Monday 8 October 2018

Shangri La Hotel afternoon tea

The Shard
Some of my fondest memories of London are having afternoon tea. What better way to while away a few hours than dainty sandwiches, delicate cakes and warm scones with jam. I love afternoon teas but having had quite my fair share, one thing for sure is that they most definitely are not all equal. For me the quality of the afternoon tea and service are all very well and good, but so too is where it’s served.

London offers some of the most quintessential English afternoon teas but a highlight of them all for me has to be Ting Shanghai-La Hotel at the Shard. Set on the 35th floor, with ceiling to floor windows you are provided with a breathtaking view over London. 

We were lucky to be seated directly above Tower Bridge and the HMS Belfast.
The Shard Afternoon tea
Shard afternoon tea
To celebrate the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the hotel had created the Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea. The tea was based around the flowers grown in the royal garden. 
Ting Afternoon tea
As we sunk into the comfortable deep seats, we began our afternoon tea with a lovely glass of zesty, crisp Bollinger, La Grande AnnĂ©e, 2007. 
Whilst the sun raged outside we happily sat chatting in the air conditioned surroundings, sipping our chilled champagne and looking out at the spectacular view of London, a view which even now I still never tire. 

Champagne was followed with a theatrical presentation of Calamansi tea, served over dry ice.  The tea was provided to cleanse the palate and reminded me of lemon sherbet. 
Afternoon tea London
We thoroughly enjoyed the theatrical show of smoke billowing across the table. The presentation of the tea is definitely one of the more interesting ways to begin an afternoon tea. 

Ting offers an extensive tea selection and whilst staff are happy to guide you, I opted for Rose bud, a favourite with a wonderful floral aroma and a delicate rose flavour. 
Afternoon tea London
But let me get on with the main event as I am sure most of you are interested to know what came next.

The savouries offered some of the usual suspects, hot smoked salmon with cucumber and juniper cream. 
Afternoon tea London
Afternoon tea
Myrtle, roasted chicken, mustard and Tarragon. 
Afternoon tea
Heritage tomato, lemon, ricotta and walnut. 
Afternoon tea
My favourite offering had to be the Bermondsey honey, goat's curd and lavender rye, not only beautiful presented but delicious too.
Afternoon tea
Unfortunately the same could not be said for the Dorset crab, seaweed mayonnaise and pumpernickel. 
Afternoon tea
Whilst the individual ingredients were delicious the rye bread and the many layers of it simply made it too dry. The bread overpowered the ingredients of the sandwich.

Next up we were served warm scones, with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The delivery of scones is something very much for me that can make or break the success of an afternoon tea. 
Afternoon tea
But I'm pleased to report that the English plain and raisin scones both lived up to my high expectations, lite and fluffy. 

Make sure though you save room for the sweets which truly are a work of art. Almost too good to eat!
Afternoon tea
My personal favourite had to be the apple tart with caramelised apple and Elderflower. The shortbread pastry had a wonderful buttery taste and the creaminess of the apple a real delight.    
Afternoon tea
Raspberry rose: lychee mousse, raspberry confit with rose. The delicate taste of raspberry with the rose was lovely and refreshing. 
Afternoon Tea
Cassis violet macaron, blackcurrant confiture and violet creme. For me this was too sweet, but I think this was more to do with what had gone before. If you weren't as greedy as me and ate it as a stand alone, I think I might have felt differently. 
Afternoon Tea
Cherry blossom roulade, chocolate vanilla and sour cherry. A perfect sized dessert, in which I enjoyed the tartness of the chocolate balanced against the sourness of cherry. 
Afternoon tea
Milk chocolate religieuse, Earl Grey tea and grapefruit compote. Wow this was an amazing dessert with so many of my favourite flavours. 
Afternoon tea 
The waiting staff never once rushed us, which I loved. The staff were attentive, with great knowledge of the available teas and treated each tea as something to savour. 

We whiled away a wonderful afternoon. Ting restaurant is definitely a perfect setting for a relaxed afternoon tea, with views to set it apart from other locations we have experienced.

After over filling our bellies how we wished we could snuggle up in the hotels wonderful rooms and slumber for a few hours. 

We will most certainly be back. 

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