For months on end we all thought the same thing – have they finished it yet?
That spikey top that just looked perpetually unfinished. Little did we know, that was the artistic ingenious of it – the top is meant to look like ‘shards’ of glass piercing the skyline of London. I get it. It’s cool. It has grown on me.
The glistening Shard has most certainly become a British icon over the last few years. The night-lit sky just won’t look the same without it, I think us Brits have become quite fond of the Empiresque State Building. Until last week, I have to admit that I had never ventured up the Shard, nor had it particularly appealed to me. Now if you ask me what are the top things to do in London, hopping up The Shard for a glimpse of London from above would be on my ‘to-do’ list.
The View from The Shard is definitely worth a visit. Located on the 69th and 72nd floors are the viewing galleries. One enclosed,the other in the open air protected by those ‘shards’. With a food and drink stall located within these areas, camping out on the floors taking in the views is definitely a weekend treat not to miss.
If you are there for a while, don’t forget to go to the toilet – an odd recommendation I know. But, trust me, you won’t want to miss this view from the loo, literally!
The toilets even have phone chargers next to them – as if you would be on the loo for that long!? I know weird but pretty cool nonetheless! And, for the best bit, the toilet seats are heated! :O This place oozes luxury!
Of course though what I am really here to tell you about is the afternoon tea experience with alteatude.
For those who have been to The Shard this will come as I am sure a relatable sentiment, and for those who haven’t a gentle caveat. Booking afternoon tea at THE Shard is quite difficult; difficult in the sense that there isn’t just one place to visit. The Shard should actually be renamed ‘The Shards’ since there are many different restaurants and bars located within the building. For afternoon tea you can in fact sip your cuppa within the Aqua Shard, Ting or Gong. For a contemporary spin on the classic afternoon tea head to the Aqua Shard on the 31st floor. For a luxurious afternoon tea head to the Gong, located on the 52nd floor. For an Asian twist on the classic afternoon tea head to the Ting on the 32nd floor.
This just means we have to make sure we venture back to all of them – right!? 🙂 This time round we went to The Ting, an afternoon tea that will be sure to give you a scrummy Asian infused experience.
The afternoon got off to a slow start to say the least. Our table wasn’t ready in time and we did have to wait 45 minutes until we were offered even a glass of water 🙁 It was slowly turning into an afternoon with atTEAtude! However, we eventually got our menus and decided that we would get one classic stand and one Asian stand – so we could share of course! We were told we could order another complimentary round of savouries, scones and sweets if we wanted – delight to our hungry bellies that had now been waiting nearly an hour before a cuppa came into sight!
Our tea eventually came (oh and the bubbles for mother!). The milky China oolong tea is definitely worth a try, it was extremely refreshing on the palate, perfect for a hot day. The Shangri-La speciality breakfast tea was also very smooth – one of the nicest I have tasted in a long time. Your tea is also served with a stunning strainer, I have never seen anything quite like it before.
To accompany our beverages, a dry ice display was laid out in front of us. Extremely well done and impressive, all contributing to the Asian inspired atmosphere of the afternoon – just a shame we were not greeted with this straight away. We were already by this point feeling fed up and hungry. Luckily the tea was to die for!
Our food finally came and at this point we could appreciate how stunning the atmosphere and views were. The pianist was sensational, mesmerising, as we sat back and munched away. The Asian inspired savouries were de-li-scious! Savoury alternatives to your standard finger sandwiches are definitely on the trend these days. Spring rolls, crab tarts and such like accompanied by a peanut satay sauce nom nom. The full menu can be found here. We polished the plate and happily ordered another, as indicated we could, we also requested fresh tea. Little did we know we would have to wait a further 30mins before we had to ask again for more tea and our fresh round of savouries. By the time they eventually came we had already surrendered into the scones – a bit of a shame.
I will, however, skirt around the prolonged waiting times giving the benefit of doubt. Perhaps a lack of staff and recent events around the area had disturbed the service. Luckily, Sebastian, a delightfully chirpy chap saved the day and could not have been more attentive. Service you expect to find at a 5 * hotel.
Would I recommend going to The Shard for afternoon tea? Yes, I would. The food was great – I could not fault it – and I loved the Asian twist. Dining with breath-taking views of the City is definitely not one to miss. However, if views ‘don’t really do it for you’ and you would prefer not to venture to high alteatudes then I would save yourself the trip. I have had better afternoon teas in different venues across the capital – where the food AND service are both top notch. The Goring, Fortnum and Mason and The Berkeley are yet to be beaten in my opinion.
Want a more real life experience about our trip to The Ting for afternoon tea? Check it out on YouTube now! Here is a sneak unedited preview to give you a taster of the atmosphere and menu 🙂
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Have a beau-TEA-ful day!