Excitement high for dining in the sky

Scott Bolles

 His customers are seated at a table dangling from a crane in all manner of weather, yet Simon Laxton has only once had to delay his "Dinner in the Sky" events.

“It was an electrical storm in Japan, it's the only thing that stops us,” Laxton says.

There is also a zero strike rate for vertigo. “I had to bring it down once for a guy to do a wee, but that's it,” Laxton adds.

Kick-started six years ago as a stunt in Europe, today it operates in 40 countries across the world. Diners feast on fine food and elevated views of some of the globe's great landmarks. This October it will be a semi-permanent feature on the Sydney skyline during Good Food Month. Plans for a Melbourne assault is also on the cards.

Laxton won't reveal the exact Sydney location of the crane where 22 diners will strap in during October, confirming only that it'll be “iconic harbourside”. He's also coy on the name of the Michelin-starred international chef who'll cook.

He hopes to take the high-wire performance to Melbourne early next year, but warns state government regulation in Victoria and NSW makes it the toughest place in the world to operate the event. “I've got 600 pages of documentation,” he says.

“We are very aware of the dining culture in Melbourne and want to hold events there,” he says, pinpointing Melbourne's Botanic Gardens and Albert Park as potential locations.

Australia also deserves some credit in pioneering the concept of elevate dining.

“Around 35 to 40 years ago a group of adventurers hung off the Heads [in Sydney] and had a meal at a table for a promotion,” Laxton says.