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Bernie Reviews: Air France Knocks It Out Of The Park – La Premier Lounge

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Bernie Reviews: Air France Knocks It Out Of The Park – La Premier Lounge

Bernie Reviews: Air France Knocks It Out Of The Park – La Premier Lounge
January 26
09:11 2019

I can’t remember which Garbage video this bar reminds me of, but you know it’s from Version 2.0

I can’t remember which Garbage video this bar reminds me of, but you know it’s from Version 2.0 Photo: Bernie Leighton

No, really. People have described Version 2.0, a Garbage album internally referred to as “Sad Alcoholic Clown Version 2.0” as a science fiction odyssey steeped in mystery.

This couch is incredible

Bernie, what does that have to do with a First Class Lounge?

Look at the decor. It’s beyond chic, it’s modern in a retro way. I wish my house was as well decorated. It’s a strange sort of mid-century modern sci-fi space that feels like the beating heart of French Design.

I wish my house looked like this

Thing is, I also wish my house had a spa and an Alain Ducasse restaurant.

Seriously, what a gorgeous salon

My house also doesn’t have a self-serve dessert buffet, nor a vast selection of French Spring Water. What I’m saying is, I think I could live there.

A lounge with a self-serve dessert bar, using Ducasse chocolate. Photo: Bernie Leighton
Burried in there is the gold Delice Air France was serving briefly. Photo: Bernie Leighton

One does not walk to the Salon, unless they arrive prior to 5:30am, then they do. Sort of. You still get an assistant.

This was, however, a 1:15 pm landing. I previously mentioned there was a woman with an iPad with my name on it.

We made our way down a lift to the ramp towards a BMW 7-series—a Hybrid with the long wheelbase, no less.

The Interiors are Bananas (let’s see how many of my fellow old Jewish men get that joke). Now, yes, BMW owns Bentley so it made sense that this car felt more Bentley than BMW.

What does Hertz have to do with Air France? Photo: Bernie Leighton

Oddly, there’s a French hardcore punk song that even mentions how awesome it is for one to roll in a BMW. Of course, what do I know – my definition of class is a vacation to Sunny Isles!

I drive a rather interesting car named after a warrior poet from St. Louis M.O. that was arrested for tax fraud recently. It’s interesting to see what the Germans are doing in the luxury space. Really, really interesting.

The cars have IFE, of course, you are driving on the CDG ramp – so it doesn’t matter. Weirdly, there’s Hertz branding on the La Premiere cars. I’ve no idea why.

There’s a private security check. There’s some sort of faster EU customs and immigration thing, too. That is if you deign to enter the Eurozone. Something I simply do not do.

Who needs in car IFE when this is your view? Photo: Bernie Leighton

Once the formalities are dealt with, you go up a – rather small – lift and find yourself in the sci-fi marvel I alluded to before.

Wow.

TIME FOR LUNCH. OR, UMM, DINNER? TIME FOR FOOD.


Now, I had just missed the Louis XVI-themed gold delice’s rotation within the lounge – but there was no reason to be sad about it.

Instead, I ate the first thing that caught my eye. I’ve never been one for conventional meal order and pacing.

These things are dangerous. Photo: Bernie Leighton

Yup, starting with the chocolate pot de creme. Yow. Chocolate should be that good: always.

WHAT WAS THAT?


Now, alcohol doesn’t make everything delicious, and I was by no means twisty (yet) – so seriously? What was that! More, of course. Two more? Sure

Some lady keeps opening a secret portal behind the shelves to replenish.

Rosé champagne, of course! Photo: Bernie Leighton

Bernie, eat some real food.

Deal.

But first, some Rosé champagne. I meant to write down the vintage and name of the vineyard, didn’t.

It was some exceptional Rosé, but not the best I’ve ever had. Was hoping it’d be a little sweeter and slightly drier.

First off, a ham and cheese elbow macaroni with truffles and cheese. Truly outstanding. Truly, truly, outstanding.

A lovely, Ducasse, steak. Photo: Bernie Leighton

It was time, of course, for another steak. Obviously, a steak cooked in the Ducasse method.

Flawless.

Doesn’t need any more description than that.


Dessert: Of course, more mousse.


The thing is, there’s a little more to do in the lounge than sit and eat. Which, frankly is plenty given the outrageous quality of the food.

Before I ate, I took a shower.

The bath products are lovely, as are the robes. Thing is, the overall shower rooms are a little small. They need a dedicated chair to sit down. In Terms of bathing, Lufthansa still wins with their bathtubs.

Still, always feels good to have a shower after a long flight.

There’s also a spa with both free and paid options. It’s a good spa. I had the shoulder massage, free of course – I didn’t feel like paying. Fantastic.

Thing is, I was also exceptionally jetlagged – and I had a nearly six-hour layover.

I made my way towards the “rest-area” which is fantastically appointed with both tables and chaise longe. I managed a two-hour nap.

After that?

I was kinda maybe a little done with booze for a minute. With that, I went my way towards the water selection. Voss, but of course.

You ever been to a lounge with such a diverse water selection? Photo: Bernie Leighton

But what to eat with the Voss?

Mousse. Da.

There are two drawbacks to the lounge. 1. It feels a little bit like a fishbowl in terms of being able to see every other passenger. 2. Could use faster internet. I am jaded by my gigabit at home – but this made me feel a need. A need for speed.

Alas, it was time to depart for Israel – which was an amusing flight beyond the fact they run Euro J. Air France was testing streaming IFE.

Amusingly, the business entrée was shrimp.

I am not kidding.

Think about it.

In the words of Midge Maisel. “By the way, there’s shrimp in the egg rolls.”
Oy vey.

Verdict:


This is the singular best food and beverage you will find in any airport anywhere unless you are flying a VIP bird and called Alain Ducasse to cater for you personally.

This is by far exceptional.

The décor was elegant, yet comfortable. Even the bathrooms were adorable, cylindrical, pods.

While I would love for an expanded menu, what they serve is so delicious it’d be hard to imagine ordering anything else.

Self-service cheese and cured meats. Only of the finest quality. Photo: Bernie Leighton

Now, their breakfast menu… Europeans don’t quite understand that waffles need butter and syrup – but it’s still a fantastic spread.

Really, in terms of places I’d like to spend more than three hours on a layover – there is no other.

It amazes me that their blue friends one and a bit countries to the Northeast offer something as hilariously awful as the Crown Lounge.

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Bernie Leighton

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