#SYGMCHRISTMAS – DAY 8 – Festive Afternoon Tea at Shangri La Hotel, The Shard | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

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Day 8 already, the countdown is well and truly under way. Today I’d love to share with you a rather special afternoon tea on the 35th floor of the Shard with panoramic views across the whole city. London comes into it’s own at Christmas time with twinkly lights and a festive atmosphere is hard to replicate. Whether it’s for a romantic afternoon with your beloved or a fun girly posh hen, afternoon tea at the Shangri-La will be hard to beat. {it would also make for an ideal present as a voucher for Christmas for those people that seem to have everything!}.

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The Shangri-La chain are one of the most luxurious 5 star hotel brands in the world so they were a natural fit to go into The Shard, the highest building in Europe. Before last week I’d been up to the viewing platform a couple of years back which was lovely but there’s only so much time you can stand around up there. Having afternoon tea lets you really take it all in over a couple of hours and you can eat/drink/be merry whilst you’re going about it!

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Ting, which is Chinese for living room, is the signature restaurant on the 35th floor of The Shard, surrounded by huge sheets of glass windows to maximise the view. As you walk out of the lift you’ll be wowed by the view with The Thames right in front of you, the west end to your left and the city to your right. It wasn’t the clearest day yet we could still see for miles, I imagine that on a blue sky day you could see even more. And at night the city lights up and twinkles for a completely different perspective.

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There are two types of afternoon tea you can choose between, an Asian adaptation or the traditional English. My husband and I decided to try one of each, everything was so delicious.

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And of course there are about three pages filled with over thirty different types of tea and herbal infusions you can choose from, and the option for champagne of course. I went for peppermint.

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Afternoon tea, and lunch/dinner, is served year round but at Christmas they pull out all the stops to make it festive. Some of the sandwiches have turkey and cranberry inside, the scones with candied orange peel and the desserts adorned with snowflakes. There’s also a yule log topped with an iced holly leaf and the flavours of the season like whiskey and orange.

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There are decorations, and big Christmas trees, everywhere plus a rather impressive gingerbread house built from scratch! {none of those DIY kits like I’m used to}. And, if you have any room, complimentary cakes to enjoy in the lounge. We couldn’t fit a single morsel more in though!

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As we sat overlooking London, watching the trains, buses, boats and cars move around below us, our tea arrived. It looked like a toy town down there.

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And then soon after the tower of treats arrived and our eyes lit up! We shared everything in the end as we couldn’t decide which one we wanted. The Asian savouries included prawn gyoza dumplings, spicy crab brioche rolls {my favourite} and a citrussy smoked salmon. When we’d finished that, a waitress appeared asking us if we wanted more, if you know anything about my husband you’ll know he can eat and eat and eat. So of course he said yes and then happily devoured the same again. The traditional had the aforementioned turkey and cranberry as well as iberico ham, egg and cress plus crab rolls and smoked salmon. So fresh and light but with the best flavours, seriously yum!

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And fear not if you have any allergies, if you let the chefs know in advance they can prepare you a fully gluten free afternoon tea or swap a few bits for you.

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Next came the scones, freshly baked with glossy tops and kept warm. The Asian tea had an early grey flavoured scone with mango jam which was incredible. But you can’t beat the traditional with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The question is do you cream or jam it first?!!

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Just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, next came the puddings. Luckily they were bite sized so you don’t have to worry if you’ve got a wedding dress to fit into. Besides, calories don’t count for the whole of December 😉

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The macaroons were my favourites, one flavoured with Christmas pudding on the festive selection topped with a snowflake and edible glitter and the Asian was raspberry and rose. It was almost too pretty to eat, *almost*. We cut everything in half to get a taste of it all, a mandarin cheesecake, a chocolate peanut salted caramel tart, a white chocolate coffee snowball, an apple mousse with blackcurrant jelly. So beautifully presented.

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I love this picture, halfway through our feast with the curve of the Thames in the background.

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It was finished with a mince pie, which shamefully we couldn’t fit in!

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With full tummies we explored the rest of the lounge, for hen parties you could have drinks overlooking the rest of the city before or after. Or just sit and admire the view. On a clear day you’d get to see the sunset too.

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Prices start from £54 a person but considering you’d have to pay around £30 to go up to the viewing platform, it makes the tea more reasonable. And of course it’s so worth it for special occasions. One thing I would say though is to book in advance, it’s super popular. Oh and get your partner to take his phone into the toilets, the view from the men’s is insane!

Afterwards we walked through London, along the river just as it started getting dark. London can be so busy at times with all the hustle and bustle, but when you stop to take it in and don’t have anywhere to be for once, it really is such a wonderful, romantic city.

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If you’re visiting this Christmas season the lights are probably some of the best I’ve seen for years, especially around Covent Garden, Somerset House and Regent’s Street.

You can find more about the Shangri-La at The Shard here {we’ll be posting about some special weddings with them in the New Year}

And all the afternoon tea info including booking here.

R <3 xx

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