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November 25, 2018

Afternoon Tea at TĪNG & Cocktails at GŎNG – Shangri-La at The Shard

With Christmas around the corner, Afternoon Tea at TĪNG within The Shangri-La at The Shard is the perfect place to relax after a morning of crazy shopping.  It’s no ordinary afternoon tea, either.  The TĪNG experience is a first class luxurious offering and you definitely have the views to match.

The beautiful restaurant which features a British menu with Asian influences is a fine dining setting with sweeping views across the whole of London which are mesmerising as much as they are impressive.  There a few places in the capital which benefit from such stunning, uninterrupted views.   With glamourous furnishings and comfortable tables, the best seats in the house, are of course by the floor to ceiling glass windows so book in advance if you want to nab these VIP seats.

TĪNG’s traditional afternoon tea begins with a refreshing cold tea to cleanse the palate, accompanied by a theatrical dry ice extravaganza which covers the table with clouds of beautiful rolling fog reminiscent of the overflowing cauldrons in The Magic Porridge Pot.  The experience doesn’t last long, and by the time you’ve finished your refresher, there’s a glass of Yellow Label Veuve Cliquot Brut being poured by the most attentive of staff.

As the bubbles disappear, (faster than expected!), we take in the views while deciding which teas we’d like to try from the extensive menu.  Choice will come down to your specific tastes but we can recommend the wonderfully smokey Lapsang Souchong which is so warming at this time of year, and the spicy Indian Black Chai Tea to really get the tastebuds going.  The tea arrives in a quaint silver teapot with accompanying tea strainer which sits fancily on the side of your teacup for pouring.

The food, as you’d expect, is mouthwateringly good!  Lady like finger sized sandwiches without the crusts are stuffed with fillings like roast beef and horse radish, smoked salmon and creme fraiche with dill and mango and chicken mayonnaise with chilli spice.  There’s also the obligatory and typically English salted cucumber – surprisingly tasty, especially when served with pink peppercorn cream cheese!

Scones on the second tier are fresh and delightful with a choice of plain and raisin, along with English clotted cream and fruity strawberry jam.  And then to dessert, with elegant, exotic eclairs, cherry blossom roulades and peach melba macarons.  Our favourites were the lemon lavender tarts with lemon curd, served with a twist of lavender sable which tasted divine.

After whiling away the hours trying more teas and going back to the dessert tier more times than we really should’ve, we made our way up to the 52nd floor to the highest hotel bar in Western Europe for cocktails.  With night drawing in and the city lighting up, the backdrop to GŎNG’s stunning bar area is nothing short of breathtaking.  When visiting GŎNG Bar, it’s absolutely imperative that you try the new cocktail menu ‘A Miscellany of Inventions’ said to have been ‘inspired and informed by great ideas’.  This innovative list of drinks have impacted society, shaped the world we know today and live on, except you’ll get to taste them with a twist on the original form.

As a regular cocktail drinker, GŎNG Bar have gone out of their way to create a unique experience unrivalled by other bars in the city.  Take the Fields of Gold cocktail for example, a wondrous mix of Ilegal Mezca, with a spike of Ancho Green Chil on the tongue, cucumber shrub to refresh and dry wine to balance.  The herbal green liquor looks like a smoothie and delivers a punch like no other.  The glass is also decorated with ants!  Drink with the concoction to compliment the flavour, if you dare…

Other fantabulous drinks include the fruity and oaky Cooperman served in a mini barrel, Over the Rainbow, served in a hot air balloon with a gorgeous hit of Martell VS Cognac which quite frankly will blow you away, and the Lost in Asia made with sake and shōchū.

Afternoon Tea at TĪNG is served from 12-4pm on Saturdays and Sunday from 12-6pm, while GŎNG Bar is open until 1am Monday to Saturday and til midnight on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield

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