When the email arrived in my inbox inviting me along to Newcastle in the sky in collaboration with S.Pellegrino I instantly said yes. I mean how often do you get the chance to dine 100ft in the air? Then reality hit and as somebody who isn’t all that good with heights, you can imagine how scared I was. But I was lucky enough that Lee agreed to come along as my plus one, as I don’t think I would have managed to get myself up there on my own.
We were told to arrive around 45 minutes before our launch time in order to get a safety briefing beforehand and to be able to relax with a cup of coffee or something stronger than we needed. I must admit I was too nervous to drink anything before we headed on up, plus I was also a little worried about needing to pee when I was up there.
We were joined by the lovely Helen from Thelovecatsinc and her boyfriend Phil and that helped calm me down a little as I had more people to distract me from the fact I was shitting myself with nerves before heading up. The four of us were placed in the corner of the table so we could all chat easily, with Helen and Phil right on the corner because I was too scared to be that close to the edge.
Once we were all strapped into our chairs that was it, the only thing to do was to head on up. When we began being raised in the air I was suddenly aware of how open the whole thing was – and how high we were going. So I proceeded to spend the first 10 minutes or so holding on for my dear life, only letting go of the table to chug back wine – which totally helped by the way.
Helen was lovely enough to take some photos of the view for me as I was a little too terrified to move too much in case I died. But once the food began being served I did start to calm down a little as I had something else to focus on other than the height and slight swaying of the table.
Now this is the first event I’ve been to since turning vegetarian so I was interested to see what the veggie options would be – whilst also worrying they’d forgotten we were veggie and we wouldn’t have any food, does anybody else do this?
For starters we were served Thai tacos, our veggie version being an array of mixed vegetables whilst the meat option was ground chicken. I really did enjoy how the veggie option was the same as the meat eaters, as so often veggie options seem to be a second thought so it was nice to be eating the same thing as everybody else. I did find one issue with this starter, I couldn’t get close enough to eat it. Due to being strapped into the chair I couldn’t lean forward enough to get the food into my mouth and may or may not have dribbled sauce down myself a couple of times. The sauce was amazing too so I was a little sad my boobs got a good chunk of my serving.
Our plates were quickly taken away and replaced with a Thai green curry, ours was tofu with a side of broccoli and green beans, whilst others had theirs with a side of lobster. This sauce really packed a punch which I was not expecting it to, I did have to drink a fair bit of wine to help cool my mouth down, which also helped with the nerves too.
My only negative comment would be the meals did feel quite rushed. Our lunchtime serving is only 45 minutes which isn’t a lot of time to fit in a three-course meal, but it did feel like as soon as you’d finished one dish the next one was being placed in front of you.
After our main course, the table was lowered back down to ground level and we were given our desserts before we headed back up to 100ft in the sky. Our dessert was a sweet sticky Thai rice dish, a little bit like rice pudding but not as sloppy. This was served with mango and an andan leaf custard, which I’ve never heard of before but can report it was delicious.
By the time we were on dessert I was calming down a lot and even enjoying myself, the wine probably had a factor in this. But I was growing with confidence and even began spinning in my chair a little – but just as I finally settled in we began descending as our time in the sky was over, much to my disappointment. I think I would have liked if the lunchtime slot was an hour instead of 45 minutes as by the time you’re up there and get your courses its sort of over before you know it, plus the price of £125pp for the lunch sitting you want to be able to enjoy it for as long as possible.
*I received a complimentary three-course meal for myself and a plus one. However, all my opinions remain my own*