I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the London skyline. It’s been a dozen years already, and my heart still thumps every time I get to admire the beautiful views of London town – even more when it’s accompanied by champagne and afternoon tea at the Shangri-La London. Disclaimer: We were guests of Shangri-La London, but all flute tinkling, fork twirling and London skyline admiration is pure, unadulterated me.
Celebrating motherhood and the eagerly anticipated birth of the baby (little Archie!) of His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, this Royal High Tea takes inspiration from people closest to the chef’s hearts – their mothers.
This sky high Royal High Tea in TĪNG features British cakes and pastries made from recipes that have been handed down to TĪNG’s team of chefs from their very own mothers and grandmothers.
Delights such as Chef Emma’s Granny’s Victoria Sponge and Head Pastry Chef Benoit’s Mother’s Blueberry Cheesecake are the perfect treat of an afternoon, and the view isn’t too bad either.
Dressed for spring, the foyer of the Shangri-La London was luscious draped in Wysteria and beguiling dapples of light in the afternoon at the foot of the Shard.
One of my most memorable ‘pinch me’ moments of visiting Sydney was sipping cocktails overlooking the city and reclining in my Shangri-La bed overlooking the Sydney Opera House – they have a delicious habit of selecting beautiful sites for their hotels.
Booking confirmed with the welcoming reception team, we hopped in the lift and whistled up the building, to the 35th floor where TĪNG restaurant and lounge overlooks London.
A smart casual lounge (and somewhere where we often take overseas guests for sunset drinks) it’s British elegance with an Asian flavour, much like the kitchens themselves.
Our tea began with a refreshing iced tea, served with a flourish of dry ice and our waiter’s welcoming explanation of the afternoon tea, and a few recommendations from the extensive tea menu. So undecided were we, that we let him choose his favourites for us.
We didn’t try the cocktails, instead choosing a glass each of champagne – brut on one side of the table, rosé for me,
Our pots of Assam and Chai has no sooner come to the table, that we were presented with 3 tiers of afternoon tea delight; starting with fingers sandwiches; Wiltshire Ham with Piccalilli on Granary Bread, Cucumber with Chive & Cream Cheese on Rye Bread, Elderflower Poached Chicken with a Soft Herb Mayonnaise on White Bread, and Scottish Smoked Salmon served simply with Lemon and Black Pepper and Butter on Brown Bread.
The salmon sandwiches were so good that I was tempted into a second serving, and leaving behind one of their delicious scones.
The light, fluffy, freshly baked scones were a delight, especially served with Devonshire Clotted Cream and homemade strawberry jam – and believe me, I’m fussy about scones.
Eventually, we worked our way up to the crowning confectionary tier: Head Pastry Chef Benoit`s Mother`s Blueberry Cheesecake served in a featherlight pastry case, Blueberry jam and vanilla Cheesecake, Executive Sous Chef David`s Mother`s Passion Fruit Cream with chocolate Sable and Chef Lucy’s Granny’s Strawberry Mousse with Rhubarb Jelly.
When we visited, the Royal couple were still expecting and hadn’t revealed whether Prince Archie was indeed a Prince or Princess, and I’d like to say we voted with the tines of our forks. And both got it wrong (or right, which ever way you look at it.)
Fully sated, and not really able to move, we admired the earnest movements along the Thames River below our feet, and to our surprise, we were presented with Executive Chef Jeremy’s Mother’s Bara Brith Cake and Chef Emma’s Granny’s Victoria Sponge Cake – both of which the Shangri-La Ting team were kind enough to box up for us.
With one last glance at the vista below our feet, we gathered our coats, bags and cake boxes…
…making our way to the hotel foyer and lifts, with another beautiful aspect of London…
…before we made our way back into the world. This has slipped into my top 5 afternoon teas ever as every aspect was delectable. I won’t hesitate to visit more, bringing friends and family with me, to this cocoon of understated luxury, high above the city skyline. But, beware – this is only on for a limited time, though I’m sure the next confection their team dream up will be amazing too!
How do you slather your scones; cream first or jam first?
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