The Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden is regularly listed as one of the most beautiful performance venues in the world. So I knew I'd have to act fast in order to secure tickets for its popular holiday show - The Nutcracker.
As it turned out, many people had the same idea but were much more organised than me. When I visited the booking page two months before Christmas, the only four seats in a row available were in the top tier amphitheatre gallery.
For £10 each, our tickets were a bargain. The seats were described as "Upper Slips, view obstructed by tier ledge, patrons in front may also obstruct view, padded bench with back." We didn't even have to stand!
We took several flights of stairs and escalators to reach our seats, which were padded benches on the highest possible landing in the building. A quick glance downward might leave you weak in the knees.
We didn't have a full view of the performance, but we did get an unrivalled, bird’s eye view of the orchestra and all four tiers of boxes and balconies. The auditorium could seat 2,256 people, so we spent the interval admiring both the ROH's architecture and guests. 🧐
We also had the best view of the auditorium’s ornate ceiling, which housed the spot lights and opened up during the show to illuminate the stage.
Warning: I would not recommend this section for people with an extreme fear of heights. You are after all within an arm’s reach to the roof, with the entire theatre below your feet. .
Other than that it’s a great way to check out the Grade I listed opera house and the wonderful royal ballet for the price of a take-away meal.