Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month – TĪNG, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard.
It feels as if life is getting back to normal when we start enjoying afternoon tea again. Long on my wish-list, afternoon tea at The Shard has a reputation that goes before it, partly of course for the phenomenal view but partly for the creativity and fine patisserie that makes a five-star tea.
Now, from 1st October to 8th November, there are a whole raft of pink-themed food and drink events at Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, including pink cocktails at GŎNG and special pink delicacies on the main TĪNG dining menu. Perhaps the highlight of the rose-hued events though, is the afternoon tea at TĪNG which includes four cakes that have been created in honour of four special ladies.
We went along to find out more, through the brilliant floral pink lobby up to the 35th floor. It’s all prettily decorated – and of course, there’s a panoramic view across the City.
TĪNG is derived from the Chinese word for living room and this part of the Shangri La hotel is on two levels with a dining room down a few steps from the comfortable, contemporary styled and well-spaced lounge area.
We started our tea, as everyone should, with a glass of Champagne. The TĪNG pink afternoon tea includes your choice of a glass of Laurent-Perrier rosé brut or a Pink Lady cocktail made with ping gin, champagne, lemon juice and grenadine. There’s a selection of teas to choose from, or if you prefer, coffee. My Shangri-La blend of Oolong and Black tea was a deep and sweet golden mouthful, while my companion’s Gong Mei was a light honey tea that she loved. The leaf tea was served in neat teapots with integrated strainers.
The savouries for the Pink Afternoon Tea all seemed very appropriate. I particularly liked the smoked salmon and wasabi ‘gougère’ – a puff of choux topped with black and white sesame and filled with a tangy smoked salmon mousse. Bermondsey Cheese spring onion quiche was a mouthful of deliciousness, packed with Bermondsey cheddar in a crisp pastry shell. There were two sandwiches – Wiltshire ham with Tunworth on white bread – a pink filling with a delicious British soft cheese while salted cucumber with cream cheese and pink peppercorn was served on harissa bread. Not a large savoury selection, but we were offered (and accepted) seconds!
The tea tower definitely had that ‘wow’ factor – almost everything was pink – even the scones! There were plain and fruit scones to choose from, with clotted cream, strawberry jam and orange marmalade. Beautifully crispy on the outside but with a nice soft fluffy middle, the colour certainly didn’t distract from the quality of the scones.
As it should be the cakes were the star act.
Each pastry included in the tea is named and inspired by the journeys of four incredible women, Gina, Maggie, Mandy and Michele, who all received care for the treatment of breast cancer at Guy’s Cancer. So, for example, the delicious ‘Flo’s fig and hazelnut tart’ was a crisp pastry shell with a layer of fig jam and fresh fig topping. Created for single mum and breast cancer survivor Gina, it was named by her for her ten-year-old daughter Florence, who has supported her mum through treatment.
The three other ladies, Maggie, Mandy and Michele all have similar tales and their cakes, ‘Michele’s can-do Crèmeux’ and Mandy’s Mantra Macaron both a tribute to their perseverance and optimism, while Maggie’s cake, ‘Syd’s Smashing Sponge’ is named for her cat who, when Maggie’s hair started to fall out, began to sleep next to her head!
The stories are one thing, the fabulous craftsmanship of the cake another. I particularly liked Michele’s Crèmeux, a chocolate shell filled with a pink peppercorn and lemon mousse.
And the tiny vial of cherry juice to tart things up was a delicious touch that added just the right amount of contrast to the sweet macaron.
Pink afternoon tea at TĪNG is £59 per person or £69 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Brut or a Pink Lady cocktail.
A percentage of the proceeds from each Pink Afternoon Tea will be donated to the breast cancer ward of Guy’s Cancer.
For more options do check our roundup of top London afternoon teas.
We were guests of TĪNG at the Shangri-La Hotel.