I know I’ve been banging on a lot about breakfast lately, but it really is the most important meal of the day. Besides, I’m a big fan of eating breakfast out in London. You get your big fancy meal at the beginning of the day, when you’ll burn it off best; it’s cheaper than dinner; and it leaves the now-chilly evenings free for cosy indoor activities, like playing Trivial Pursuit and watching Netflix out of a blanket fort.
The best thing about going out for breakfast, though, is that it gets you out of bed. I find mornings are a lot like the gym: the idea of them is hideous and fills me with a nameless dread, but actually, once you’re in to it, it’s rather wonderful. Rising early and getting shit done always gives me a massive productivity hard-on, which pumps up the rest of my day.
But you know what’s even better than going out for breakfast? Going out for breakfast hanging off a crane.
By 8:50am on Sunday morning, I was pegging it to the Southbank to meet my workmate Jay. As usual, I was running late, and we had a flight to catch; we were due to have breakfast suspended 80 feet above the ground on a 22-cover flying kitchen, and I’d been excited about it for weeks.
The flying kitchen is operated by a company called Events in the Sky, who do a run of public events every year. They aren’t cheap – our breakfast cost us £50 each – but it’s an experience unlike any other. First, you are strapped into a cushioned spinny chair, with a little platform for your feet. (NB: don’t be a twat and wear slip-on shoes, like me. You’ll regret it.)
Once everyone is secured, the whole table – everything and quite literally the kitchen sink – is winched into the air, where a fabulous meal is served to you as you dangle over London.
It doesn’t actually feel that high…
…Until you look down.
(Fortunately any fear of heights I once had was well and truly vanquished when I took that flying trapeze class.)
The chefs change every few days, and include Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle, Calum Franklin of Holborn Dining Room and Tom Aikens of Tom’s Kitchen. We were lucky to have Martin Morales as our breakfast chef, owner of Peruvian restaurants Ceviche and Andina, and I was anticipating some unique ingredients and fresh South American flavours.
We started with a hazelnut smoothie, which smelt disgusting but tasted good; thick and smooth, and full of things that I’d never heard of but apparently are very good for you (lucuma and kiwacha, anyone?) Accompanying it was a bowl of granola, which I normally consider a pussy breakfast only eaten by puritans and masochists. Turns out I’ve been horribly misinformed, this stuff was a full-bodied combination of quinoa, pumpkin seeds, oats, coconut and cinnamon, rolled in goldenberry honey, slathered in good Greek yoghurt, and topped with strawberry and passionfruit.
Next came the Peruvian fruit salad, which included more things I’d never eaten before – prickly pear, starfruit, more lucuma, this time in the form of some delicious orange goo – and sugar-dusted plantain chips.
The next course was a steamed bun slider filled with crispy belly bacon and pineapple chili salsa, which is one of those bizarre combinations that sounds awful but in practice results in that wonderful alchemy of an unexpected deliciousness. The kick of the chili completely displaces the sweetness that I usually find so overpowering in pineapple, and made the belly pork sing in its soft, steamed shell. We threw ours down with unprecedented gusto (admittedly in part because we were strapped into those chairs a few inches too far from the table for something so messy).
Finally – yeah, I know, four courses for breakfast! How extravagant! – we had a Burford Brown poached egg on fresh cornbread and avocado (or smoked salmon, if one preferred), with a generous smear of a Uchucuta herb sauce. This was very similar to what I had at Andina last week, and just as good. Better, in fact, because this time I was sitting in the middle of the sky, bathed in glorious sunshine.
It was all over only too soon, and as soon as we landed we went to the reception to check the availability for dinner flights, quite forgetting in our excitement that they were £200 each, i.e. highly unlikely this side of payday. Bummer.
That said, if you have at least a spare £50 rolling around this month, I’d highly recommend spending it on some pie in the sky. Or, you know, some poached eggs. Whatever. Alternatively, Tattinger in the Sky costs £75, and includes two glasses of champagne and canapes. It’s a totally unique experience, and you’ll get a new profile picture out of it. All in all, I reckon, not bad value.
Events in the Sky 2015, 99A Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PP
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in East London and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.