Dining in the sky with diamonds (and a seatbelt) …

Image: Colin Brough

Image: Colin Brough

It is probably de rigeur to attend the restaurant in the sky when it comes to town. This extravagant example of the “peripatetic food wagon” has been doing the rounds over the last few years.

Major cities in the Middle East, the Americas, Africa, Australasia and Europe have seen the vertically portable arrangement swaying gently above their streets. This is one of those places where dinner is definitely different. There are 22 places around the table with the central boardwalk reserved for the staff who prepare and serve the three course meal plus drinks to guests who plainly need a head for heights. The whole table is raised into the air above the city and well-heeled diners get a birds-eye view from 40 or so metres. Meals are mostly pre-prepared and then finished off in a convection oven in the “kitchen” – no open flames or that type of cooking is permitted (health and safety issues, it seems), so crépes won’t be on any menu!

The good news for restaurateurs is that this whole apparatus can be rented. Stocktakers can be instructed by their clients to factor the costs in to their calculations for the new year. Well, summer, actually because even though you can pay a bit extra for some heating to be included, the open air nature of this beast will probably meet its match in the English winter. So for the chef who wants to give his guests that special experience, he can bank on £12,500 for the five hour junket. This of course includes everything – the campaign planning, risk assessments, hire of the table, the crane, the crew and management who set up everything and then break it down (no pun intended) and also the £10m public liability insurance. All the host will have to provide is the food, the serving staff and the guests.

It would be recommended that guests be carefully selected. Those with vertigo or incontinence issues should probably best stay home. While it is quite fine for guests to leave the table to visit the little boy or girl’s room during the meal, the lowering and raising of the table each time could grate on the other guests when they’re trying to get the perfect shot on their camera-phone and suddenly they lose their vantage point angle because someone ‘needs to go.’

And if Malcolm Walker happened to be a guest at one of these soirées he’d be the first to suggest using products from his Iceland chain. And for the attending stocktaker, factoring in Mr Walker’s products could keep the costs of the whole event down to below 14K. His company’s products would also help the kitchen staff in their preparations too. A lot of dishes could just be bunged in the microwave in situ, 40m up!

People shouldn’t be surprised if there’s an extra name on the Christmas cards they get this year. An interesting survey shows that one in four dog owners add the name of their pet on to the cards they send out. I suppose because animals and our pets are considered part of the family.

So it would be quite normal to get one from Jon Rutter signed “from Jon, all the Rutters team and Unique Billy.”

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