Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends, recently Lorna and I enjoyed a rather special sky high afternoon tea adventure that we would like to share with you. We enjoyed our afternoon tea spread 800ft (244m) up in the air on the 72nd floor of here....
|The Shard, London|
This summer The View From The Shard has created London's highest garden on their open-air sky deck, and they have partnered with Fortnum and Mason to offer a rather special "hamperlings" afternoon tea experience. Think posh picnic....with great great, friendly service and amazing views and you'll get the right idea.
Once you have made your way through the security at the bottom (allow plenty of time) and been shot up into the clouds in the lifts (they are so quick) you will find yourself near the top on level 69 which is enclosed, take the stairs a and you'll make it to the dizzying hits of the 72nd floor where you will be ushered to your table by the wonderful Fortnum & Mason servers.....
|Tea With Me and Friends enjoying tea in the clouds|
The View From The Shard
Your picnic afternoon tea will be brought over to you and you can have a choice of tea or coffee. The spread is served in recycled cardboard packaging, but don't be fooled by this....the quality is still amazing and just as good as the food served at Fortnum & Mason....
|Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea|
|Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea at The View From The Shard|
If you can tear your eyes away from the wonderful views for a moment you will see that the afternoon tea spread has a very traditional feel with sandwiches, scones and wonderful sweet treats.
As you can see, each "course" is served in it's own little box. Let's take a look at those finger sandwiches....
|Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea sandwiches|
In the box you will find salmon, cucumber, egg mayonnaise and (my favourite) coronation chicken sandwiches, cut into perfect bite sized sandwiches. The bread is soft and the fillings tasty. Initially each guest will receive one round, but the servers keep a close eye on their guests and are on hand to provide more sandwiches if you'd like them.
Once we'd enjoyed our sandwiches we moved onto the scones...
|Afternoon tea scones from Fortnum & Mason|
We each had a good sized plain and fruit scone, accompanied by clotted cream and Fortnum & Mason strawberry preserve. The scones were fresh and not at all claggy. Once again, once we had enjoyed these we were asked if we would like anymore.
Finally we made it onto the sweets....
|Sweet afternoon tea treats from Fortnum & Mason|
So, these little beauties were scrummy....they were patisserie quality sweet treats, which were very delicate. My only slightly negative comment from the whole experience was that it was a little hard to take the sweets from the box as they were so delicate. However, they are in keeping with the whole experience and I wouldn't have wanted anything more robust....so I will stop moaning...but prepared to get a little messy!
As you can see...I did manage to get them out of the box in one piece...
The raspberry macaroon was light and chewy, the sponge was soft and light and the strawberry tart just melted in your mouth. The white chocolate and pistachio sponge was divine....but my favourite was the Opera cake which was like a little slice of heaven!
Again, if we wanted more we could enjoy more!
A special mention for the Fortnum & Mason servers who were really friendly but professional, and kept us in tea and cakes the whole time. It can't be easy serving tea up there, but they did a brilliant job when we visited.
Once you have enjoyed the afternoon tea spread you are free to enjoy the views and roam the two viewing decks, this is included in the price of the package. It would be very wrong of me not to share some of the amazing views....
|The View From The Shard|
|The View From The Shard|
The sky deck itself is beautifully finished with over 2000 flowers and plants and if you can ignore the other people who are there for the views (but are staring rather jealously at your afternoon tea spread) then it's a rather wonderful setting for an afternoon tea.
To be honest the other guests did take a bit of getting used to....not only did they stare at your food, they are also trying to see the view that you have right in front of you. I did have one person nudge the top of my head as they tried to take a photo of London Bridge!
The other thing to remember if you visit...as well as looking out and down at the views....take a look up as well....
|Don't forget to look up -|
it's open air!
This afternoon tea experience is booked via The View From The Shard website, and packages start at £85 for two people. This includes admission, and so I think is amazing value...especially considering the quality of the food. This is a limited package though and so if you want to have tea in the clouds you need to book soon.
We had a thoroughly lovely time when we visited....your tea might be served in a paper cup rather than china....but I think you'll agree it's still a rather special afternoon tea....
|Fortnum & Mason tea...with a view!|
Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna