Man I hate heights. Really really hate them. I remember walking along the top of a castle wall in Harlech crouched down to ground level because I was scared of swaying and falling off. I remember the time we tried to make it to the top of the TV tower in Rotterdam and I had to hold G’s hand up the stair because the wind was so strong and at the top I plastered myself against the wall to once again, stop myself from falling off. It’s funny because I LOVE a good view point, I love climbing to the top but somehow the moment my mind concocts a way for me to tumble to my death… then the knees turn to jelly and I physically struggle to move or enjoy myself.
So, naturally, when the WeBloggers decided to meet up and experience afternoon tea on a sky high platform suspended by a crane, I happily accepted (poor them right?).
My fear of heights has always been a bit of a running joke amongst friends and family, as most of them have had the pleasure (for them, not me) of experiencing my comical solutions to dealing with my issues. I decided this was a great opportunity for me to spend time with my WeBloggers who I hadn’t seen in yeeeears, to enjoy some good food and drink and to show my friends and family that I could do it.
I arrived on time, bumping into a new blogger friend Kirsten, from the LIFB Issue, where we came off the tram and saw this mysterious sky high dining table in action. Didn’t look that high, what was I so worried about?
Great. On we went to registration, where we were briefed by some of the Roberts Bakery team, the event organisers. Have you heard of them? I hadn’t and couldn’t believe that considering how much I love bread, I had never seen them in the supermarkets. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the brand, and judging by the way of their brand promotion… I liked what I saw.
Wristbanded. Boarding pass in hand. Security brief completed. Valuables locked away. Off we went.
It had started to rain so we all gathered close around the table, under the canopy and I just happened to be stood by a corner seat. A second later I was somehow being strapped into said seat, whilst the security chap chirpily pointed out that I had the best seat in the house as I could turn all the way round to enjoy the view.
Yes you heard that right, turn all the way round.
No thanks was the thought that came to my mind, and after asking him to return and re-tighten my harness and tuck my chair closer to the table so I was well and truly wedged in, I waited for all the others to take their place.
All safe, the infamous opening track to Star Wars bellowed around us as we rose gracefully into the air. It was beautiful. Magical. The views as I turned were spectacular and…
At the start I was terrified, not even the excitement of having my favourite opening sequence song made me feel better. The wind didn’t help and being on the corner left me feeling very vulnerable. Internalising a whole load of fear and anxiety whilst trying to be a cool-I-can-handle-anything blogger was harder than I thought. But I think I pulled it off 😉
I say it’s lies, but actually it did become the truth. It was quite magical being that high up and surreal to be doing it at a dinner table looking out over Greater Manchester.
Roberts bakery knew exactly how to put us at ease too, by serving up a scrumptiously innovative afternoon tea. Their exploratory had created a range of new flavours and the meal presented to us was created using some of their hot off the press and a number of secret squirrel items…
As soon as the food landed in front of me I started to relax and enjoy myself. It was so nice catching up with fellow bloggers, Diane, Holly, Kat, Jacinta and Laura. We worked our way through the tiers, Roberts bakery hosts explaining their new creations as we went on, they were so good at making us all comfortable and they kept the tea flowing!
The marbled red pesto and pink peppercorn was the most unusual one I tried, we enjoyed trying to work out the spices and tastes, sharp pepper flavour definitely was a bit of a talking point. There was even mini loaves with turmeric and ones with cheesy centres!
If I had to pick a favourite there is no question whatsoever that the sticky toffee scone with soft fudge and sticky dates (doesn’t it just SOUND amazing?!?!) was my winner. I could’ve eaten a whole pack and I will most definitely be purchasing some the minute it hits the shelves! (I look out for it all. the. time.)
The sky high afternoon tea was one of the most memorable dining experiences I’ve had to date, and it was so nice to share it with such great company too. The hospitality we received from Etihad and Roberts Bakery was fantastic. Their campaign was tailored around #EmbraceTheNew and they sure had found a way for us all to do just that!
Once back on firm ground we were all quite excitedly chatting about how nice it was to do something different, without having to leave Manchester! I called my fantastic four team hoping to hear words of pride – which there were some, but my plan backfired a little as I was faced predominantly with words of upset for not including them 🙄.
We ended the afternoon with a giant goody bag and Kirsten and I shared a tram ride back to the City as it was back to work for me.
I was a little bit disappointed that none of us were able to get a photo of us actually suspended up there, but as it turns out a friend of Mo’s in Leeds shared a tweet from his friend in Manchester – who managed to take a pic of us up above the Etihad! (credit for this pic goes to @thegingerwig)
My mum came to stay over the weekend and it was the perfect opportunity to crack open the Roberts bloomer loaf and give it a try. I’m not usually one for seeded bread but this was delicious! We caned the loaf within a few days, it worked perfectly on it’s own or teamed up with Mo’s marvellous masala egg.
Looking forward to seeing some of the new and exciting flavours on the shelf in the near future and it’s time to hunt for a new experience to challenge myself with…
The sky’s the limit! (right?)
What’s the most unusual dining experience you’ve ever had?
*** Thank you to Roberts Bakery and WeBlogNorth for inviting me on this very special afternoon tea. Of course all opinions and photos are my own (unless stated) ***