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Issue 72 - Forget the headlines

Whisky Magazine Issue 72
June 2008

 

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Forget the headlines

Joe Bates braves the crowds and keeps an eye on his bags as he checks out the offerings at Heathrow's flagship terminal

An auspicious opening it certainly wasn't. Seething passengers, hundreds of flights cancelled and up to 20,000 bags lost from a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled luggage system in total meltdown.Yes folks, the first few days of BAA (British Airport Authorities) and British Airway's much-trumpeted £4.3bn Heathrow Terminal 5 could have gone slightly better.

A month on from all that March madness,however, and the gleaming,Norman Fosterdesigned terminal is operating something like it was intended to, (although British Airways has yet to transfer its long-haul flights).

Reasonably confident that they (and their bags) will reach their final destinations,passengers can now relax and explore the terminal's top-notch shops and restaurants, which boast the likes of Tiffany,Kurt Geiger,Paul Smith, Gordon Ramsay and Chanel.

What floats our boat, of course, is the whisky selection.To locate it, travellers have to descend a double escalator from the check-in area to the main shopping mall.

Directly to the left, you will see World Duty Free's (WDF) brightly lit, 6,500 square feet liquor and tobacco shop.

It's dominated by two bars at either end of the shop, the larger of which, elliptical in shape and overhung by a multicoloured chandelier, veers into style-bar territory.

Called “Bar 5”, it is billed as the first paying bar in a duty-free shop anywhere in the world, and is cofunded by British drinks giant Diageo. Staffed by trained mixologists, the cocktail list features aptl...

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