The 7th of October saw me turn yet another year older, and to celebrate, the Hubby organised an amazing, surprise day out at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard. The Shard is somewhere that I have been looking forward to visiting ever since it opened. With its sleek structure, unbeaten views of London and luxurious atmosphere, it really was an amazing place for a birthday afternoon tea.
Our afternoon tea was booked for twelve thirty, and although this may seem early to some people, I would thoroughly recommend doing so because it was quieter – more time to oggle the views without many people walking around. We were greeted warmly by attentive staff and shown to a table with a fabulous view. The Gong restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel is located on the 52nd floor of the Shard, making the Sky Garden at the Walkie Talkie building more of a dwarf in comparison.
Described as an ‘elegant spire’ and based on the church spires in London, the Shard sits 310 metres tall, right to its very tip with an impressive 72 floors. I like the way so many aspects of life have been incorporated into the Shard; restaurants, retail, education, healthcare, employment and leisure all play a vital part in the Shard’s success.
Our waitress in the Gong restaurant went above and beyond to secure our positive experience, ensuring we had everything we needed, including a second round of scrumptious sandwiches. Nothing impressed me more than the beautiful birthday touch that was presented to me during our tea. A dessert plate especially filled with rich chocolates with an edible chocolate and gold plaque wishing me a happy birthday was the perfect ending to our afternoon tea experience.
Our afternoon didn’t end there. I soon found myself whizzing upwards once again to experience the ultimate of what the Shard had to offer. The exquisite, uninterrupted view of London and beyond. Although it wasn’t the brightest and sunniest of days, what was laid out before us was still incredible. The Hubby and I spent ages gazing at the sights, spotting landmarks and marvelling at how the landscape had developed and changed, even from when we were younger. Another few flights of steps up, took us into the open topped area, very close to the tip of the Shard. A nice touch was the artificial grass that had been laid, complete with flower boxes in full bloom around the perimeter. This softer ground allowed weary legs a break, and it was nice to stop still and really take it all in.
Apart from flying in a plane or helicopter, I really don’t think there could be another view to rival that of the Shard’s. As we made our way back down the Shard, I longed for the Hubby and I to slip away to one of the floors where the Shangri-La bedrooms were; to take advantage of pure comfort at altitude and sleep just that little bit nearer to the stars.