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Vive la Révolution

The London Eye

Built to bring in the Millennium in 2000, the Coca-Cola London Eye is an iconic landmark that’s capable of hosting events at new heights. Jade Burke speaks to Rosie Leigh, events manager for Merlin Events and Sarah Hammond, director of the attraction’s caterer rhubarb, to find out more

Can you tell us a bit about Merlin Events London and which attractions the business manages? 
Rosie Leigh (RL): I manage corporate and private events for Merlin Events across the Merlin Entertainments Midway London Attractions. Our venues in the centre of London include Madame Tussauds London, Sea Life London Aquarium, The London Dungeon, the Coca-Cola London Eye and many more.

“What makes the London Eye so unique is that it is a moving venue – you’ll never have the same view for too long” – Rosie Leigh

The London Eye is a major attraction – what kinds of events can be held here?
RL: We can host a range of different events, from champagne receptions to exclusive hires of the entire London Eye, right up to an intimate seated dinner for up to eight guests (Dining 135). We are proud to offer such a wide range of options to our clients and can accommodate a huge variety of events – you can even propose or get married on the London Eye.

Can you tell us any intriguing facts about the London Eye?
RL: My favourite fact is that there are 32 capsules for a reason – they represent the 32 boroughs of London. However, they are numbered one to 33 (we don’t have a 13th capsule – superstitious!)

There’s only a two-second window for guests to jump onto a capsule. What’s it like setting up for an event?
RL: It’s like a military operation. With such a limited time to set up, our teams are trained to be able to set up a capsule for a wedding in under two minutes. It’s crucial this goes right so we don’t impact the time that the Eye has to stop for.
Sarah Hammond (SH): For us, setting up for an event is easy as we are well practiced at it. There is also no kitchen either, so we are always well prepared for all eventualities.

What’s the most memorable event held on the London Eye?
SH: For me that has to be a private dinner for two we hosted, where we had a special act/entertainment joining the capsule at the start of each rotation. It started with singers then magicians, and finally musicians.

London eye dining

What kind of catering is available on the London Eye?
SH: We have just designed a brand-new autumn/winter three-course decadent menu that is served on Dining 135. We’ve tried to bring a taste of Christmas with different flavours. Any kind of catering is possible if we know the brief in advance

Why should PAs consider an event held on the Eye?
RL: The London Eye is so iconic, whether you’ve never been on it before, or have visited it many times, you are bound to be impressed by the views at the top. Not only that, but going to an evening event where you have exclusive use of one of London’s biggest landmarks is pretty cool. What makes the London Eye so unique is that it is a moving venue – you’ll never have the same view for too long.