Taking good food to new heights, in the spring of 2018 I ate a meal at 23,149 feet on the North Col of Mount Everest.
Together with eight companions, we enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by super chef Sat Bains with two Michelin stars, dressed in evening wear and ball gowns.
The Guinness Book of World Records has now officially recognized the charity stunt as the world’s highest dinner.
Sadie Whitelocks from MailOnline Travel went on an expedition with former special forces officer Neil Laughton in an attempt to break the world record for the highest dinner. Above, the team successfully dined at 23,149 feet on Mount Everest. Sadie is on the right, closest to the camera
One of the Sherpas in the mountains stood as a chef. The food was prepared by chef Sat Bains with two Michelin stars in his restaurant in Nottingham before it was freeze-dried and flown to Tibet
The dessert made by Sat Bains for the world’s highest dinner contained caramel wrapped in chocolate
Superchef Sat Bains, who has two Michelin stars
It was only possible with a team of local guides who helped transport our rather unusual supply of goods.
For our dinner to be an official record, there had to be a decorated dining table, dining chairs and crockery.
Our expedition leader, former officer of the special forces Neil Laughton, has done some things with the addition of candlesticks and a bunch of yellow plastic lilies.
In terms of food, Sat Bains had invented a freeze-dried meal, which only required the addition of hot water.
The menu included a miso soup starter, a lamb starter for main dishes, and a chocolate dessert covered with caramel to finish.
The world’s highest dinner took place at 6 a.m. for meteorological reasons. Top from left to right, Sherpa Nima, expedition team member Jane Chynoweth, Sadie Whitelocks and team leader Neil Laughton
For dinner to be official, there had to be a decorated dining table, dining chairs, and crockery. The expedition leader, former officer of the special forces Neil Laughton, has done a bit with the addition of candlesticks and some yellow plastic lilies
The dinner party team sipped a special cocktail made by Mr Fogg’s bar in London, which contained Metaxa
Sadie writes: “The summit of Mount Everest, which loomed above 8080 feet, was hidden from view and there was no pinch of blue sky to be seen.”
You are advised not to drink alcohol at high altitudes, but we thought that a little sip would not harm anything.
There was Mumm Champagne, Taylor’s Port and a Metaxa-based cocktail rusted by London’s cocktail bar Mr Fogg’s to excite us.
Putting champagne on ice was certainly no problem. The day we dined, the temperature fluctuated around minus 25 degrees Celsius.
The view was pretty terrible and a thick fog disguised our dining table outside.
The summit of Mount Everest, with a height of 5800 feet, was hidden from view and there was no pinch of blue sky.
We had hiked to the North Col and camped the night before, and in an attempt to return on time, we started our dinner on April 30 on April 6.
A view of Mount Everest from an advanced base camp where the team stayed before climbing to the North Col
The weather around Mount Everest can change enormously throughout the day, with the sun giving way to furious snowstorms
To get to the world’s highest dinner, Sadie and the team had to climb a 1 km-high ice wall
It took the team of dinners most of the day to navigate the icy route with a fixed rope and they had to be careful with gaping gorges
Sitting with our teeth chattering while the penetrating winds roamed around, we quickly stopped in the fine food.
After having lived for a few weeks on expedition food, including abundant amounts of Pringles and Haribo sweets, eating Sat Bains tasted extra divine. Some went for third parties.
The tippels also helped us to warm up a bit, although the Champagne started to freeze within a few seconds.
“Ch-ch-cheers!” we all chatted, toasting our mountain meal and a fellow expedition member who couldn’t make it due to altitude sickness.
Dining at Everest was really a meal to remember.
The world’s highest expedition for dinner parties has raised money for Community Action Nepal for mountaineering. To further donate to the cause visit www.justgiving.com.
Mountaineers seen from the North Col of Mount Everest come down, using fixed rope to help with their descent
To get to the advanced base camp from the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, trekkers must navigate through this icy corridor known as the “magic highway”
Sadie said that eating Sat Bains was a real treat, especially after weeks of life on expedition food, including “abundant amounts of Pringles and Haribo sweets”
A yak outside the tents in the advanced base camp on Mount Everest
The expedition team had a general rehearsal dinner in the Everest base camp where the weather was much sunny
The world’s highest expedition for dinner parties has raised money for Community Action Nepal for mountaineering
Wear a hat with ear flaps to bed, shower with a saucepan and keep a hip flask close at hand! A girls’ guide to survive some of the most extreme camping conditions in the world
Here are some of the most important things Sadie has packed to get her through the extreme mountain weather at over 20,000 feet.
When sleeping at temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius, one of the things that helped prevent my head from freezing was sheepskin-lined hat from Seattle outfitter Filson, which has handy ear flaps and a string that you can tie under your chin to prevent it falling off in the middle of the night.
Another handy gadget was mine Petzl head lamp, which helped me to navigate through the inside of the tent and sort out some chaos at nightfall.
Sadie, pictured with her camping friend Jane Chynoweth, said a hat with ear flaps helped her prevent her head from freezing in the cold Everest weather
Sadie said a head lamp helped her navigate the inside of her tent and organize some of the chaos at nightfall
But my ultimate camping buddy was mine Rab expedition sleeping bag, which I borrowed from an adventurous friend.
The bag filled with down is designed for extreme mountain conditions and temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius. It costs more than £ 800 – but I understood why.
To stay extra comfortable in the sleeping bag, I slept fully dressed and I also cuddled bottle filled with hot water. This would generally remain heated until the morning and make a real difference to my quality of sleep.
When things reached a low point, I dived into mine hip flask, which was filled with a delicious whiskey. Despite the doctor’s advice not to drink at heights, the spicy brew has certainly made the cockles warm!
In the elements the top pieces of the set contain a few ‘hydrotech gloves‘from outfitter Musto – who prevented my fingers from falling off in the cold – and the Levity 60 backpack van Osprey, who was light to wear and had many pockets to store various trash cans.
When it got really cold, Sadie said she sipped a sip of whiskey from her hip flask before going to sleep (left), while a pocket mirror was useful to check her burned face (right)
Sadie said going to the toilet in the middle of the night was quite treacherous – the toilet was often housed in a rickety tent on the edge of a hill (pictured above) – so she usually resorted to peeing by the moon by moonlight
The tents often freeze at night, with the outside covered with a layer of frost
When it came to toilet antics, a stock of wet wipes van Boots were a lifesaver, just like a pinch tube hand sanitizer.
Going to the toilet in the middle of the night was quite treacherous – the toilet was often housed in a rickety tent on the edge of a hill – so I usually resorted to peeing by the moon by moonlight.
Although we could not have showers at heights, I turned to the chefs for nagging saucepan of warm water. I put my head in the silver bowl and managed to excite my steadily dreadlocking hair!
My little one pocket mirror helped me keep my peeling, wind burned face under control, while mine pocket tweezers were used for a further spot of mountain smoothing.
Fortunately the knife my father sent me before he dared to cut off my arm if I had fallen into a crack and the trap did not come into play. Only to dissect an apple.