The Shangri-La at the Shard is the jewel in the crown of the stunning Shard skyscraper, Western Europe’s tallest building, which lies beside the River Thames in Southwark, Central London. Its flagship TĪNG Restaurant, Shangri-La at the Shard is the place to be and be seen, and so Luxury Travel Diary was, of course, delighted to accept an invitation to check it out recently.
Why We Love This Restaurant
Quite frankly, there’s nothing NOT to love! The views are stunning, the address iconic, the interior design beautiful, the cuisine excellent, and the service impressive. Dining at the Shard should absolutely be on your bucket list if it isn’t already!
The location of the Shard was obviously chosen with views in mind. It’s tucked just far enough back from the river that your view takes in the full river curve. The Shangri-La at the Shard hotel occupies from the 34th to 52nd floors of the 72-storey building. TĪNG restaurant itself is located on level 35, which we found to be a prime location. You are high up but not so high that you can’t see the detail in the landscape surrounding you. It made for a transfixing dining experience as we watched the world far below.
The Shangri-La at the Shard is also home to three bars and lounges, including the ultra-glamorous GONG, located on level 52. It’s the highest bar in London and would be fantastic as a venue for a cocktail as the sun sets over the city of London.
Best Time To Visit
There can be no bad time to visit London. Although late Spring and Summer bring the most visitors, early Spring is a great time to visit as the city’s parks are in full bloom. Even on rainy days, the museums and galleries beckon, and Christmas time is just magical with the lights of Regent Street, Bond Street, Oxford Street, and Covent Garden.
As for the Shard itself, a clear day is recommended to make the very most of those astonishing views! The wonderful staff were clearly sad it wasn’t sunny but to be quite honest, we were enchanted enough on a cloudy day. We went at lunchtime, which was a great time to dine at the Shard as it was daylight. I would imagine the best time would be early evening when you could catch both the sunlight, sunset and that lovely dusky time of day following, of course by the light show of London unveiling beneath you. A return visit for us is definitely in order!
How To Get There
A wonderfully central location, you are a 1-minute stroll from London Bridge railway and tube station. The Tower of London is a short walk along the Thames, or, do what we did and walk from Waterloo to take in the delights of the South Bank. It took us around an hour with a lot of stopping off at the bookstalls under Waterloo Bridge, the boutiques of Gabriel’s Wharf, and the design shops of the Oxo Tower, without the many distractions, it would probably take half an hour!
Style & Character
There is so much focus on what’s outside of the vast floor-to-ceiling windows at TĪNG Restaurant, but it’s essential to look inside too. Both the Shangri-La at the Shard Hotel and TĪNG Restaurant are absolutely heavenly spaces in terms of design. Oriental floral displays, both real and huge sculptures greet you throughout and juxtapose excellently with the otherwise sleek and minimalist interior. It’s all about the views, obviously but why not adorn the other spaces with floral wonders too!
Time at TĪNG slows, no one will rush you, and taking in your surroundings is clearly as important as the none the less, delicious food and drink. Taking your time means you need to be comfortable. The seating is plush and absolutely designed to help you settle and relax. The only drawback, you may well struggle to tear yourself away!
As well as GONG, we couldn’t resist exploring a little further and were delighted to take a peek at Sky Pool which on level 52 is London’s highest hotel infinity pool, and well as being a gorgeously zen space with an exclusive ambiance.
It’s hard not to have an expectation of service at a fine dining establishment of this caliber, and it totally delivered in terms of efficiency and professionalism. What was perhaps more of a surprise was how warm and friendly all the staff were. We asked for a piece of paper for a bookmark for my daughter and were presented with a small kids puzzle book – infinitely better, obviously! They also gave us a magical dry ice display over a cup of welcome iced tea. I believe this is usually part of Afternoon Tea here, but it was quite wonderful. Our children are unlikely to forget it for a long while.
Food & Drink
We feasted on a glorious selection of British-Asian dishes. When you arrive, you are given individual tablets which list every single food and drink menu. These were great and had the added bonus of thoroughly entertaining our children! There’s a separate menu for Shangri-La’s signature Asian dishes, and then a more British leaning menu, too, as well as a plant-based menu and 3 and 5 course set menus. We chose a collection of dishes to share as well as a burger and chips from the children’s menu! Maybe not the most sophisticated option but very useful for little people. We opted for one of the more English dishes, the Goats Cheese Tart, and a more Asian dish, the Hainanese Chicken Rice so that we could experience both. As well as a selection of smaller dishes. Everything was exquisite, even down to the curry sauce (they had a much better name for it than this!) that they served with their French fries.
Although we didn’t have the Afternoon Tea, we saw several people who did and the spread was just beautiful; it was evident why the Shard is a rather legendary location for the traditional English treat.
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