London City airport is a funny place. I just read that it only carries 1.5% of all UK airport passengers – the Green party wants to close it down and build housing on the site.
But you can get from my office to the airport in about half an hour on a good day – making it ultra-convenient for the busy business exec. In fact, opponents to the Greens’ plan speak of the importance of good flight links into London to the UK economy.
The proximity to central London means the airport is restricted to running only certain types of planes; there also isn’t that much space. That’s both a good thing – if you are in a hurry, you don’t have to cross a massive terminal – but also means that there are a lot of people in a very small space, and at peak times it does feel quite overcrowded.
I flew from City to Edinburgh late last year and was going after work so I’d be there for an early start the next day; as I knew I wouldn’t be given anything to eat on the plane, and I arrived at the airport quite early for my flight (not realising how quick the journey time would be) I decided to have dinner at the airport. After security, your only choices are coffee shops: Caffe Nero, Espressamente Illy, Panopolis; packet sandwiches from Boots, or two restaurants: Rhubarb and the City Bar. Rhubarb looked quite upmarket – the airport website says it has “something for everyone: from a quick power breakfast before a fashion show in Paris, to a gourmet dinner at the start of a business tour to Switzerland.” I don’t know how many people fall into those two categories – perhaps at City airport it’s more than you might think – but I decided I would be more at home at the City Bar.
The seats were about as crammed in as the rest of the airport - I was seated at a long bar facing out into the centre of the departure lounge and luckily the seat next to me was empty so I had room for my bags and to eat without bumping elbows. Service was quick which is important when you have a plane to catch!
I wasn't expecting much from the food, thinking it would probably be pretty basic with a high price attached, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I had a salmon, prawn and spinach lasagne, which at £14.95 wasn't cheap but it was delicious - I would definitely eat here again.