Winston Aldworth checks into the SilverKris Singapore Airlines lounge in terminal three at the award-winning Changi Airport.
Changi Airport is big but beautifully designed and thought through. Buses or trains connect the terminals but I'd suggest walking as much as you can (you'll need the exercise) to admire the crisp, modern environment . . . and to pick up on quick shopping options. All airports can learn from Changi.
Arrival: A classic Singapore Airlines greeting. Very friendly.
The look: They've gone for woody tones, with deep fake oak panels
Odds and ends: There's a woman seated at a desk near the check-in area who can help you make sure you're getting the flights checked against your airpoints and sort out any ongoing seating arrangements.
Food and drinks: No Kahlua, sorry white Russian lovers. But, happily, there's an otherwise well-stocked booze area with the classics well represented — well, hi there bourbon, vodka and gin! How y'all doing?
It took me a few goes to master the pressure on the self-serve Tiger beer tap, but — in my quest for knowledge to keep you informed, dear reader — I mastered it. (Hot tip: fiddle with the little knob to find the right gas level for you.)
On the food front, there's a wide variety of pre-made goodies (all very nice) and (when I visited) two boutique cooking stations, one chap producing a superb spicy soup with dumplings, the other with two staff serving an elaborate chilli-prawn-on-hors d'oeuvre thingy. Both excellent.
Yeah, but what's the coffee like?
Having just finished a pretty freaking awesome cycle through Vietnam with Intrepid Travel and the Wonderful Peloton Against Plastic, I was keen on a condensed cream classic. No such luck. But the machine-made ones are at the high end of machine-made coffee.
Entertainment: I caught the first half of Belgium v Tunisia in the soccer World Cup. (Yes, "soccer", not "football". Sepp Blatter cries a solitary tear for each time someone calls the global sport "soccer". Rubs his little hands with glee each time it's called "football".)
Reading material: Loads of magazines and newspapers. I was away cycling when the PM did what a lot of working women do and had a baby, so I'd missed the Herald's stunning wraparound edition. A wonderful tribute.
Showers: Clean, plentiful, and well-equipped — as long as you're not looking for a nail file.
Fellow guests: Not a lot of families on my visit, but I'm sure there are plenty on a regular basis.
Departure: Keep in mind how big Changi is, but also keep in mind that when the staff say your gate is a 15-minute walk away, it's more likely to be five.