I’m always being asked where visitors to London should go, and my laundry list of suggestions always includes a cocktail or afternoon tea at the restaurant and bar aqua shard on the 31st floor of The Shard. That way they get the most spectacular view of London from all sides and something delicious to eat or drink into the bargain, without having to pay to go all the way up to The Shard’s very expensive viewing platform. To my mind, it is one of the cleverest things any London visitor – or Londoner – can do. It feels super glamorous, and very chic, and it also has excellent loos with a view.
The view north over the Thames from aqua shard
Inigo, my sister’s best friend from Miami, where she used to work in banking, was over last week to stay with Holly and so I suggested we take a trip up The Shard at sunset to watch London light up.
I love the first glimpse of the vast Aqua triple height space as you enter from the central hallway which, at the moment, is made even more spectacular by their Christmas tree, The Tree of Glass.
Designed by Lee Broom and manufactured by contemporary glassware brand Nude, this year’s take on the traditional Christmas tree is an illuminated sculpture inspired by The Shard itself. There are 245 hand-blown glass LED pendant lights floating in formation.
This is the first collaboration between Broom, and Nude who have meticulously handcrafted the shade for each pendant light, and each of the 245 pendant lights are now available to purchase from the Lee Broom website (www.leebroom.com) with all proceeds being donated to the Red Cross, Lee Broom’s charity of choice. Each pendant light will come with a 2w dimmable LED and ceiling rose for simple installation and will be delivered after the tree is de-installed in January 2018.
It really does make the most spectacular setting for afternoon tea.
And props for the special plate of vegetarian sandwiches, just for me
Holly and Inigo in The Shard
In addition, aqua shard have a special dessert and cocktail, to be sold throughout November and December, with 50% of the sales going to the Red Cross. The restaurant will also add an optional £1 to every bill throughout the Christmas period, which will be donated directly to the charity.
Aqua shard, Level 31 The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
Tel: 020 3011 1256
With huge thanks to aqua shard for hosting Holly, Inigo and myself for afternoon tea in November 2017