Don’t you know that everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own?”
My preferred fairyland is most definitely Aqua Shard, on the 31st floor of The Shard, which without a doubt is my favourite building in London for its incredible awe-inspiring views. Aqua Shard has recently launched a brand new Mary Poppins themed Afternoon Tea, which I was extremely delighted to be invited to experience with two of my favourite ladies, Angie and Emma, who were equally excited about our afternoon ahead. Mary Poppins is such a poignant story from all of our childhoods, and this amazing Afternoon Tea, inspired by the much loved work of P.L. Travers, coincides with the re-release of the classic books from Harper Collins, which we were also kindly gifted.
“Mary Poppins was very vain and liked to look her best. Indeed, she was quite sure that she never looked anything else.”
Whenever Aqua Shard creates an Afternoon Tea, the attention to detail is always extraordinary, and as we were seated, we were presented with a menu that takes form as a gold framed mirror, a nod to Mary’s vanity and her ‘practically perfect’ reflection as in the classic tale.
Mary’s Shepherd’s original illustrations from the book are also adorned on the plates, which evoked so many lovely memories from my childhood, and I could vividly remember reading the original book and escaping to my fairyland.
On our table were sparkling Champagne flutes with the cutest little kites attached, which made me want to start singing ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite.’ These were swiftly filled with chilled Veuve Clicquot champagne by one of the staff who took his role as Bert with so much passion, before we were urged to add some medicine in the form of liqueur to it, which we all accepted.
The choices of ‘medicines,’ which were all homemade by the bar team, included a Strawberry, which was Tanqueray gin, sugar, fresh strawberries, orange peel and golden edible glitter powder, Lime Cordial, which was Ciroc vodka, sugar, lime peel, edible viola flowers and silver edible glitter powder, and a Rum Punch flavour, which was a blend of Plantation 3 Stars Rum infused with pink peppercorns, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, spices and coconut flakes.
When the medicine was added to the Champagne, we had a beautiful Kir Royale style cocktail!
While we enjoyed our delicious champagne cocktails, a decadent selection of savouries arrived including a Cackleberry egg and black truffle sandwich, which was my favourite purely because I am obsessed with truffle, Mrs Kirkam’s cheddar, Branston pickle and English mustard ploughman’s sandwich, Dingley Dell honey roast ham with mustard mayonnaise and Norfolk rocket cress sandwich, a Devon crab with cucumber and coriander served on a brioche roll, and in honour of Mary’s favourites, there is even a mini crumpet served warm with Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Bert then appeared with a magic carpet bag full of freshly baked vanilla and golden raisin scones, made by Mrs Brill in the Aqua Shard kitchen and filled in a red drawstring bag. This was such a lovely touch to the experience which we thoroughly enjoyed with the accompanying homemade cherry and plum jams, as well as the much loved part of any Afternoon Tea scone experience for me, the Cornish Clotted Cream.
“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way!”
To help our ‘medicinal’ Kir Royale style champagnes go down, Bert also brought over the most fabulous Afternoon Tea stand I have ever seen, brimming with lots of sweet treats and with a magic Umbrella at the top and Mary Poppins style boots at the base.
The gorgeous selection of homemade cakes and sweet treats included a ‘Strike Me Pink Sponge’ which imagines one of Travers’ most famous quotes in edible form, Mrs Corry’s gingerbread star, Mary Poppins’ Chocolate and Cherry hat that was a black ‘Cherry Tree Lane’ mousse covered in dark chocolate, as well as an intriguing golden tin that opened up to reveal a sweet ‘back to front zoo’ golden syrup tart with a bear illustrated on its lid. This was my favourite out of all the sweet treats.
There are two exclusive teas being served as part of the Afternoon Tea – a Mary’s Tea which is a blend of black teas from around the world and elegant rose petals that give it a faintly sweet and floral finish, and a Bert’s Tea which is a blend of lapsang souchong, keemun, Ceylon, vanilla and cornflower, that gives it a subtly sweet flavour and smokey finish. Emma and I chose Bert’s Tea whilst Angie enjoyed Mary’s Tea.
Finally, to end the afternoon on a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious note, we enjoyed scrumptious raspberry flavoured Fairground Candy Floss served by Bert from the cutest stand in the restaurant. It was the perfect sweet note to end a fabulous afternoon and our afternoon tea experience at Aqua Shard was a great way to relive one of my favourite classic childhood stories in an edible form.
If like me, you grew up with Mary Poppins as one of your favourite movies, get booking! This Afternoon Tea is probably the best creative and unique Afternoon Tea I have experienced in London to date and from start to end, it is absolute perfection and every element of it is divine.
The Aqua Shard Mary Poppins afternoon tea is licensed and approved by the P.L. Travers estate and all original Mary Shepard illustrations are licensed by Harper Collins Publisher. It is served every day from 1.00-5.00pm, priced at £49 per person, or £66 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, and £72 with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé.
For more information, visit their website here: https://aquashard.co.uk/