Departing North Greenwich Tube station, it’s difficult to miss London in the Sky. In front of the O2’s now iconic yellow spires tower two huge racing-green cranes.
The unsuspecting visitor might assume they’re near the site of a new property development – until they hear the music and the cheers. It’s only then that you look skyward and realise atop these cranes, more than 100ft in the air, dangle two huge dining tables, surrounded by guests.
This is alfresco dining but not as you know it. Indeed, for my virgin London in the Sky flight, I didn’t dine at all – choosing instead to go for the ‘cocktails in the sky’ flight: London sundowners where you can actually see the sun go down.
To settle the nerves and brace myself for being winched to the height of a small high-rise, I headed straight to the groundfloor bar where there’s a great selection of cocktails to get you into the spirit.
When it’s your time to go up, you’re given a five-minute warning for any last-minute toilet breaks (yes – you have to hold it, but the flight only lasts 45 minutes). And then it’s time to get strapped in.
“If it feels a little tight – that’s perfect. We don’t want you falling out.” The burly Scotsman wasn’t kidding; I could barely move within the harness. But as the sky table lifts off the ground, that feeling of security is exactly what you want.
Once you’re up in the sky, the party really starts.
The table lifts at a gentle, steady pace, but it’s still a little unnerving. The 360-degree views, the lack of floor, and the fact that, yes, you have voluntarily chosen to be hoisted by a crane.
Once you’re up in the sky, the party really starts. Within the table there’s a DJ with decks, mixologists, and if you’re lucky you may even get a live musician. We had The Sax Man who plays alongside the DJ’s music in a heady fusion of beats and brass.
The cocktails are mixed in front of you to order while you sit back and enjoy the view. And when I say back… It turns out there’s a lever at the side of your chair. Give it a gentle tug and your chair ratchets back. Pull harder and it will lie almost horizontal. Our table ended up doing a Mexican tilt – much to the chagrin of those who were a little less enamoured with heights.
And then it was over – all too soon, the tables descends. But hey, there’s also ‘lunch in the sky’. And dinner. And breakfast. Why not take it to the next level?
For corporate bookings and tickets: londoninthesky.com