For one of Michael’s birthday presents I wanted to give him an experience.
When I then heard of London in the Sky, and realised that it was taking place in September, it was as if the Gods of Fate had spoken to me.
It was sounded perfect.
London in the Sky takes place once a year for an exclusive 14 day-period. Diners are elevated 25 metres high in the air and served food from London’s best restaurants.
First, you pick your meal (based on the price that you are willing to pay) – breakfast (£50pp), lunch (£125pp), Taittinger in the sky (£75pp) or dinner (£200).
Then, you choose the day that you wish to attend, based on the chef and menu that is being served on a given day.
As Michael was already doing rather well out of his birthday, I opted for the Taittinger in the sky (£75pp) experience, and picked celebrated chef Robert Ortiz from Europe’s first Peruvian Michelin-starred restaurant, Lima Floral, to feed us.
The Taittinger in the sky experience lasts for 30 minutes, during which you are given two glasses of Taittinger and a selection of canapés prepared by the chef of your choice.
Safely strapped in, we went up, up, up and away, and began to spin (no joke).
The waiters talked us through the menu.
And began to pour champagne.
I know it must be hard to believe, but it’s actually pretty nippy suspended above London’s skyscrapers!
I’ve wanted to visit Lima Floral for some time now, so was super excited to finally get to try some of their dishes.
Our first canapé was ‘crab, lime granita, celery cress’, which was rather underwhelming, with the base tasting like a stale prawn cracker.
Next was the ‘seared beef, huancaina, yellow aji amarillo’.
Again, nothing to write home about. The cracker overpowered in both taste & texture, rendering the rather stingy portion of beef a total non-event.
The canapés then began to come hard & fast.
Not a moment before I’d put one on my plate, the next arrived, and the next.
The ‘smoked lamb loin, black quinoa bread, olive mayonnaise’ was slightly better than its former friends but, still, poorly executed, with the ratio of bread to meat too high to appreciate the flavours.
‘Hot salmon little burger, spice cucumber salsa’ was the canapé that Michael & I had been most looking forward to but, again, fell flat.
The bread-to-salmon proportion was totally off, and the salmon dry and tasteless.
At least they weren’t being uptight about the ‘two glasses of champagne per person’, and topped us up regularly, else I might have begun to focus on just how bad the food was.
The only canapé worthy of being accredited with Lima Floral’s apparent esteemed name, was the ‘sweet corn cake, soft cheese, aji panca juice’, which I will admit was rather good.
It was crisp and dense and claggy and gooey and flavoursome. It was comforting, and having foregone dinner with promise of Michelin-starred food, at 10pm, it was much-needed.
There was also a rather generous plate of chocolates (already placed on the table when we sat down, which I think is poor form) to be shared between each couple.
Maybe that’s where all of my money went…
And just like that, it was time to head back down.
Thankfully, in spite of the incredibly lacklustre food and poor organisation (in addition to the chocolates, there were no napkins, so I was handed a stretch of blue paper towel… ALSO, where was my celebrity chef???), Michael & I did actually have an enjoyable time, due to some pre-dinner cocktails and two good senses of humour.
But, sadly, having to create your own fun when you’ve paid £150 to eat gourmet food in a once-in-a-lifetime setting, doesn’t really bode well with me.
I hope that our experience was an unfortunate exception, but there’s simply no way that our food was freshly cooked or assembled during our flight, as we hopped on immediately after those that had had dinner and, having now checked the jam-packed timetable, I can’t imagine that theirs was either.
Eek, at least I didn’t pay £400 for pre-cooked food!
The silver lining…