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Time Flies At IWC 150th Anniversary

 

GENEVA: IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its 150th birthday and the launch of its Jubilee watch collection with a glittering gala night. Abigail Parkin

 

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva saw some 800 guests join the party last night.They included IWC brand ambassadors and global stars such as actors Cate Blanchett, Dev Patel, Bradley Cooper and James Marsden, as well as sports personalities Valtteri Bottas and David Coulthard.

 

Cate Blanchett on the press carpet

 

IWC took the opportunity to show off its Jubilee collection comprising a total of 27 limited-edition watches from the Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot’s Watches and Da Vinci families.

 

 

The event was hosted by TV presenter Tess Daly with performances by Aloe Blacc, jazz drummer Eric Harland and singer Ronan Keating (headline pic) met with rousing applause. Brit Award winner Paloma Faith (above)  joined the musical throng fresh from the UK number one success of her album “The Architect”.    

 

John Helliwell of Supertramp and Aloe Blacc visit the IWC booth

 

A specially designed industrial booth at the SIHH paid homage to IWC’s since 1868 while presenting its Jubilee collection for viewing.

 

Blogging sensation and writer Kristina Bazan

 

The highlight feature of the trade fair booth was a gigantic time machine with digital display discs inspired by timepieces such as a Pallweber watch.

 

Model Adriana Lima 

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UAE Claims ‘Largest Aerial Firework Shell’

UAE: New Year went off with a bang and firework display record on Ras Al Khaimah and Al Marjan Island in the UAE.

The celebrations took the Guinness World Records title for the ‘Largest aerial firework shell.’ Hundreds of thousands of visitors attended the New Year’s Eve event which was designed by Phil Grucci, CEO and creative director of Fireworks by Grucci for Al Marjan Island.

The event was verified by an adjudicator from Guinness World Records and the bid for the ‘Largest aerial firework shell’ was officially recognised. The award was presented to Eng. Abdullah Al Abdooli, MD of Al Marjan Island and Phil Grucci.

Eng. Abdullah Al Abdooli, MD of Al Marjan Island, said: “The 2018 Ras Al Khaimah New Year’s Eve Fireworks by Al Marjan Island was a spectacular success that welcomed visitors from around the world and cemented the reputation of the emirate as a must-visit destination for New Year’s Eve galas. Adding to the pride of Ras Al Khaimah and our nation, the event is a true testament to the joint efforts of various governmental entities, which ensured a safe and seamless celebration.”

 

 

This previous title set by the Kounosu fireworks festival in Sitama, Japan in 2014 was comfortably beaten with Ras Al Khaimah reportedly deploying over twice the firepower. Its largest aerial firework shell propelled some 1,100 metres into its orbit.

The dazzling display lasted 10 minutes and was set to action from 120 sites. Highlights included the shell packed 390 comet stars of size 100 mm each flowering into white, red and green, to recreate the colours of the National Flag.

Starting with a 10-second pyrotechnical countdown to welcome the New Year, the audience was first greeted with a canopy of glittering chrysanthemums followed by the four islands of the Al Marjan Islands lit in a monochrome.

The prelude to the Guinness World Record bid featured an array of silver and gold with the dramatic fireworks powered by the exclusive SkyEtching technology of Fireworks by Grucci.  

Preparations for the celebration started in early 2017 with the expansive area of Al Marjan Islands serving as a perfect template for a spectacular show. While it took over 600 hours to design the show by Phil Grucci, another 70,000 man-hours went into transitioning the design with a team of 40 experts including programmers, producers, pyrotechnicians and documentarians working on the project. The firework components for the aerial shell were hand-crafted exclusively by Grucci in their factories in New York and Virginia over a two-month period.

Phil Grucci said: “Our brief was to deliver a 'Beyond a Journey' design and to fabricate and display this amazing marvel in fireworks. The inspiration of the design was the unique natural resources of Ras Al Khaimah and the natural beauty and expansive space of the Al Marjan Island with a sense of celebration to welcome in the new year 2018. With the event, a performance art, we wanted to highlight the feeling of harmony and peace and the excitement and celebration of what Al Marjan Island is and is set to become. We are delighted to secure this honour for Ras Al Khaimah, which takes its New Year's Eve celebration to the next level.”

Musical co-ordination came from by Dan Mullins of Fireworks by Grucci and ranged from Race to Dakar (performed by Marvine Bounds Gordy-Benoit Pierre Grey) and Caped Crusader (James Price).

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Paddington 2 Grabs Festive TV Slot

LONDON: Christmas has come earlier for the makers of Paddington 2 which has now grossed over £31m at the UK box office. StudioCanal sent us the supporting Christmas-themed TV slot.

