Worlds Highest Dinner Party
A touch of class was brought to the lofty reaches of Mount Everest yesterday, as a British adventurer set a new Guinness World Record for hosting the world’s highest black tie dinner party – complete with a table, crockery, cutlery, flowers, candles and a gourmet three-course meal.
After a ‘trial run’ at Base Camp with a larger group last week, Neil Laughton, Neil Laughton, who has previously led five successful expeditions to Everest and summited the mountain Bear Grylls in 1998, travelled with a team of eight mountaineers to North Col, a pass on Everest’s Tibetan side.
Reaching an altitude of 7,050 metres (23,129ft), the group of six men and two women then set up, donned dinner jackets and ball gowns, popped some celebratory glasses of champagne and worked through a menu designed by Nottingham’s two-Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains.
“It was -25 Celsius (-13F), windy, snowing, and the champagne started to freeze as we drank it, so conversation was fairly limited,” Laughton said. “Despite that, we did still manage to stand for the loyal toast to her majesty.”
Photo © Provided by The Telegraph
Raising money for the charity Community Action Nepal, the group – which included the Sherpa guides and a chef – spent three weeks travelling to the site, after hosting a preparation event at Everest Base Camp earlier in the month.
Bains’ menu consisted of miso soup, lamb tagine and a chocolate dessert, all of which had been dehydrated in Britain and required only the addition of hot water from the chef.
“Normally at that kind of altitude, you completely lose your appetite and can’t force anything down you, but we all had clean plates at the end, so it must have been good,” Laughton said.
In accordance with rules set by Guinness World Records, the group were required to have alcohol to accompany their meal. In addition to champagne, warming whiskey and port was also served at the table.
“We had thermals on underneath our dinner jackets, and one person had a kilt on. The two ladies were in full-length ball dresses, but we only lasted through the photographs in that get-up. We had to put our down jackets on to stay alive,” said Laughton, whose previous charity stunts have included playing cricket at the South Pole and flying a car across the Sahara Desert.
At more than 7,050m, the record is more than 1,000m higher than the previous mark, meaning it’ll be “a tough record to crack in the future.”
“There were no parlour games, but I don’t think it’s comparable with any other dinner party I’ve been to. It’s something that’ll live long in my memory, and in terms of charity money, we’re right on track, which is the main thing.”
The expedition has so far raised more than £100,000 for Sherpa communities struggling after the 2015 earthquake in the region.
Source: The Telegraph