Last Updated on May 5, 2022
Celebrate the Jubilee with a Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the Shard
In celebration of the Platinum Jubilee year, Shangri-La The Shard, London has embarked on a royal extravaganza to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 70th year on the throne. As part of this, we were invited to try TĪNG Lounge’s Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea, which is available until September, to join in the festivities.
To get guests in the mood, the hotel has undergone its biggest décor transformation to date, in collaboration with McQueens Flowers. An immersive four-metre sculpture of the Queen’s iconic stamp motif welcomes visitors at the hotel’s ground floor foyer upon entry to The Shard. There is also a contemporary photographic exhibition of the Queen and Royal Household taken by royal photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas on display at the elevator waiting area.
After taking the lift to Shangri-La’s reception on Level 35, we were greeted by elements representing the Queen’s most iconic travels over her 70-year reign. This includes a Kenyan safari tent inspired by Treetops, the hotel where Princess Elizabeth learnt of the passing of her father, King George VI followed by an Australian scene reflecting Queen’s arrival into Sydney harbour in 1954, the first televised moment for the country.
As we made our way to the TĪNG Lounge, there was a display of glistening crown sculptures before having the chance to have a royal photo opportunity with iconic pop-art depictions of the Queen. The TĪNG Lounge was decorated in the style of an English garden with a ceiling of hanging wisteria, accompanied by photography of colourful Coronation wildflower meadows by Hugo Rittson-Thomas. We were seated by the window with stunning views overseeing the Tower of London and just behind the guitarist and singer duo serenading lovely acoustic tunes.
To start off the afternoon, we had a glass of Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label, Brut, NV champagne, which was delightfully light, fresh and the perfect complement to the breathtaking view outside the window accentuated by sunny weather. My companion and I were also served the signature mocktail, called the Jubilee Party, containing strawberry purée, pineapple, gomme syrup, lemon juice, basil leaves and soda, which puts you in a summer celebratory mood. This mocktail tasted quite premium with just the right amount of strawberry purée and it didn’t become too watery as the crushed ice melted into the drink after a few minutes. To be honest, it didn’t take long to finish because it was so refreshing. The Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea costs £65, and £75 if accompanied by a cocktail, glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne or mocktail. There is also a vegetarian option.
A delightfully sweet welcome tea, Shangri-La’s house ice tea containing Earl Grey tea, strawberry purée, lemon juice and simple syrup, was presented with dry ice to give that ethereal feel of being high up in the sky. This nicely complemented the Hoisin Duck Pancake snack topped with avruga caviar and baby coriander. Both are included with the afternoon tea.
The afternoon tea includes unlimited tea. Having previously dined at TĪNG and looking at their extensive tea menu (I couldn’t find their tea selection online) with a strong desire to try a selection, this sounded like a dream come true! They have an impressive array of black, green, white, rooibos, oolong and infusion teas on offer. For our first round, I chose the Signature Shangri-La Blend while my companion had the Pu’erh Ripe.
A trio of savoury classic finger sandwiches was served on a plate, this included salmon and creme fraiche with beetroot, Reuben pastrami on rye bread and Burford Brown egg with mayo. This went so well with the rich, strong earthy taste of the Pu’erh Ripe tea that my companion had to order another pot of the Pu’erh Ripe tea to complement the savouries. I have to say that this is one of the richest Pu’erh’s that I have had – so luxurious.
Meanwhile, I ordered Afternoon Tea as my second pot to accompany the yam potato choux, prawn cocktail and almond tart which were all really delightful. The bergamot in the Afternoon Tea complemented the subtle flavours in the savouries and for me, it was just the right strength to not overpower the savoury flavour profiles.
When we were served the tea tower, I still had some Shangri-La Blend left from a cup, and found that the plain and poppy seed scones paired extremely well with this tea. Shangri-La Blend it’s full of flavour and also has a scent of roses when brewed for over 5 minutes. I cannot fault this tea blend at all in any manner. The scones tasted a lot better with this pairing, and I enjoyed the novelty of tasting poppy seed scones.
After a few minutes, the Orange & Cactus Fig Rooibos tea that I ordered arrived. This sweet but citrusy blend was very exciting for me, I’m a big rooibos fan. The bonus was it paired extremely well with the hazelnut & passion fruit sliced cake, tonka & strawberry mousse and lime & blueberry tart which I would have found slightly too sweet to eat on their own otherwise.
I have to admire the artistry of the hazelnut & passion fruit cake dubbed “A Trip in Asia”, the intricately designed cake did remind me of some intricate Asian art and it tasted like a summer vacation in some tropical Asian country.
Equally enthralling was the tonka and strawberry mouse dubbed “The pearl of the queen” and it did feel like I was eating an exquisite jewel. I found it so pretty I almost didn’t want to break it.
My companion had ordered a final Lost Horizon tea which tasted exquisitely malty but floral at the same time. My final tea was a White Apricot, a Gold Taste Award winning fusion tea with flowery undertones of marigold and rose. Both teas took my breath away and paired well with the chocolate & raspberry mousse dubbed “A piece of architecture”, I love how the chocolate piece at the top clearly states Shangri-La at the Shard in really small print. My only constructive advice for this tea is that the servers will eagerly offer to pour you the tea as it arrives, even if it has only been brewing for a minute. If you decline and pour it yourself, you can let it brew to your desired strength as the brew time affects how it tastes.
The Skyline Jubilee Afternoon Tea is an experience not to be missed. The Jubilee decorations, stunning views, tasty treats and an extensive premium selection of tea can make you feel like you’re in heaven. At the £65 price point, it’s good value for a 5-star afternoon tea and View from The Shard experience rolled into a Jubilee celebration.
Shangri-La The Shard
31 St Thomas St,
London SE1 9QU