Based on the best-selling children’s stories by Michael Bond the film is once again directed by BAFTA nominee Paul King, from a script by King and Simon Farnaby. The film is produced by multi award-winning David Heyman, producer of all the Harry Potters among other hits.

The sequel finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. He buys the perfect birthday present in the form of  a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief…

StudioCanal is Europe’s leader in production, right acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series and has fully-financed recent box office hits Paddington, Shaun the Sheep and Non-Stop. Its 2018 slate includes The Commuter featuring Liam Neeson.

 

See the TV clip here...

 


 

Red Carpet talks to Bob Bakish, Viacom President & CEO

 

We catch up with Bob Bakish following Red Carpet mag's attendance at the recent MTV EMA. Here, the president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) takes Sat Bal on a journey from engineering to music and Amsterdam to India.  Read more

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Spielberg's Ready Player One

 

Warner Bros. UK has revealed the official trailer for Steven Spielberg's pop culture odyssey, Ready Player One, based on the bestseller from Ernest Cline.

The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse.  Salvation comes in the form of OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance).  When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world.  When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.
 
Joining Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mud), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Bates Motel), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Bloodline) and T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Silicon Valley), with Simon Pegg (the Star Trek movies, the Mission: Impossible movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk) round out the cast.

Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, Ready Player One was produced by Spielberg, Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah; with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris DeFaria and Bruce Berman as executive producers.

The film is slated for release worldwide beginning 30th March, 2018.

See the trailer:

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Lincoln In the Bardo - Man Booker Prize 2017

George Saunders is a confirmed maestro of the American short story. In Lincoln in the Bardo, his debut novel, he invites us into a book that conflates a (sort of) ghost story with Buddhist leanings in the historical setting of the American Civil War. By Sat Bal

The novel concerns the death of Abraham Lincoln's 11-year-old son Willie and the interplay between human and spiritual grieving. Saunders’ talent lies in building these disparate worlds such that we suspend belief and buy into his fiction. Thus we begin to accept the motivations of the spirits of Roger Bevins, Hans Vollman and the Reverend Everly Thomas, the principal narrators, whose observations take shape when young Willie dies and is interred in a crypt in their cemetery.

Buddhists see the ‘bardo’ as a spiritual holding point for human demise from which the onward fate of the spirit will be determined. Shades of Dante’s purgatory persist and, while the doom of the spirits feels laden, a hope surrounds the fate of Willie Lincoln. Partly this is because children are not meant to linger by their bodies in the cemetery and Bevins, Vollman and the Rev wish to speed Willie’s spirit on to a more promising destination. Indeed, the story unfurls over one single night.

Their own impedance to the afterlife sees them cast as grotesque mutations with Bevins’ body bearing multiple eyes and severed hands following his suicide. Yet these graphic deformities are attenuated by a narrative that tiptoes around death via euphemisms. A new vocabulary rises up here with a coffins labelled a “sick box” and “matterlightblooming" the flash that signals the next exit while the cemetery is a “hospital yard.”

The author cleverly uses the device of polyphony to introduce the many neighbours of this yard, their names signing off their comments. Sometimes one-liners, sometimes paragraphs, the comments vacillate from statement to conversation with the dialogue occasionally interrupted by a new spirit speaker - or several.

Although there’s an air of detachment with humans unable to see the spirits and the sense that the spirits talk only among themselves, cutting off the reader, the story isn’t without emotional tugs. This is best portrayed when Abraham Lincoln comes to grieve over his son’s body. Wille’s spirit is delighted to see his father arrive at his crypt yet mortally frustrated that his father is unaware of his presence:

Bursting out of the doorway, the lad took off running toward the man, look of joy on his face.

roger bevins iii

Which turned to consternation when the man failed to sweep him up in his arms as…must have been their custom.

the reverend everly thomas

The imagination and compassion that weave this novel together suggest that George Saunders should stick with the novel format and take a break from the short story.

 

Lincoln in the Bardo is published by Bloomsbury Hardback £18.99

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Fabricwood Wins World Interior Award

BERLIN: The World Interior of the Year has been awarded to Fabricwood by the Inside World Festival of Interiors at a gala dinner held at the Postbahnhof.

 

Fabricwood was developed by Produce.Workshop as an installation for premium designer furniture store Xtra in Singapore and it beat 78 finalists across nine categories to win.

