If you delight in all things traditional, then afternoon tea at TING is not for you. But if you’re open-minded, enjoy Asian food, and would prefer to gaze across a sparkling city rather than a Victorian dining room, then you can’t get much better than TING at Shangri-La hotel, one of six restaurants in The Shard.
Initial impressions of TING (on level 35) are magnificent: the lift doors open onto a spectacular and uninterrupted panorama of London, dominated at first by St Paul’s Cathedral. Low tables and armchairs are sensibly arranged to soak up as much of the view as possible – we took three hours over our afternoon tea, so unique was the experience.
Diners have the choice of a traditional afternoon tea or an ‘Asian-inspired’ afternoon tea… the latter reigns supreme, with fat, moreish steamed prawn dumplings and delicate crab soft rolls in place of finger sandwiches. Service is spot on – after loudly complimenting our dumplings, we were quickly presented with another piping hot batch to enjoy.
As for the sweets, executive pastry chef Nicholas Patterson (previously of Claridge’s) excels wherever chocolate features. His pretty ‘chocolate temptation’ (also served for the traditional tea) is divinely rich, layering sponge, red fruit tea infused Ghanaian chocolate ganache, raspberry compote and a soft chocolate cream… it really is as good as it sounds. Other highlights include a pillowy coconut dacquoise and a Chinese-style egg custard tart – both good enough to make up for the a-bit-on-the-salty-side scones. Enjoy with a cup of refreshing ‘beautiful skin’ tea, or stick to one of their ample black tea suggestions.
Star of the show: steamed prawn dumplings and ‘chocolate temptation’
Scone rating: 6/10
Perfect for: Asian food fans
Price: British Summer afternoon tea £52pp, champagne afternoon tea from £60pp.
Address: Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, 31, St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU
Words by Charlotte Morgan
Still in the mood for cakes? Check out our best ever afternoon tea recipes now, and create your own feast at home…