Restaurant reviews

Decadent, distinctive and delicious: Afternoon tea at Shangri-La at The Shard

Every now and then we’ve been lucky enough to sample an afternoon tea that redefines the standards by which we judge this lovely English tradition of sneaking an extra meal into the day! Afternoon tea at the Shangri-La at The Shard is one of those experiences.

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For those who haven’t been to London much or who haven’t been up The Shard, this skyscraper can’t be beaten when it comes to enjoying stunning views over London. If you fancy just going up for the view, a ticket bought on the day will cost you £30.95, whereas going up to the TĪNG restaurant and having one of the best foodie experiences with a view you can’t buy anywhere in the world provides much, much better value.

Offering both a classic and a Japanese-inspired afternoon tea, the best recommendation we can give is for your party to try one of each since they are both spectacular in different ways.

With all layers replenished as you go (allowing for real over-indulgence and overeating possibilities!), you can continue to enjoy your favourites for as long as your stomach will allow you to.

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For pure indulgence, both sets of afternoon tea come with an amuse bouche. These were both enjoyable, and visually remarkable in the case of the green tea mist literally poured over our table as we waited for our food, but the real highlight is the main event itself.

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The highlight of the classic afternoon tea savouries was the chicken sandwich, the lemon and sage flavours keeping the sandwich interesting. The Japanese savoury options were all pretty spectacular, but at a push we’d have to name the tuna and wasabi mayonnaise in a toasted sesame seed roll as our highlight.

Moving on to the scones, both options had a classic scone and a scone with a slight twist. The Japanese scone with a twist was a matcha tea variation and the classic twist was an apricot scone. In many ways, the scones with a twist were great, but the quality of the classic, ‘standard’ scones was sublime.

It was a shame the scones were served cold, as they are such a different proposition when served warm, but we loved them nonetheless, and the orange and yuzu marmalade served with the matcha tea scone was simply divine. Suffice to say, we went back for more of the scone layer!

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The top layer of both afternoon teas offered something for fruit fiends and chocoholics. The Japanese tea gave a nod to some more traditional desserts including a peanut mochi, mixing these in with some more unusual offerings that we had never seen before.

The Japan’s flag macaroon was one such highlight for us, the sesame seed flavour shining through alongside the distinctive tang of the kumquats.

The classic afternoon tea’s top layer was a dream, the Paris-brest boasting a delightful hazelnut praline, lemon curd, and choux bun, and the melba diamond adding a playful element thanks to the capsule of raspberry jam, which we could squeeze over the delicate, light pink champagne jelly.

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The exotic tart was the real star here, though, the pastry perfect and the flavours of coconut, mango, and passion fruit creating a true taste of the exotic.

Enjoying all of this with some of the best views of London, and of course with a sip of some of the best teas from around the world, this was not only afternoon tea with a view, but also afternoon tea to leave even the most well-travelled of foodies impressed.

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