 

Offices Winner:  Heneghan Peng Architects, Airbnb European Headquarters, Dublin, Ireland

 

The product combines the structure of lightweight plywood with the appearance of a terse fabric that stretches into a sail across interior spaces thanks to a traditional tailoring technique called ‘darting’. Produce.Workshop developed a ‘skin’ for the Herman Miller store that was moulded to its host – Xtra in a structure was made to resemble a tented bazaar.

 

 

Hotels Winner: Hypothesis, Ir-On Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

  

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors brings the global design community together to be inspired by the latest innovations in global interior design and architecture. The festival’s 2017 jurors – Marie Hesseldahl (Partner, 3XN), Eisuke Tachikawa (Principal, Nosigner) and Murat Tabanlıoğlu (Principal, Tabanlıoğlu Architects) - said the design was “a fresh approach to a project.”

 

Civic, Culture & Transport Winner: Perkins+Will, Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, UK

 

Retail Winner: WZWX Architecture Group ROU by T HAM Concept Store, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Organisers have announced that Inside will be hosted in Amsterdam next year.

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Walpole Luxury Awards

LONDON: British luxury took the platform last night at the 16th annual Walpole British Luxury Awards. Hosted by the Oscar award-winning Catherine Zeta-Jones, CBE, it was a glittering celebration of winners that included Bentley, Chatsworth and Gucci.  (21 Nov’17)

 

The Dorchester, Mayfair set the scene for traditional and e-luxury brands amid a mingling of CEOs and creatives. Now in its 25th year, Walpole is in the vanguard of luxury brand promotion and cites the value of the sector to the UK economy at over £32 billion.

 

Walpole CEO, Helen Brocklebank said: “It’s never been more important to recognise the towering contribution British luxury makes to the UK. The brands and individuals we celebrate tonight add to the cultural and economic richness of the British Isles through regional job creation; the simultaneous preservation of, and innovation in, making and manufacturing skills; a strong focus on export and, of course, their overriding creativity, artistry and passion.”

 

 

 Catherine Zeta-Jones hosts the show

 

Walpole’s eye on the future is symbolised by the Brands of Tomorrow Award for Emerging Talent. This award was presented to Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, House of Hackney, Seedlip and Tom Raffield - all cast by the judging panel as new British brands with the potential for global success.

 

 

 

Editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & CountryJustine Picardie was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award as Harper’s celebrates its 150th birthday and Imran Amed, MBE was awarded the Leader in Luxury for his Business of Fashion and the visionary designer and craftsman and furniture maker, Mark Wilkinson OBE, was posthumously awarded the Walpole Honour.

 

 

Bentley wins Luxury Maker of the Year

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones, arrived wearing a stunning Temperley London dress with make-up by artist Charlotte Tilbury. Over 350 guests began the evening with a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception, in association with New West End Company and with afterparty at the Dovetail Agency Cocktail Club which included Glenmorangie, Gin Hub and The Lakes Distillery cocktails, and styling by House of Hackney and FBC London.

 

 

Charlotte Tilbury 

 

Winners were selected by judging panel from the luxury industry led by Michael Ward, MD of Harrods and Walpole’s chairman; Gillian de Bono, editor of FT How to Spend It; Hannah Rothschild, chair of The National Gallery’s Board of Trustees; Stefan Sielaff, design director at Bentley; Marcus Wareing, chef patron of two-Michelin starred Marcus; Henrietta Jowitt, deputy director general, CBI; and Tim Delaney, chairman of Leagas Delaney.

 

 

The 2017 Walpole Winners: 

 

British Luxury Brand of the Year
In association with Laurent-Perrier

MATCHESFASHION.COM 
Luxury multi-brand retailer

The Brands of Tomorrow Award for Emerging Talent
In association with Mishcon De Reya

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

House of Hackney     

Seedlip

Tom Raffield

Cultural Experience
In association with LONDON Advertising

Chatsworth

Stately Home

Luxury Maker Of The Year
In association with David Collins Studio

Bentley
Luxury cars

Luxury with a Heart
In association with G.F. Smith

Glenmorangie 
For the reintroduction of native oysters to the Dornoch Firth

 

Commitment to British Manufacturing
In association with Chapel Down

Johnstons of Elgin

Scottish Cashmere

Export Excellence
In association with Reed & Mackay

Jaguar Land Rover

Luxury cars

Digital
In association with Wearisma

Farfetch

Innovative luxury retail platform

Innovation & Creativity
In association with My Love Affair

Kingsman + Mr Porter

Bespoke clothing collaboration with luxury multi-brand retailer

 

International Luxury Brand of the Year 
In association with Times LUXX and STYLE

Gucci

Italian fashion label

Leader In Luxury
In association With Thoughtworks

Imran Amed, MBE

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Business of Fashion

 

Lifetime Achievement
In association Elite Associates

Justine Picardie

Editor-in-Chief Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country

 

Walpole Honour

Mark Wilkinson, OBE

Designer, craftsman and furniture maker

 

 

 

The Background

Walpole is a unique alliance of 170 of Britain’s finest luxury brands, including Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Boodles, Harrods and Jimmy Choo. Walpole promotes, protects and develops the unique qualities of UK luxury.

