Review: The Grain Store, London Gatwick South Terminal
One of my favorite perks of having the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the access to lounges I get around the world. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you receive a Priority Pass Select membership. This membership allows access for you and two guests to over 1,000 lounges worldwide.
In addition to lounge access, Priority Pass has been expanding their presence into restaurants. With your Priority Pass membership, you’re given a dining credit at select restaurants. At most restaurants in the US, the dining credit is worth $27 per person, while it varies internationally. This means if you’re dining at a Priority Pass restaurant with two guests, you’ll have an $81 credit to use toward food and beverages! You’re allowed to get more than the credit, but you’ll be responsible for paying the overage. Just remember to bring cash, as gratuities are not included.
Recently on a trip through London Gatwick airport I decided to visit one of these Priority Pass restaurants – The Grain Store.
The Grain Store restaurant is located in Gatwick’s South Terminal. After passing through the labyrinth known as duty free, you’ll come across an atrium. Head up to the second floor, where there are a bunch of other restaurants. The Grain Store is also on this level. It can be a bit difficult to find at first. However, at the entry to the restaurant, you’ll see a host’s stand with the Priority Pass card clearly displayed.
As you enter the restaurant, you’ll see case with take away food followed by a long bar. One of the great things about The Grain Store is that unlike many Priority Pass restaurants, you can use your dining credit for to-go options if you’re in a hurry. Since it was the evening, the area had been picked pretty clean. However, there was still a decent selection of sandwiches and pastries available.
The restaurant itself is huge with seating for over 100. We visited during dinner time on Thursday night and had no issue getting a seat. It never seemed like there was a wait thanks to the vast amount of seating available throughout the restaurant. There is also a departures screen in the main dining area so you can monitor the status of your upcoming flight.
The menu for The Grain Store is pretty varied. There is a wide selection of entrees, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic beverages.
While the menu has a decent amount of variety, there’s nothing too out of the ordinary. You should be able to find something that pleases just about everyone in your group. Most of the entree options are between £15 and £20. For The Grain Store, you are given £15 pound allowance per person. This meant for our visit, we had a £45 allowance between the three of us.
Knowing that I was facing a weekend filled with heavy food, I ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad and a pint of the Freedom Pale Ale (everyone knows airport beer calories don’t count). For an airport beer, the price isn’t too bad. At £5.75 a pint, it’s certainly not as extortionate as you’d find in other airport restaurants.
The salad was fine, though it left me wanting a little more. It was heavily covered in dressing, though that’s fairly standard for Caesar salads at many restaurants. The quality of the chicken varied from piece to piece. Some bites were fine, while others were fairly tough. On a positive note, the lettuce was firm and crispy and you could tell the croutons were baked in house. Overall, it was an average, but unspectacular meal. It was still much better than the options you typically get from lounges though. I’ve also had the chicken sandwich and burger from The Grain Store and enjoyed those much more, so YMMV.
The service was relatively fast and friendly. If you’re in a rush, let your server know and they’ll make sure to serve you within 15 minutes. We were not, so we took our time and enjoyed our food and drinks.
Overall, The Grain Store is a fantastic option if you’re leaving out of the South Terminal at London Gatwick. Life is so much easier not having to stress about dinner, knowing you’ve got a free dining credit waiting for you at the airport. It’s certainly something I look forward to every time I’m flying out of Gatwick.