only contains tonic, ginger ale and tomato juice. All other soft drinks are provided from the soda machine or the water tap. In the mornings, there are also some juices in bottles in a bucket of ice.
Alcohol wise, it was a bit early in the morning for sampling, but it looks to be a decent selection. Spirits included whiskey, gin, brandy, vodka and rum, and there was red and white wine available too.
There were a couple of beers on tap also. Bubbly is not provided; the menu suggests you can purchase your own Prosecco at £20 / $25 a bottle.
Hot drinks were plentiful and good quality. Two separate coffee machines, one for decaf and one for normal, provided decent enough expresso, Americano, latte or cappuccino. Joe’s Tea was also available, in English Breakfast, Earl Grey, peppermint or green tea varieties.
Aside from the usual food, drink and lavatories, the lounge has a couple of distinct features. Or, at least it advertises as much. Purporting to have a games room and cinema in the lounge, I was excited to check this out.
However, the entirety of the games room/cinema consisted of a small area at the back of the lounge with a football table, two chairs, a chessboard and a TV. The football table was pretty cool, and the chairs looked comfortable, but how you could even begin to imagine this as a ‘cinema’ is beyond me.
There was WiFi throughout the lounge which was super easy to sign up to. Even when My Lounge was at its busiest, I was achieving a solid 20Mbps with no loss of signal, so was able to comfortably crack through some work while waiting for my flight.
I found My Lounge to be adequately comfortable for a couple of hours with enough decent food and drink to make it worth the fee. Priority Pass holders will probably prefer to go to the slightly more glamorous No1 Lounge, but for those paying for access, My Lounge strikes a good balance between quality and affordability.
Have you been to My Lounge at Gatwick North? What did you think?