The Shard is London’s shiniest and biggest structure and a marriage between this iconic structure and luxury hotel Shangri-La seem to be a match made in heaven. And to make the most of this heavenly combo, it would make sense to take a ringside seat in sumptuous surroundings to gaze down on sweeping London views to your hearts content.
On the 35th floor of the Shard, alongside the hotel lobby is Ting Restaurant and it is here that you can relax in quintessential British style with Afternoon Tea. With a nod to Shangri-La’s Asian heritage, you can also opt for a South-East Asian flavour to your afternoon tea if that takes your fancy. And if like me, you can’t possibly choose, well then you can have both! Since our party of 2 is able to choose between different menus that is exactly what we do – to get the best of both worlds.
A glass of champagne is necessary to toast the views and comfortably settled in to our lounge seats, we’re able to fully appreciate our surrounds. St Paul’s cathedral, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, all of London is laid out ready to set your eyes upon!
It wasn’t too difficult to tear our attentions away from the view once our food arrived though – the mouth-watering array of sandwiches, savouries, scones and desserts would have tempted anyone! We’d ordered one Vegetarian tea and since the Vegetarian option is available only for the Classic afternoon tea, we’re also offered a plate of the non-vegetarian sandwiches to try and taste them all!
The vegetarian sandwiches were impressively a cut above the usual fare with flavours as glamorous as Moutabel, Aubergine, Duck-egg mayo, Hummus and Mozzarella and Pesto. For the usual tea, the options were equally delicious but more standard with flavours including a Smoked Salmon, Roast Angus beef, Honey Roast ham, Duck-Egg Mayo with truffle and a Cheddar and Piccalilli number. All made fresh that day and soft and delicious.
Growing up in Asia, it was the South-East Asian savouries that I really had my heart. If I had to choose, I would say that the Rendang beef brioche was my favourite but there were quite a few contenders for that crown including the Crab tart served with a ginger and sweet chilli dip. Oh but I’m forgetting to tell you about the beetroot cured salmon with sesame and yuzu on rye and the duck mango rice roll. You see how I had trouble deciding right?
The scones came plain or fruit flavoured with a different type of jam depending on which tea you’re having and so between us we have a gooseberry relish and a more traditional strawberry jam and while I have no complaints to levy at the scones, they can’t compare to the sweets. In fact, I’d go so far as to advise not to fill up on scones as you want to able to savour each delectable mouthful of dessert.
So which one to start with? Well each was better than the last. The Asian tea featured Vietnamese coffee choux bun, gooseberry tart, Pandan gateau, mango passion macaron and a pink guava mousse and if there’s one I would go for seconds, or perhaps thirds on, it would be the pink guava mousse.
The classic afternoon tea chose from a more traditional palate of flavours for these desserts and out came a Cherry pistachio financier, a cassis and violet choux bun, apricot lavender mousse, rhubarb ginger crumble tart and a raspberry rose lychee macaron and I think once again, the mousse would win as the favourite of the day!
We had opted for Earl Grey with Orange teas to mop up the rest of our meal after the champagne and it offered up a richness beyond the usual Earl Grey and it went beautifully with all our courses. We lingered with top ups of our teas and in general we were pretty reluctant to leave, since the service was friendly and unobtrusive and we were feeling very relaxed.
If you really really don’t want to leave, then there is an option for you to do just that this summer. You can now enjoy ‘Summer in the City’ at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. This experience includes an overnight stay for two in a luxurious guestroom or suite, bottle of house champagne served in room upon arrival, a delicious afternoon tea to be enjoyed in the privacy of your room with captivating views over the capital, complimentary WiFi, complimentary use of the gym and the infinity Skypool, and English breakfast served in TING restaurant and lounge, located on the 35th floor.
The offer starts from £615 for one night based on two people sharing a room. For further information and reservations visit www.shangri-la.com
Ting at Shangri-La London is located at Level 35 of the Shangri-La Hotel,
At The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU, United Kingdom
Available daily from 12pm – 4pm (last seating at 4pm)
Afternoon tea is priced at £56pp
Menus change regularly and are available at: