Tea was poured, cupcakes were nibbled and classical music drifted through the air as Virgin Balloon Flights successfully hosted the ultimate tea party in the sky at 1300ft.
The unique event – believed to be the highest open-air airborne tea party - was organised to celebrate the Great British summer at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta today (August 10).
The Virgin balloon launched in a mass ascent with scores of others from Ashton Court - one of Virgin Balloon Flights’ 100 UK locations for balloon rides - shortly after sunrise.
Lucky guests were served sandwiches and cream cakes on china crockery and enjoyed Twinings tea and English sparkling wine as they floated along, while classical string music played in the bunting-clad basket.
After an hour’s flight traveling south west of Bristol, Virgin Balloon Flights’ pilot Mark Simmons, of Atworth, near Bath, landed perfectly at a miniature airfield for radio controlled planes north of Yatton.
Mark, who has been flying for 23 years and already holds the record for the highest concert in a balloon, said the flight could not have gone better.
He said: “Every balloon flight is an adventure and today it all came together to be one of the most amazing flights I’ve had. The views were spectacular, the tea party was a great success and the lovely passengers seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
“It was a unique and fitting way to celebrate this Great British summer,” he added.
Karen Rowles, of Malmesbury, Wiltshire, won the flight for her and husband Alan in a competition on the Virgin Balloon Flights Facebook page. She said it was an unforgettable experience and had made her year.
“It was bizarre drinking tea, eating cake and having music in the background up there. It was great,” she added.
Another prize winner Richard Evans, of Langford, near Bristol, flew with wife Emma and said: “It was really surreal and like nothing we’ve done before. It was certainly the most interesting cup of tea we’ve ever had.”
For more stories and pictures from the Virgin Balloon Flights Tea Party in the Sky plus news, offers and competitions visit www.facebook.com/virginballoonflights
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Virgin Balloon Flights is the UK’s largest hot air ballooning company, offering champagne balloon rides and ballooning experiences from over 100 launch sites in England, Scotland and Wales. Follow in the footsteps of adventurer Sir Richard Branson and see beautiful Britain from an amazing new perspective or make someone’s day with a ticket to the sky.
Virgin Balloon Flights Contacts:
Head of Communications & Marketing
+44 (0) 1952 212750
Published on: 1:17PM on 10th August 2012