Review: A magical, sunset flight on Brighton’s British Airways i360
What I loved about it:
The British Airways i360 offers some spectacular views across the Sussex coast on an incredibly smooth, relaxing flight. Taking in the glow of the sunset at 450ft with a chilled glass of sparkling Nyetimber in hand was absolutely magical.
Value for money (out of 10):
There aren’t many more romantic ways to spend a Saturday evening than listening to live music whilst enjoying sunset views with a glass of chilled sparkling wine in hand. With this in mind, I think I may have peaked on the date night front when inviting my husband to be my plus one for a flight on Brighton’s British Airways i360!
Last Saturday, we attended a very special evening which saw world famous classical pianist, AyseDeniz Gokcin, perform a magnificent sunset concerto on a full-size grand piano at 450ft above the South Coast. With a Nyetimber bar and the most stunning sunset, it was a truly magical evening which I would thoroughly recommend.
If you’ve been to Brighton at any point over the past few years, you will no doubt have spotted the vibrant city’s latest addition to the seafront. Opened by Prince Philip in Summer 2016, the striking and futuristic British Airways i360 observation tower is located between the historic Regency Square and the remains of the West Pier.
Whilst it has admittedly caused a bit of a stir amongst local residents and even been given a few naughty nicknames (I’ll let you Google these rather than share them here!), there’s no denying that the slick viewing pod offers some of the most spectacular views across Brighton. Designed by the team behind the iconic London Eye as a “vertical pier” for Brighton’s promenade, the British Airways i360 boasts panoramas across the popular seaside town and all the way out to the Seven Sisters cliffs on a clear day.
The sun was already low in the sky as we arrived just after 7pm in time for our 7.30pm flight on a sunny August evening. Though there was a short queue, it moved quickly as we went through the speedy security systems in place. Once through, we briefly enjoyed sun-kissed views of the dramatic West Pier and seafront from the terrace. There is a bar in this area too, but we decided to wait until we were onboard to order anything.
After taking a few photos and admiring our surroundings, we were welcomed onto the viewing pod by a smartly-dressed member of the BA crew (it’s the closest I’ve been to an in-flight experience for a while now!) for our 25 minute flight. As we stepped into the airy, glass dome, musician AyseDeniz Gokcin was all ready to start playing on a beautiful Kawai grand piano. Following a short introduction, she took to the keys and, needless to say, we were absolutely mesmerised. Playing classical pieces along with some brilliant rock arrangements, her passion and extraordinary talent shone through straight away, creating a breath-taking soundtrack to our experience.
In fact, we were so absorbed in her amazing performance, that we barely noticed that we were moving as the pod started to travel upwards. The flight was incredibly smooth, with views of the coast gently gliding past us as we gazed out of the curved glass windows all around us to spot landmarks such as Brighton Pier, the Upside Down House and in the distance, Beachy Head. It was also a great way to see some of the amazing artwork atop many of Brighton’s high-rise buildings which otherwise aren’t visible.
In the middle of the pod stood a long, curved bar, serving glasses of chilled, sparkling wine from Sussex vineyard, Nyetimber. We had two glasses of Classic Cuvée included with our flight which added an extra special element as we listened to the performance and took in the views of the coast and city whilst the sky turned pink.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening and we were blown away by the talents of pianist AyseDeniz. The views really were spectacular and the evening made for the perfect date night.
Standard Flight Price: £17.50 (adult) / £11.75 (youth) / £8.75 (child)
Sparkling Wine Flight Price: £24.75 (adult) / £19.55 (young adult)