Events in the Sky is an unusual form of travelling roadshow. Suspending their guests 100 foot in the air, it affords those brave enough with unobstructed views of their surroundings whether that’s the sands of Dubai, the arrondissements of Paris or the skyline of London. Add to this potentially nerve-wracking experience the fact that there is also a kitchen aboard your craft and it sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, I was more than happy to put my life in the hands of the professionals so headed to the O2 in North Greenwich where, for the next 10 weeks, London in the Sky is serving dinners with a difference.
The table, seats, kitchen and canopy are all attached to one platform which is hoisted into the air by a crane. Complete with oh-so millennial music, a fantastically Irish host and more selfies than you could shake an extendable selfie pole at, the experience has the vibe of a party rather than a dinner.
The first course is served cold and presented to you while the table is still on the ground. This way, as you ascend and inevitably take 100 photos, your food doesn’t lose its heat. This course consisted of heritage tomato and black olive salad with crouton toast.
It boasted flavours of basil and red onion but most impressive was the addition of feta which was whipped into a sauce. Combined with the crouton toast, it created a contrast of cream and crunch which, like the views, was to be savoured.
In other cities around the world, the views can be slightly more obstructed. Here, due to the immediate area’s relatively low-lying skyline, you are able to see the steel-and-glass towers of Canary Wharf, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and the O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome) in a whole new way.
The main took the form of corn-fed chicken, crushed new potato cake, courgette mousse, peas and broad beans. Sadly, I’d spent so long taking photos that by the time I came to eat it, it was rather cold. Needless to say, when you’re 100 foot up, the elements get to your food rather quickly.
Dessert was a citrus tart with raspberry coulis and lemon crisp. The perfect combination of sweet and tart flavours, this made for a refreshing end to an exhilarating meal. As the crane slowly lowered us down, we came to terms with reentering the world of ground-dwellers.
As well as the “standard” dinner in the sky, there's a range of options such as breakfast, prosecco and cake, bottomless brunch, lunch, cocktails, high tea and even “high in the sky” - a special evening of CBD-infused cocktails consumed high above the hustle and bustle of the city.
Food is definitely a secondary focus as, needless to say, the kitchen facilities are limited. In any case, diners seem to pay far more attention to their surroundings including the inevitable discovery that the chairs both recline and rotate slightly. Dangling one’s feet becomes a rite of passage for any first-time diners.
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the experience of dining 100 foot up is the surreal moment when you see the other of the two tables next to you. This is actually deliberate, as staff on the ground slowly rotate the tables with ropes so that diners get a 360-degree view. Finally putting things in perspective, seeing the other 22-seater table reminds you of just what a rarefied environment - and unforgettable meal - this is.
London in the Sky is running at the O2 in North Greenwich until 15 July. Each flight lasts just over an hour and tickets start at £89 ($117)