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MTV EMA Review

LONDON: An odd MTV EMA this weekend, not least because we didn’t have to board a flight to get there.  Sat Bal stays in London - only the second time in the show’s history that it has been staged here. (13 Nov’ 2017)

 

But first things, first. On Saturday night MTV transport whisked us through traffic-heavy streets to Trafalgar Square to see U2 perform. In the night chill, The National Gallery gleamed behind us while Trafalgar Square glowed ahead as we stationed ourselves on the outdoor media viewing platform, opposite the slick-looking stage.

 

Eminem with Best Hip Hop award

 

Bono soon arrived on stage, an Irish flag draped around his neck, opening with “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” A good start for the crowd of 7,000, winners of MTV’s ticket ballot to be here. The band played its way through anthems “Pride”, Beautiful Day”, “Elevation” and “Vertigo” before performing "One" and "Get Out Of Your Own Way."

"This song is like a protest song against yourself…some of the biggest obstacles we encounter on the way to a better world is often ourselves," explained the singer.

 

Shawn Mendes

 

Next, DJ David Guetta protested about the challenges of performing after U2, yet managed to get the crowd whooping to a set featuring spectacular pyros and lasers bringing the show to an end.

The following day the EMA stage was set at The SSE Arena, Wembley. Sunday night opened with Best Hip Hop winner Eminem performing a lavish orchestra-backed performance with guest artist Skylar Grey, of “Walk on Water.” He joined us after taking the mic in a London pub.

 

Camila Cabello charming the crowd

 

Our EMA hostess Rita Ora starred in a video skit of herself running through London’s streets- in a dressing gown- to get to the show in time. The video got audience laughs particularly when our mayor appeared, sat at a tube station reading a paper with Ora on the cover, as she ran past him.

U2’s “Get Out Of Your Own Way” appeared on  a video cut of last night’s show in Trafalgar Square and the band picked up the night’s prestigious milestone award, Global Icon. It must have crossed a few minds that much of this audience wasn't even around during U2's rise. Nonetheless, they all arose to their feet  at award presenter Jared Leto's bidding, to honour the band. 

Collecting the global icon award, U2 guitarist The Edge joked, "People always ask: How have you kept your band together? It's four incredibly strong individuals [all with] strong wills. But there has to be a boss. There has to be one leader. One guy who calls the shots. Does the heavy lifting and comes up with all the ideas." He then delivered the punch line: "But I could not have done it without these guys' support. Truly, they are the wind beneath my wings." 

 

U2 and Jared Leto below stage

 

One of the illuminating things about coming to the EMAs is to witness the show’s uplifting production. That production was literally uplifting at Wembley thanks to the 20 hydraulic lifts it took to make the whole stage work. The hydraulic raised props and performers to as high as eight metres.

Julio Himede reprised his role as EMA set designer with the stage concept “Olympic field of play” featuring the biggest EMA stage ever built at 60 metres long x 28 metres wide with a programmable LED floor for different LED installations throughout the show. Julio also designed the staging at Saturday night’s MTV Presents Trafalgar Square show with obelisk-inspired structures in the space.

His energies were rewarded by Best Pop winner Camila Cabello whose elaborate musical production featured a hugely choreographed routine that moved through three scenes and incorporated soaring overhead shots, ending in a Havana-style swimming pool. 

 

 

Liam Payne (above) got steamy with “Strip That Down” featuring dancers in streetwear moving across an LED disco floor, while perched on hydraulics set to a spectacular LED light show.

The theme got more spectacular with Travis Scott flying in on the back of an animatronic bird over the audience for his performance of “Butterfly Effect,” while Stormzy arrived in a police car that was driven onto the stage for his smash grime track “Big For Your Boots.”

 

The Killers performed a classic rock performance of “The Man”

 

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello drew huge applause but it was Mendes who was crowned Best Artist and rocked his Best Song-winning track “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” in a constantly evolving light box. Collecting his prize Mendes paid homage to fellow nominees including Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. "They're people I've looked up to my entire life," he said, visibly shaken.

