For those of you who may not know, my dad lives abroad and so whenever he comes to visit London we always like to go out and eat food (and usually drink a lot of wine oops). It is our ritual in any country we are ever in together (especially the wine part).
Yesterday, to switch things up a bit, my family, my boyfriend and I decided to try out one of London’s afternoon teas. Ting, at the Shard, caught my eye as the menu offers a traditional ‘English’ selection, as well as an ‘Asian-inspired’ menu. I am always indecisive but paradoxically greedy, so I was happy to try out both (obviously). I was going to initially force my boyfriend Mark to get the other tier, but thankfully our waitress recommended we get 3 of each so everyone could have a try and naturally I was content with that. The views are certainly spectacular, and there was something unique about having tea in the tallest building in Europe (pulling out all the facts now).
We opted to have champagne with our tea, (we’re not alcoholics I swear) but this, of course, was optional (but again highly recommended). It is on the pricier side of afternoon teas, (£62/70) with champagne, but it is definitely worth going for a special occasion. They also cater for allergies well; my dad is gluten intolerant, and, as long as you tell them in advance, they can prepare a selection of desserts, sandwiches and scones for you. They start off with an amuse bouche, which was green tea over dry ice and because we ordered from both the English and Asian menus, we also had these delicious sweet potato tarts.
On the Asian menu, the savoury selection included items like: Fried Vegetable Gyoza (these were my favourite!!), Crab, Avocado, Cucumber and Tobiko sandwichs & Tuna, Wasabi Mayonnaise, Toasted Sesame Seed Sandwichs as well. This was a delicious selection and great if you love Asian cuisine -(not so good however if you are not a fan of seafood like my sister). At first, I did feel like I was betraying the traditional afternoon tea ritual, but the vegetable gyoza’s quickly convinced me.
The desserts were also tasty, but I never feel like Asian desserts are my cup of tea (haha see what I did there). They had a matcha tea layer cake, a black sesame macaroon, a chestnut mont blanc with a vanilla meringue and a peanut mochi. Although I have to say, I did really enjoy the Matcha Cake and the Chocolate Choux with pink ginger and chocolate crumble.
In hindsight, I think my favourite of the day overall was still the classic option. The savoury selection were sandwiches, and although there is nothing particularly unique to report on that front, I will say we all loved the roast Angus beef ones with celeriac and horseradish on tomato bread! (we kept on ordering more refills). The desserts were also delicious, and I have a massive sweet tooth so that was particularly satisfying. My personal favourite was the ‘Melba Diamond’ – which was champagne and peach jelly, vanilla brulée and a raspberry jam pipette which you got to squeeze in (love it).
The other items were: a mini black forest moelleux, a coconut meringue with passion fruit gel (also tasty!), caramel mousse with diced apple jelly over a chestnut sponge as well as a ‘Parist Brest’ -which was a hazelnut praline in a choux bun. Both afternoon teas also included scones, clotted cream and jam– the Asian one choosing to offer both plain and matcha. (it tasted just like the plain to me, but it was still Moorish nonetheless). I have recently developed a love for tea (yes I know I’m meant to be English and love it) and my favourite of the day was the white apricot blend.
I think for the price, all the food you get is completely worth it- in fact, I ended up bringing some of the leftover cakes to my friend’s house. They were attentive in filling up any empty plates, and you can always ask for more specific items if you feel like you need another dessert or sandwich (guilty).
Plus, its an excuse to drink champagne in the day…why would you not?