This is a budget airport and is 50 miles away from London. Transport to and from the airport is quite easy - you can get the half-hourly coach from London Victoria bus station or the train from a wide number of stations. The pre security check in halls are big and very airy and a large number of food/drink outlets. The toilets that I used were clean and security was quick though this was at 5:30am. Also security were very helpful when I lost my boarding pass and reassured me that I would still be able to fly and they did seem very professional. Once through the security airside not as bright or airy but quite big with enough seats. The pre security bit needs more seating for passengers and in the early hours it was quite cold. I didn't like the fact that they charge for the plastic bags at security when other London airports had them for free. The gate areas need more seating and more staff cohesion - someone repeatedly opening and closing the doors to a freezing airstrip at 7 in the morning when everyone is tired is not good. The airport website indicates that the coffee shop is closed but just to be on the safe side I'd go to one of the Costa or Nero stands or wait until you are airside.