As an escape to the mountains seems to be off the cards this winter, I’ve been making the most of the festive season in London, which always has plenty of exciting things to offer for those spending their holidays in the capital. And if you’re looking for an elevated experience, both figurative and literally-speaking, there’s no better place that I would recommend than Shangri-la London at The Shard which has been transformed into a magical Alpine escape, inspired by an authentic Austrian Christmas. Taking a ride in their ski gondola themed lifts, we stepped out onto Level 35 and felt like we had been transported to a ski resort. In front of the reception desk was an impressive display of their Gingerbread Alpine Winter Village, lovingly crafted by their pastry team over a two month period, using approximately 50kg of gingerbread and 15kg of icing (!)
We then headed into the lovely TĪNG Restaurant, where we finally had the opportunity to be seated at the much sought after table with a perfectly framed view of the city and Tower Bridge, glasses of Champagne swiftly whisked over to our table as we took in our surroundings.
All the best experiences begin with a captivating ‘opening act’, and I never get tired of their dramatic dry ice fog effect which gives the illusion of dining in the clouds; the skies, despite looking grey and moody, served as a befitting backdrop for our wintry afternoon tea experience. Our Welcome Tea this time was a cinnamon black tea with a pear purée, honey & lemon. I have always loved their cocktail concoctions, and we really enjoyed their Signature Cocktail, the Après Ski, made with Amaretto, dark chocolate liqueur, Mr Black, cream & nutmeg powder. From their tea selection, I ordered the Festive Tea, which seemed like the apt choice to enjoy this season.
The savoury selection included a warm turkey & cranberry “sausage” roll, a cucumber & quark sandwich, an alpine cheese & ham sandwich, pretzels with Liptauer (a seasoned & spiced cheese spread), and a luxuriously creamy smoked trout with crème fraîche, soft cheese, horseradish & micro cress on pumpernickel bread that we requested seconds of.
Their plain and raisin scones were buttery and perfectly baked as always, with the right level of crumbliness, served with Cornish clotted cream & strawberry jam.
I previously had a little taster of their sweet pastries during their Festive Unveiling event, and was excited to finally be able to indulge in the full sweet experience. They included a Linzer Augen (sable biscuit filled with plum jam), Dobos Roulade (chocolate & hazelnut roulade), a black forest gâteaux, a raspberry & pistachio Kugelhopf, and last but not least, a decadent Sachertorte, their take on the much-loved Viennese chocolate cake, layered with apricot.
Intrigued by the sound of the cocktails on their new Winter Cocktail Menu, we were also treated to a couple of their Signature Cocktails, the creamy and coconut-y Snowflake and the Polar Bear, coloured a striking shade of blue.
The Alpine Afternoon Tea is exclusively available from 8th November 2021 – 27th February 2022, and is served daily from 12:00pm – 4:00pm. Prices start from £62.00 per person, with the option to upgrade to include an Après Ski Signature Cocktail or a choice of Champagne. More information on the afternoon tea menu and reservations can be found on their website.
- My Alpine Afternoon Tea experience at TĪNG was complimentary – views and photos are my own.