Window on London: The magnificent Shangri-La at the Shard

View from room at Shangri-La at The Shard, London

From my room here at the Shangri-La London, I can see The Thames wind its way both east and west as far as the horizon and most of London is laid out in miniature below me.

The Shard, London

I can pick out landmarks including Tower Bridge (almost directly below), London Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral, the Tower of London, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the tall buildings of the City and Canary Wharf.

Room at Shangri-La at the Shard, London

The room has a triple aspect, jutting out from this giant shard of glass at a giddying height.

Welcome tea and macarons, The Shangri-La at the Shard, London

In true Shangri-La style, we’re greeted with a pot of steaming hot jasmine tea and a selection of fruit, chocolate and macarons.

Having just stepped off a long haul flight from Hong Kong I head straight for the shower (hot and strong) before collapsing in a heap on the king size bed and disappearing under the duvet. Bliss. Special mention as well to the Japanese-style toilet with heated seat (aaah) built-in bidet and bottom dryer (sorry – no photo).

View from the Bar at Shangri-La at the Shard, London

Once recovered, its time to frock up and head for the 55th floor to GONG for a glass of sparkling with a view. London is more spectacular at night – all bright lights-big city, with Tower Bridge sparkling in the foreground

Shangri-La at the Shard-restaurant-view

Our next stop is the 35th floor to TING for dinner. A 3-course affair with ingredients hand-picked by the chef from nearby Borough Market. Before each course is served our sommelier joins us to suggest a range of wines suitable for our chosen dishes.

Scallops, Ting Restaurant, Shangri-La at the Shard, London

With the scallops, an Italian; Joaquin Avellino, like hay and sunshine, perfect with these lightly seared little buttons of buttery goodness.

Lamb, Ting Restaurant, Shangri-La at the Shard, London

With my lamb, an Australian Shaw & Smith shiraz and Simon’s monkfish goes perfectly with a Sancerre a Chavignol (despite his usual aversion to white wine).

Monkfish, Ting Restaurant, Shangri-La at the Shard, London

Our last course – a selection of organic cheese from producers at Borough Market accompanied by a Bordeaux; Chateau le Puy 2009.

The following morning, after watching the sunrise at Ting over breakfast, and inspired by last night’s dinner, I decide to explore this little pocket of London, starting with Borough Market. It’s a 5-minute stroll from the hotel, and to be honest, I could have stayed here all day.

Curry at Borough Market, London

Hot and cold food from all over the world – huge paella pans simmering Indian and Thai curries (and paella of course) and produce ranging from organic goats cheese and French cured meat…

Deer and pheasants hanging at Borough Market, london

…to pheasants, hares and deer hanging from hooks at the various organic butchers, a wide range of mushrooms…

Mushrooms at Borough Market, London

And a much maligned vegetable: the humble brussel sprout.

Brussel sprouts, Borough Market, London

There is also great choice of cozy pubs nearby and we choose one to stop at for lunch and a pint before heading off for an exploration of the Thames foreshore. Tower Bridge is a short walk away to the east, London Bridge to the west.

Organic cheese at Borough Market, London

The Tower of London (which appears in miniature in the view from our room) is within easy walking distance and the London Eye, London Dungeons and Sealife Aquarium a short tube ride away.

Pub on London Bridge

It’s an incredibly central spot to base yourself for a city break, in an area that has over recent years (well, certainly since I was last here) enjoyed a significant revitalization.

For more information on The Shard, visit the Shangri-La website.

The Shard, London

2 thoughts on “Window on London: The magnificent Shangri-La at the Shard

    1. We were extremely lucky with the weather to be able to fully enjoy those views. But I suppose even if it had been overcast… that room was divine. The toilet deserves special mention too: heated seat with built-in bidé and bottom dryer. Simon says he’d like one at home when we’re rich and famous 🙂

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