My flight is at 6.30pm, but it’s not the sort where you get a boarding pass or even an assigned seat. And it’s definitely not the type of flight where you land somewhere exotic – unless you count the concretised blocks of London’s Docklands. There is one big difference, though: I’m actually looking forward to eating what I’m given.
London In The Sky, a concept launched this month within the shadow of the O2 arena in London’s North Greenwich, takes customers 100ft skyward for a mile-high dinner. Unlike a regular flight, there’s no squeezing liquids into a sealable bag or grumbling about overhead locker space. Rather, it’s all very civilised.
Fliers instead board a 22-seater “Sky Table”, that instead of aeronautical thrust is rather winched into the air using a heavy-duty crane installed on an unused bit of land next to the dome. (Who said flying wasn’t glamorous?)
I ditched the Airbus I’d usually be flying on and went up for dinner one evening, as the sun just about struggled to pierce a fat layer of London cloud.
The concept runs all day, offering various dining experiences: prosecco and cake in the morning; lunch; cocktails; and then a three-course dinner with wine. They have to give you something to do up here that isn’t just Instagram like mad, and food seemed a good place to start.
The food, while better than the standard inflight meal, isn’t going to win any awards (tomato and feta salad to start; chicken and potatoes for main; and a lemon tart with raspberry sauce for dessert) – but it is impressive just by dint of being cooked and served on a floating bit of metal in the sky. There’s a reason this floating table is equipped with an oven worthy of James Brokenshire’s kitchen.
Proper plates and cutlery…nothing like airline food (London In The Sky)
Everyone’s heavily strapped into sturdy, rollercoaster-like seats, but our feet are free to swing enticingly below. Corner seats swivel out almost 180 degrees, which afford panoramic views across the dome and the glossy residential towers of the Docklands; then across the gunmetal waters of the Thames to Canary Wharf and further west along the river. The table also spins slowly during the whole flight, so there’s plenty of opportunity for selfies from every angle, provided you don’t drop your phone metres below, which is apparently surprisingly easy to do.
The whole “flight” is about an hour: the equivalent of going from Gatwick to about Edinburgh. Of course it’s a gimmick, but it’s a cool concept. Who wouldn’t want to get high at dinner?
Tickets for London In The Sky start from £89pp. It runs until 15 July.