Most days during the week I’m lucky if I get a lunch break and if I do it tends to be spent eating a boring butty at my desk. However, an experience I had last Thursday lunch time couldn’t have been further from the norm! I was invited by my employer, Metro Radio, to accompany some clients and enjoy a three course meal one hundred feet in the air with Dine in the Sky Events.
For the last four days (12 – 15 May), there’s been an exclusive pop-up restaurant suspended in the air beside the River Tyne, just next to The Sage Gateshead where head chefs from some of Geordieland’s finest restaurants have been serving up gastronomic delights. Packages ranged from a healthy four course breakfast to sparkling high tea and gin tasting sessions with tasty canapés.
The ‘flight’ I experienced included a delicious three course meal, created and served by Andrew Drape, head chef at River Beat, a quirky Thai restaurant on the banks of the Tyne.
I was initially excited (verging on giddy) to join my colleagues and clients for lunch in the air but then I read an article in the Evening Chronicle about our chef battling to overcome his fear of heights and suddenly my nerves kicked in too!
Thankfully, when I arrived I was given a safety briefing and a glass of fizz and I soon found my confidence again! We were then secured in to our comfy leather seats by a health and safety expert. There was a foot rest too which I guess would have helped make the experience feel less unnatural but at 5’2″ my feet couldn’t quite reach so I really could feel myself dangling above the ground!
Half way through the meal, we discovered that the chairs rotated and reclined slightly and some of my fellow diners were brave enough to swivel around and take pis of the ground like this one…
The weather was perfect for our flight and although there was a blustery breeze now and again (making my hair look slightly crazy!), it stayed dry and sunny.
The views were incredible and the food exceeded expectations, I’m not quite sure how they managed with such a small cooking space but we were served three mouth-watering courses and Andrew gave us lots of information about the ingredients of each dish. Annoyingly, in all the excitement I failed to remember what he said but here’s a couple of pictures…
I do remember that the desert was made with peanut butter and condensed milk and it tasted incredible!
Before our descent back to base, we were rotated 360 degrees by people operating guide ropes attached to the dining table. This gave us a chance to check out the stunning scenery all around us. I came eye to eye with visitors to the top floor of the Baltic and could easily imagine what it must be like for the window cleaners at The Sage.
The whole experience lasted about an hour and it was one of the most unique I’ve ever had. All of our guests said they loved it and everyone was raving about the food too. If Dine by the Tyne makes a return I urge you to book a place. If not, then at least you can still head to River Beat to sample the delicious food I enjoyed.
What’s the most unique dining experience you’ve ever had?