Tuesday, January 03, 2017

American Airlines Admiral's Club, CDG Airport, Paris

For the past few months, you have been reading all about my adventures in Paris.  At the end of my first trip, I flew back via London, and the flights began at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, where I spent the night beforehand at the Sheraton (breakfast was meh, executive lounge was worse).

My first stop after getting through airport security was the American Airlines Admiral's club.  I was flying with British Airways, but they do not have a lounge at CDG.  I had the choice of American's or Cathay's Lounge, or, of course, both.

I started with the Admiral's Club because I had been advised that the food was much better.  It ended up being great looking, and extensive, but not actually anything special.  The lounge was very nicely laid out though, comfortable and with abundant power ports (including usb!), and the food was all very clearly labelled in English and French.  Staff were also very friendly and efficient, nothing went unstocked.

The Space

Both the American and Cathay lounges are laid out the same way, and while the Cathay one looks nicer, the American space is more practical, with better power port placement.
Entrance.
 All the airline lounges are located right next to each other, just past duty free.  Very easy to find.
Cafe Seating.
Adjacent to the food area are tables with chairs and soft benches.  Every seat has power ports, including usb.
Full Lounge.
The lounge runs all the way to the windows, with views of aircraft taking off.  It is filled with assorted soft seating, all with small side tables nearby, all with power ports.  Clearly a newly renovated, functional, space.
Bar Seating.
I choose to settle at the high bar, with comfortable bar stools, foot rests, and overhang, and, yup, more power ports/usb.

Food and Drinks: 8:30am.

I visited in the morning, so it was mostly breakfast service, but, there was savory food and desserts too, so no matter what time of day it is in your head, they can accommodate what your body wants

Since I already had breakfast at the Sheraton earlier that morning and planned to visit the Cathay Lounge next, I had to limit my choices to just the things that jumped out at me the most.  Everyone said American had the better food, thus the reason it was my first pick.  (I thought both lounges had about the same quality of food, but Cathay had a better drink line-up).

Drinks

The Admiral's club drink selection was fairly standard.  Cathay wins on this one.
Cold Drinks.
A fridge with cold drinks had ginger ale, sprite, 7up, ice tea, coke, and sparkling water.

Next to that was a coffee machine that ground fresh beans with both decaf and regular, plus tea.  I had a decaf, it was fine, not remarkable.
Hard Alcohol, Snacks.
Of course, if it was 5pm in your world, a selection of hard alcohol and bar snacks (olives, peanuts, pretzels) was readily available.  I didn't notice wine, but it must have been somewhere?

Food

The food lineup spanned breakfast, snacks, lunch, and ... desserts!
Desserts: Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Cream Pudding, Cottage Cheese with Fruit, Yogurt.
The first thing I saw when I entered the food area was the desserts.  Puddings.  Oh, be still my heart! I love puddings!

Sadly, the excitement died down when I tried them.

The vanilla pudding had a really strange, off flavor.  It was garnished with almond slices.

The chocolate mousse was super thick, and didn't have a great flavor either.

I didn't try the more breakfast appropriate cottage cheese with fruit or yogurts.
Pastries: Croissants, Chocolate Croissants, Apple Turnovers, Raisin Swirls.
Everyone says the Admiral's Club pastries are actually pretty good, so I went for a basic croissant.  When in France ...

It was ... fine.  Better than the hotels I had stayed at (like the W in Paris) but not really remarkable.  Slightly crispy exterior, but kinda greasy inside.

Simple strawberry jam, assorted butters, and Nutella were available on the side, none of which really enhanced the croissant much, not premium ingredients..
Toast and Cereal.
Next was bread and baguettes, and simple cereals.  I quickly moved on.
Juices. Charcuterie and Cheese.  Salad.
Assorted juices and milk came next, alongside some savory offerings.

There was decent selection of charcuterie and cheese, and if it were later in the day, or I was not having 4 breakfasts that morning, I certainly would have tried some.

The cheese lineup included emmental, a nice looking english cheddar, brie, coeur de lion, la lome.  Rally, a decent selection.

The salads were a greek salad, a "piemontaise salad", and fruit salad, with a few different salad dressing options.
Sandwiches.
Next came sandwiches: curry chicken and turkey.
Hot Breakfast Foods.
The hot foods lineup included breakfast standards: chicken sausages, scrambled eggs, roasted mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, baked beans, bacon, salmon quiche, and pancakes.

I tried a turkey sausage cuz they looked so cute, but it reminded me of a canned vienna sausage, not exactly good.
Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglais.
And the final station, chocolate cake ... with a pot of crème anglaise on the side.  Again, yes!

Until I tried it.  Dry, fairly flavorless chocolate cake.  And the anglais.  It actually tasted like ... nothing.
Breakfast of Champions?
Sadly, this all looked and sounded better than it was.  The croissant was the best item, but not memorable.  It was time to move on to the Cathay Pacific lounge.
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