Sitting at my desk here I can see St Paul’s, the London Eye and the BT Tower, and two of them are about to become new venues to eat and drink. Londoners have a long tradition of building something and then throwing a dinner party inside it, up it or on it. The Victorians had bashes in the tube and inside Marble Arch. Now wine-tasting parties are starting in the London Eye, but best of all, they’re reopening the BT Tower as a revolving restaurant.
The tower was closed after an IRA bomb damaged it, but I managed to wangle my way the top when I was researching ‘Roofworld’ many years ago. The shock is not its height but its slenderness, which is truly vertigo-inducing. This reminded me of the film sequence in which Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave host a party in the revolving restaurant, only to turn it into a rotor (for anyone who remembers those!). What’s weird about this clip is how contemporary it looks after forty years.
NB Original revolving restaurant clip was removed, so here’s another from the same film showing Carnaby Street.