Picture the scene: you’re dangling high in the sky, feet hanging over hundreds of ant-sized humans beneath you, spooning smooth whipped feta, juicy heritage tomatoes and satisfyingly crunchy sourdough crisps into your mouth. We forgive you if you think we’re reviewing airline food given a serious upgrade, but no – this is London’s latest food, cocktail and partying venture, ready to hoist you up above The O2 Arena while you're dining.
You may have seen the London in the Sky snaps flooding your Instagram feed around this time last year: it first took to the skies in the UK last May, using a crane to pull two 22-seat tables high in the sky for dinner with a difference. The idea came to fruition in Belgium in 2006, where the Dinner in the Sky concept was born. Since then, they’ve hosted hundreds of flights across 63 countries, including the UK. Plus, the London branch has hosted the likes of Vicky Pattison, Bianca Gascoigne Harrison and Love Island’s Kady McDermott. And if it’s good enough for them...
It’s certainly different. You're greeted with spectacular views of the City and surrounding urban jungle
100 feet may not sound like the most terrifying of heights – you’re only sitting at a third of the way up Big Ben, or a tenth of the height of the Shard – but the difference is, when you’re whisked to the top of the Shard in an elevator, you can’t feel the wind in your hair or see the miniature humans at ground level beneath you. And, well, you’re likely not eating supper. Put simply, it’s dining on the edge (literally).
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I got the chance to try it for myself recently, and it certainly is a different way to eat. As soon as we take off, we’re greeted with spectacular views of Canary Wharf and the surrounding urban jungle. I find the hoik upwards somewhat nervewracking, but grit my teeth through the first five minutes. After that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll likely forget you’re in the air at all.
The food is what sets this immersive dining experience out from the many other food experiences in London – Chambers of Flavour and Moonshine Bar, to name a few – London in the Sky promises not only a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, but noteworthy food from the chefs at the award-winning Social Pantry, too, a high-end caterer with a sister . For the dinner flight, we enjoy a light and salty whipped feta to start, served with sweet red and yellow heritage tomatoes, bitter and savoury black olives, caramelised red onion and a sourdough crisp. Drizzled with a touch of olive oil, it’s simple, summery, and tasty.
It’s simple, but tasty – so tasty you almost forget you’re dangling in the sky
Next up, we tuck into a lightly grilled hake fillet, paired with creamy crushed new potatoes, carrots, peas and a moreish courgette purée. Again, it’s simple (we assume so the chef doesn’t have to do too much pan-frying mid-flight), but what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in flavour. Top tip: don't take too much time over each course if it’s windy, or else your supper will lose heat quicker than the last season of Game of Thrones.
But it doesn't finish there: for dessert, we indulge in a bittersweet lemon tart, paired with a biting raspberry coulis and bitter orange crisp. I’ve had far less satisfying meals on the ground, so the ease at which the Social Pantry chefs seemed to knock out three courses mid-air is very impressive.
Special mention has to go to the wine, which is sommelier-picked to match the dishes. They’re just what you need to take the edge of fear off the spinning flight, so enjoy a glass of crisp pinot gris or a Romanian pinot noir if you so choose.
It’s not one for the acrophobic, easily scared or the faint-hearted, but it is definitely a dining experience with a difference, and one which serves genuinely good food and provides breathtaking views of the city. Foodie or not, we recommend you feast in the skies this summer. You won’t regret it.
For more information on prices and how to book London in the Sky, visit londoninthesky.co.uk