Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review

Rating: 5.5/10

Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review

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My quick flight from Cork (Ireland) to London Heathrow is one of those times I dusted off my trusty Priority Pass card to provide me with access to the Aspire Lounge Cork Airport. This is an airport where Oneworld doesn’t have any lounge presence and I was only flying economy for the short flight to the UK. It was quite a comfortable lounge for a small airport and I was grateful to have a quiet area to wait for my flight with my little 7 month old.

I arrived at the lounge mid morning and they were transitioning from breakfast to lunch. When I arrived there were two hot dishes with breakfast items – bacon and sausages, and baked beans. These then started being replaced with white rice, a vegetable and beans dish, and a stew. There was variety in the foods offered with snacks, a small cold buffet and a number of hot dishes available. Let’s take a look.

What’s Healthy?

  • Is it even a Nutted Out Nutrition lounge review if there isn’t a picture of a fresh fruit bowl in it? Here we have the fresh fruit served in the Aspire Lounge Cork – great to see a healthy snack on offer since there were quite a few prepackaged, processed snacks in this lounge.
Fruit bowl Aspire Lounge Cork
Fresh fruit bowl
  • A fair bit going on in this picture – this is the cold food buffet. Really great there are cheeses and a Greek salad on offer. There was an egg mayonnaise and tuna mayonnaise on offer and while tuna and egg are two nutritious foods, when you served them pre-mixed with mayonnaise it starts to make them less healthy. This depends on the mayonnaise to tuna/egg ratio and unfortunately the egg had quite a lot of mayonnaise in it. I tried to leave as much of the mayonnaise on my plate and just had a small amount for flavour. Also good to have olives available as a snack – a fabulous source of healthy fats.
Salad bar Aspire Lounge Cork
Cold food buffet
  • There were boxes and packets of cereal available along with milk, including oat milk. Not all cereals are healthy, in fact many are ultra processed foods, however there was a fruit muesli available which included oats, rye and barley. It is a source of sugar though, coming from both the dried fruit and honey coated oats. It is a balancing act when considering whether foods are a good option – yes this cereal has sugar but it also contains fibre from the grains It could be better (e.g. the cranberries are coated in sugar and sunflower oil) but in the context of other cereal options it is a better one to have.
Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review - Aspire Lounge Cork
Examples of cereals
  • Great to see a cooked vegetable dish with legumes (beans) – fantastic! Legumes such as kidney beans and fava beans/butter beans (which it looks like are in this dish) are good sources of plant-based protein and soluble fibre so it could be eaten as a main meal. Good to see it full of vegetables too. Always aim to have vegetables as an accompaniment to any meal you are having, whether a snack or main meal. or even better have vegetables and beans as your main meal.
Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review - Aspire Lounge Cork
Vegetables and legumes (beans) stew

Not so great. Caution.

  • The sauce of the stew was very gluggy and translucent. I found it did not have a nice flavour to it at all. It was mainly carrots, potatoes and some meat.
Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review - Aspire Lounge Cork
  • There were pastries, bread and muffins available with some packaged in plastic. This is disappointing as it suggests they may be ultra-processed and not freshly baked daily.
Muffins and pastries Aspire Lounge Cork
Muffins and pastries
  • Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind the occasional Quality Street chocolate. But I think we all know why they are here in the ‘caution’ section. Chocolates are considered a discretionary food (junk food) and so should be limited in the diet. When they are available freely like this it can be easy to pick up a handful and eat them without necessarily realising it. So if you choose to have them – be mindful about how many you eat and only have them on occasions.
Quality Street chocolates Aspire Lounge Cork
Quality Street chocolates
  • Similar to my comment above regarding chocolates, crisps and cookies are highly processed, not very nutritious and easy to overeat. While I understand sometime it can be nice sometimes to relax with a snack like this before a flight, if you are a frequent flyer it can be easy for these foods to sneak into the diet regularly which is where they become a problem. Limit to once a week.

Potato chips Aspire Lounge Cork
Potato Crisps (or potato chips)
Cookies Aspire Lounge Cork
  • These were the two hot dishes available when I arrived in the lounge: sausages, bacon, white pudding and baked beans. The food seemed to have been a bit old by the time I arrived as the sausages and bacon seemed tough and a bit dried out like they had been sitting there for a while. Now baked beans can be a healthy option however it is best when the sauce does not have too much salt and sugar which is difficult to know when served in an airport lounge. But it is really the sausages, bacon and white pudding in this picture that mostly belongs in the ‘caution’ category.
Sausages and bacon Aspire Lounge Cork
Sausages, white pudding and bacon, and baked beans

Last word from travel food and nutrition review for Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland

The Aspire Lounge Cork Airport is the only lounge in the airport so not much competition. But even though it is the only lounge it is a decent lounge: comfortable, quiet (when I was there) and with a variety of foods (both hot and cold). While you can make a balanced meal, the choices to do this are limited and so to eat healthily you need to be careful with your choices.

For more information on my visits to airport lounges, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Tik Tok. And I always love hearing from you so if you want personalised advice or consultancy services please reach out.

NOTE: All pictures of the Aspire Lounge Cork Airport are my own and I review a lounge from the foods and menu I see during my visit. There may be different options available at other times.

Aspire Lounge Cork Airport, Ireland Food and Nutrition Review - Aspire Lounge Cork

Airport Reviews

Airline Lounge Nutrition Review Rating:
Aspire Lounge Cork Airport
Airline Alliance:
Priority Pass and various airlines such as Air France, KLM and Aer Lingus
Cork Airport, Ireland
Business class, tiered flyers and Priority Pass
Time of Visit/Date:
11am, 10 January 2023
Lounge Food Serving Style (Self-serve / Al la Carte):
Self-serve buffet
Style/Theme of Food:
Allergy and Intolerance information available:

There were some dietary requirements listed on food labels such as ” suitable for vegans’ and ‘gluten free’. There were also general signs saying that some foods may contain allergens and so ask staff if you have questions.

Aspire Lounge Cork allergy

Is there a limit to the amount of food you can have?:

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