In the spirit of this beautiful time of year, the Shangri-la London at the Shard created a beautiful festive afternoon tea, which I got to enjoy recently. You can enjoy your afternoon tea at the TING Lounge, set high up in the Shard with an incredible view and plush surroundings. TING's afternoon tea focuses on using seasonal and locally sourced produce for guests to enjoy. In addition to a classic English afternoon tea, they also offer an Asian-inspired alternative. Also keeping their guests in mind, TING offers gluten-free, nut-free, and vegetarian versions if you request it upon reservation.
I went later in the afternoon to enjoy the festive tea and was lucky enough to have a table next to the window. While I enjoyed my lovely welcome glass of champagne, I was able to gaze out over London bathed in the most beautiful shades of blue twilight, and watched as the lights of London began twinkling at Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and the Tower of London.
Right from being greeted at the entrance of the Shangri-La, I had fantastic service from everyone, which is such an important distinguishing feature, particularly for a luxury afternoon tea experience.
The table setting was simple yet elegant. Sparkling glasses, shiny white plates, and touches of gold and floral accents. In addition to the welcome glass of champagne, I enjoyed a traditional welcome tea that was anything but simple. My server brought a wooden box to my table with two small Japanese style cups of tea. Here's where the magic happens: water is then poured over the box, activating billowing clouds of steam to create a mesmerizing effect.
This is the perfect winter treat to brighten things up in the dark of winter. The view itself is worth it alone - especially if you are looking to impress out of town visitors with a special place or if you're just looking to enjoy a quality afternoon tea and enjoy the Shard views at the same time.
But on to the good part - what you'll get to enjoy!
- Smoked Salmon (smoked salmon with creme fraiche and caper butter on rye bread)
- Rhug Estate Turkey (organic turkey with cranberry relish and sage butter on white bread)
- Wiltshire Ham (tomato chutney and watercress on tomato bread)
- Truffled Duck Egg (organic duck egg mayonnaise with rocket and mustard cress on citrus white bread)
- Fresh Cornish Crab (five spice crab with papaya on a brioche bun)
- Two lovely, warm scones, Classic English and Golden Raisin, along with the traditional English clotted cream and Bermondsey strawberry jam.
Pastries: the talented pastry chefs have created the following to enjoy:
- Cranberry, Orange and Almond pastry (yoghurt mousse, cranberry sponge, and candied orange)
- Gingerbread, Pear and Caramel pastry (spiced gingerbread, pear mousse, and caramel cremeux)
- Mandarin and Spiced Prune Tart - tastes very much like a mince pie! (prune compote and mandarin mousse)
- Chocolate Plaisir (milk chocolate mousse, raisin compote, and Pedro Ximinez)
- Macaron Mont Blanc (chestnut cream, chocolate cremeux, and confit chestnuts)
The turkey sandwich was my favourite on the sandwiches tray, as it reminded me so much of Christmas dinner. The fresh and warm scones were also wonderful. The only question to contemplate is whether you put the clotted cream on first or the jam. Which do you prefer??
By the time I had made it to the pastry tray, I was quite full. The pastries were on the very sweet and rich side, so I couldn't finish them all at the table. My server kindly packed them up for me though so I was able to enjoy them the next day. Make sure you visit with an appetite!
The festive afternoon tea is £56 and reservations are highly recommended (click on the hyperlink on reservations to take you to the page).
The price differs if you add a glass of:
- Duval Leroy, Fleur de Champagne, Premier Cru, Brut NV £64
- Duval Leroy, Fleur de Champagne, Premier Cru, Rose Brut NV £68
- Bollinger Special Cuvée, NV £72