Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a bunch of people having dinner in mid-air. If you happen to be in north London on June 15 and you glance up to see a group of people tucking into a meal in the sky, don't worry, it's not because ...
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's a bunch of people having dinner in mid-air.
If you happen to be in north London on June 15 and you glance up to see a group of people tucking into a meal in the sky, don't worry, it's not because someone's spiked your drink. You really are watching a dinner party – complete with chefs and waiting staff – taking place 160ft up.
It's the first UK event organised by Dinner in the Sky, which was launched by David Ghysels, who runs a communications agency in Belgium, and crane operator Benji Fun.
Over the last 12 months Dinner in the Sky has been setting up its unique 22- seater dining table, suspended by a giant crane, in locations all over mainland Europe.
Its UK debut is for the launch of a real estate project in north London, but creator Ghysels wouldn't reveal more because of "client confidentiality". He explains: "The idea is very simple – it's a table that 22 guests can sit around, with a space in the middle where a chef and two waiters can cook and serve to the guests. The seats are connected to the table but with nothing beneath them, so if you look to the side of your feet you see the ground.
"The table is hung up on a crane and we can lift it to 50 metres high in less than one minute, without any shock." Ghysels says the table has passed the toughest safety tests, while guests wear seatbelts and alcohol is served in restricted quantities.
"It hasn't happened yet but if someone doesn't feel good or wants to go to the restroom, we just go down and in less than a minute we can free them," he adds.
So far Dinner in the Sky clients have been mostly corporate – hardly surprising given that the table costs ¤7,900 (£5,400) to hire (for eight hours), rising to over £10,000 in the UK because Dinner in the Sky has to rent a crane locally. Food costs are extra, with clients offered the chance to supply their own chef or leave that to Ghysels' team.
"We have no menu. We often recommend a seafood plate and Champagne because it's very glamorous and easy to do, but we do sushi, steak flambé – it really depends on the clients,"
adds Ghysels. And if eating a meal suspended from a crane isn't enough entertainment for one day, you can even hire a second crane to stage live music, or to dangle a new car from for a launch.
"With a second crane you can put on anything you want to entertain your guests – it can be Elton John on his white piano, a new car or a pop star launching a new album."