London is a breeding ground for concepts. If it’s not a single item restaurant, it’s brunch in ball pits, allergen-free ice cream parlours, and God knows what else. Sky-high dining and rooftop restaurants are one concept that Londoners seem to lap up, and there’s plenty of choice what with every skyscraper or hotel with a decent view flogging their middle-of-the-road wares for double the price tag.
One experience that offers both excellent food and views to boot is London in the Sky; a unique event where diners are suspended 100 ft above the city as they tuck into a three course meal. Last year, London in the Sky featured a rotating roaster of chefs including The Dairy co-founder, Robin Gill and Club Gascon’s Pascal Aussignac who took over the ‘sky tables’ for a ten day alfresco dining extravaganza. This year, however, the kitchen and menu is overseen by Social Pantry, a south London born catering company who have spawn several outposts in London over the years.
Found at a new location next to The O2, above the throngs of Take That fans and excitable out-of-towners, the experience takes dining to new heights, offering the choice of breakfast, lunch, dinner, Prosecco and cake, and cocktails. But like all things, it doesn’t come cheap; breakfast will set you back £89 per person, while dinner is £149 a pop.
We began our recent dinner at 6:30pm prompt, with the safety team strapping us into the rollercoaster-style seating with heavy-duty seat belts. The sky tables come fitted with a small kitchen in the centre, surrounded by an open-plan table; you can watch as the chef demonstrates the knack of cooking and serving food in a kitchen smaller than a studio flat in the capital. The tables are hoisted into the air by a crane for the one hour service, which allows ample time to soak in the view and take those all important social-media worthy photos.
The unobstructed backdrop is stunning; with a vista that stretches past the Millennium Dome to Canary Wharf and beyond, many diners’ ‘gram would no doubt have benefitted from the dinner, mine included.
The first course was a summer-filled dish featuring a fail-safe time old flavour combination that always delivers: heritage tomatoes and goat’s cheese. Hunks of season’s best tomatoes peppered the plate while a heavy hand of smooth and nutty cheese covered in nubs of black olives paired delightfully with the basil and agro red onion. A simple yet complex dish ideal for the warmer climate.
Mains offered a choice between corn-fed chicken or baked fillet of hake, with a veggie option available. I opted for the former – a hefty breast of chicken, served with silky lemon and thyme mash, a slightly sweet courgette puree, accompanied by peas and broad beans. Again, not re-inventing the wheel, but a dish bursting with fresh ingredients and beautifully presented.
Dessert quickly followed: a rectangle pavement-slab of chocolate brownie with honeycomb shards, drizzled with a raspberry puree. A dollop of cream wouldn’t have gone amiss, allowing to cut through the richness of the chocolate dessert nicely.
There is nothing quite like London in the Sky. With wine flowing, music thrumming, and food being served against the iconic London skyline, it’s one of the hottest dining tickets in town.
London in the Sky runs until 15th July. For more information and to book, visit londoninthesky.co.uk.