The newly neutered ‘Best Artist’ title signalled that his and hers awards are out this year in the gender-neutral prizes which take their cue from MTV’s VMAs. Alas, the highly nominated Taylor Swift won no awards this year; his, hers or otherwise.

Host Rita Ora (below) brought in more than 50 dancers in an over-the-top medley of songs from her new album, “Your Song” and “Anywhere.”

 

 

Other artists delivering a mix of fan favorite tracks included Demi Lovato with her performance of “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Tell Me You Love Me,” and Kesha’s rendition of “Learn to Let Go.” 

 

Travis Scott flies above the crowd

 

David Guetta closed the show with an electrifying performance of his new single “Dirty, Sexy, Money” with guests French Montana, and Charli XCX

 

Stormzy's arresting entrance on stage

 

Later, Rita Ora was presented with the first-ever “MTV EMA Power of Music Award” to honour the charitable energies of all the artists who responded to the Grenfell disaster.

Oh – before you leave, next year’s MTV EMAs are to be hosted by Bilbao, Spain.

 

FULL LIST OF 2017 MTV EMA WINNERS

BEST SONG

Shawn Mendes - There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

 

BEST ARTIST

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST LOOK

ZAYN

 

BEST NEW

Dua Lipa

 

BEST POP

Camila Cabello

 

BEST VIDEO

Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.

 

BEST LIVE

Ed Sheeran

 

BEST ELECTRONIC

David Guetta

 

BEST ROCK

Coldplay

 

BEST HIP HOP

Eminem

 

BEST ALTERNATIVE

Thirty Seconds To Mars

 

BIGGEST FANS

Shawn Mendes

 

BEST PUSH

Hailee Steinfeld

 

BEST WORLD STAGE

The Chainsmokers – Live from Isle of MTV Malta 2017

WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS

Lil’ Kleine - The Netherlands

  1. Tangana – Spain

BABYMETAL – Japan

ALMA – Finland

DaVido – Nigeria

Stormzy - UK & Ireland

Lali - Argentina

 

BEST LOCAL ACT

*REFERENCE “2017 BEST LOCAL ACT AND WORLDWIDE ACT WINNERS” DOCUMENT

 

 

FULL PERFORMANCE LIST

Rita Ora – “Your Song,” “Anywhere”

Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Tell Me You Love Me”

Kesha – “Learn to Let Go”

Shawn Mendes – “There's Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”

The Killers – “The Man”

Clean Bandit – “Miss You” ft. Julia Michaels, “Symphony” ft. Zara Larsson, “Rockabye” ft. Anne-Marie

Stormzy – “Big For Your Boots”

Camila Cabello - “Havana”

U2 – “Get Out of Your Own Way,” remote from Trafalgar Square

Eminem – “Walk on Water” ft. Skylar Grey

French Montana – “Unforgettable” ft. Swae Lee

Travis Scott – “Butterfly Effect”

David Guetta ft. Charli XCX, French Montana –“Dirty Sexy Money”           

Liam Payne – “Strip That Down”

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Concorde Room Takes Off

LONDON: British Airways has revamped its flagship Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5, making it more lounge than airport. Chris Page

 

The refurbishment to the airline’s exclusive lounge included re-upholstering iconic pieces of furniture, and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings.

The terrace, which is so popular with travellers thanks to its position overlooking the runway, features luxurious sofas and new elegant loungers.  Mobile phone chargers are also on hand for travellers to ensure their devices are fully charged before they fly. 

 

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “In recent years we’ve invested in our lounges, including new ones in Boston and Gatwick South Terminal and revamped spaces in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Belfast, Washington, Singapore and Dubai. 

“We believe our customers will love the new look and feel of the Concorde Room, in particular the terrace that we have re-designed to create a private oasis in the middle of a bustling airport.”

 

 

Customers will still be able to dine before they fly in private booths with a full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and en-suite are available to book.

Next in the schedule for a revamp is British Airways’ lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements being made to the customer experience at check-in. Next year Aberdeen and Rome's lounges will also be revamped, and Geneva will be expanded. Further investment is then planned in San Francisco, Johannesburg and Chicago and Heathrow's other lounges will be refreshed over the next few years. 

 

Earlier this year British Airways opened its exclusive First Wing at Heathrow T5, a new private check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers. Providing a dedicated security channel leading directly into the Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room.

On board the airline’s First cabin, customers can also benefit from bespoke washbags designed by Liberty London exclusively for British Airways as well as regular updates to the in-flight menu and wine list.

The Concorde Room is exclusive to British Airways’ customers travelling in the airline’s First cabin.

 

(Pictures by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

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