It seems the Dangleway may finally have discovered its raison d'être. As an entertainment space.
With 14th February fast approaching, London's favourite cablecar has transformed itself to create the Valentine's Experience. For four consecutive evenings, starting tonight, couples will be able to book a private cabin and soar across the Thames (and back) enjoying a special sensual experience. With a glass of bubbly and edible treats thrown in for good measure, the £50 fares are proving a hot ticket.
This isn't the first time the cablecar has gone all out to capture the romantic zeitgeist. Last year the gondolas were slowed down, free chocolates were dished out and an upbeat mix of love songs played out during the flight. It wasn't amazing, but it pulled in several hundred pairs of punters, and many enjoyed the aerial seclusion and panoramic views. What's different this year is that couples are being invited to book in advance, and for this they get a guaranteed private return flight with extras.
An unmissable treat, I'm sure you'll agree. And you'd not be alone. At time of posting all of Sunday's timeslots are already fully booked! That's every special flight from 3pm to 9pm, and also the post-sunset slot the day before, which could be a very nice little earner. And this is guaranteed income for TfL, rather than the situation last year where couples might have turned up or not, plus at a vastly inflated price. The risk remains that high winds might close the Valentine's Day offer down, and the refund policy isn't entirely clear, but on pre-sales alone this offer is an unqualified success.
You could of course do the whole thing yourself and get considerably better value for money. First of all visit outside the special offer period, because then the two of you would pay only £13.60 for a return trip. First thing on a Sunday morning is usually quiet, which would mean a near-guaranteed private cabin, or stuff Valentinestide and simply turn up on any 'normal' day of the year. Then you'll need to smuggle some champagne on board, which shouldn't be hard, with the added bonus that a £28 bottle of <brand name> bubbly would fill six flutes, not a paltry two. That would leave £8.40 out of your fifty quid for a nice box of chocolates, and you could scoff the lot rather than only two each. For romantic music bring your smartphone, and rather than bother with the video or viewing guide just look out of the window.
Or simply stay at home. Whatever expensiveromanticvisions the media might bombard us with over the next few days, an amorous evening needn't cost the earth.