Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Little more than a glorified shopping mall

The Guardian has had a sneak preview of the retail space of Heathrow's shiny-shiny T5.

According to the newspaper, passengers will be able to dine at Gordon Ramsay's first airport restaurant - for which he is boldly aiming for a Michelin star - while there is a "footballers' wives' dream" of a shopping avenue where the first Prada in a European airport rubs shoulders with Paul Smith, Gucci, Tiffany & Co, Mulberry and Christian Dior.

When the shopping gets tiring, refreshment beckons: on a corner site is Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food, offering a "time-guaranteed" menu to ensure passengers will not be late for their flight. The Wagamama restaurant is also another airport first, but, breaking with tradition, there will be no McDonald's in the "grab and go" section. Upmarket stores are clustered together for the convenience of the big spenders. "There is Paul Smith - with "virtual" garden views through French windows - Prada, Mulberry, Gucci and luxury stationers Smythson. Leather-covered seats in the public areas are designed by Foster + Partners and, airport authorities claim, there are 9,000 of them."

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