Tea in the Clouds
Have you seen the tables that are lifted into the sky by giant cranes? Wondered what it was all about?
London in the Sky is the UK’s event, but they are taking place all over the world. I’ve seen some pretty impressive views of the ones in Brussels and Dubai to name a couple of them. You book yourself a space on a dining table, which is then hoisted into the sky by a giant crane and you enjoy whatever meal you have booked whilst you are up there. And before you ask, no there’s no toilets up there. You are firmly strapped into your seat for the duration.
We booked ourselves on to ‘Tea in the Clouds’, which was the afternoon tea version. There were other options available, including brunch and dinner.
On our journey into London, I received an email saying there were running late and could we come for our afternoon tea at 5pm – we were originally due to be going up at 3:30pm. No problem, we had some other things to see and do in London so we took a leisurely afternoon in London first.
On arrival at the venue, which is just behind the South Bank Centre, we registered with the reception and we were told we would be going up on the lift in approximately 20 minutes time, which was 4:50. Time ticked around and our table wasn’t called so I enquired about our afternoon tea in the clouds. I was then told that there had been a mix up and there wasn’t space for us, and we would be going on the following lift. We were offered a complimentary drink whilst we waited. After a very long wait, we eventually were invited to be seated at our table at around 5:45pm.
Once strapped into our seats, the crane took us up 110 feet into the air. Then our afternoon tea was served. We were given a plate which hosted a plethora of bite-sized treats. A triple stacked sandwich finger with smoked salmon with chipotle, spring onion and coriander. An egg sandwich with black truffle and watercress. A miniature asparagus and chervil cream tartlet. A miniature scone with Cornish clotted cream and English strawberry and vanilla jam. Dark and white chocolate Battenberg cake. A cloud-shaped shortbread and a cake pop.
It was a really hot day, at around 30 degrees in London that afternoon, and it seemed that the sandwiches may have been left out in the sun for a while, so when they were served, they could only be described as a bit crispy and dry.
Luckily, the cake hadn’t had the same treatment, so although it was a bit soft from the temperature, it was perfectly edible.
As part of the afternoon tea, we were due to receive a glass of champagne, which we did and there should have been a selection of teas to choose from. We weren’t offered any tea choices, but there were some teapots on the table. After pouring myself a tea, I enquired about the milk, only to find it had been left at the bottom. So no tea for our afternoon tea.
I’ll move on to the view. It was lovely to be up so high and the table was rotated so we could take in the full view. We could see over the buildings and even take in the top half of the London eye. It was also much cooler up in the air, so a welcome refreshment from the sweltering temperatures down lower. The team on board our table did a good job of making sure we had some nice pictures taken whilst we were up and answering any queries we had.
It was a good experience and nice to do something I had wanted to do for a while. But would I do it again, no I wouldn’t. It really wasn’t very well organised. We paid £75 per head for Tea in the Clouds and if I’m being honest the food wasn’t great. We paid for afternoon tea and we got no tea, and our event wasn’t in the afternoon. I will say the team there did their best to look after the guests who were waiting for a very long time. But the experience really didn’t deliver what we had paid for – it was below par in comparison to a lot of other London attractions.
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