Behind the scenes Q&A: Private Dining Events at the London Eye - Merlin Venues

Behind the scenes Q&A: Private Dining Events at the London Eye

13 June 2019


Every event comes with its logistical difficulties. But imagine having to host a high-end, intimate dining experience in a moving capsule of the London Eye as part of a London Eye experience. That’s what the teams at Merlin Events and Rhubarb Food Design have to contend with for their Dining at 135 as part of the London Eye experience. Here Rosie Leigh from Merlin discusses some of the questions fellow industry peers often ask her. Read on for your behind the scenes peek at how the magic happens…

What do you find is the trickiest part in running a Dining at 135 event?

Rosie: We do schedule in a toilet break for guests after the second rotation, but sometimes guests urgently need to use the bathroom either before or after this time, so we have to adjust our operations to ensure we can accommodate getting them off and back on the capsule without affecting the service times for the other guests.

 Have you ever had any really unusual requests from Dining at 135 clients?

Rosie: Not anything too out of the ordinary just yet! But we do have to keep in mind that simple things like balloons and certain decorations aren’t permitted on board as we can never be sure the balloons won’t cover up CCTV cameras in the capsule. It’s small things like this that usually wouldn’t be a problem in more ‘traditional venues’ but we have to factor in to our events on the London Eye.



Are there any special catering logistics you have to keep in mind?

Rosie: The Rhubarb chefs prep their food inside the County Hall building and transport it to the capsule in hotboxes. It’s important for the London Eye operations team to communicate with Rhubarb effectively so they can bring the food on board at the right times. The London Eye operations team are always on hand to assist with getting the team to the capsule via the quickest routes.

How many capsules can a client hire out at any one time?

Rosie: For dining clients can hire a maximum of 2 capsules for a total of 20 guests.

 Can you adjust the lighting in the capsules – how does this work?

Rosie: We put in uplighters in the capsule to bring more of an evening event atmosphere. They can be changed to a colour of the client’s choice.



Can clients request music? What AV facilities are there in the capsules?

Rosie: We can provide or the client can provide a portable speaker with a pre-set playlist to accompany them through dinner.

What do guests say is the best part of the experience?

Rosie: On the 3rd rotation up at 135 metres, the Eye pauses for a few moments so guests can get some spectacular photos at the top with the amazing views.



The experience lasts for three, full flights. Does that ever make your staff feel a little ‘sea sick’?

Rosie: We make sure that all of the staff working on the London Eye experience aren’t afraid of heights or suffer from motion sickness! The capsule does rotate fairly slowly so it’s not usually a problem.

Have you ever accidentally gone around for another flight because you haven’t got off in time?

Rosie: This hasn’t happened before… Or not yet anyway!

If you are interested in a London Eye experience and The London Eye’s Dining at 135 events, we have more information here, or please fill out our call back form and we will call you to discuss your function.


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