It’s the most wonderful time of the year and my favourite season for Afternoon Teas, especially festive themed ones, and I was so excited to experience Shangri-La’s version on a rare weekday date with Amit.
Walking into the hotel I was immediately enchanted by their Christmas tree, which was created by the students of the MA Interior and Spatial Design course at Chelsea College of Arts and inspired by novelist James Hilton’s book ‘The Lost Horizon.’
The ginkgo tree, a species native to China, was selected as the base for this seasonal installation to symbolise the meeting of East and West. What is so special about this tree is that hundreds of glass bottles recycled from the hotel were integrated into the design to promote sustainability in a season of excess. What a fantastic idea and an amazing way to repurpose glass bottles! It definitely makes you think of ways in which we can re-use our own bottles and reduce wastage.
We then took the lift up to level 35 where we were seated at the gorgeous TĪNG restaurant at a glorious table by the glass window, for the Festive Afternoon Tea.
This is a very special Afternoon Tea – dining at the height of luxury in the literal sense as you are seated 125 metres above the capital, and we kicked it off with a glass of Champagne, as all Afternoon Tea experience should commence in my opinion.
Being a day filled with rain and moody skies, as a special treat, we even got to see a rainbow! Can you spot it?
Soon a beautifully presented palate cleanser of chilled tea arrived, accompanied with misty clouds, to kick off our special ceremony of afternoon tea, which was perfect as we felt like we were seated amongst the clouds in our window seat!
We then made our tea selections from the menu (Chai Tea for me and The Signature Afternoon Blend for Amit).
Then arrived the three tier stand of festive wonder – a selection of finger sandwiches on the bottom tier, warm freshly baked scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream and English Strawberry Jam on the middle tier, and a superb selection of sweet pastries on the top, themed around the holiday season.
Alongside the stunning stand laden with treats, we had an Atlantic prawn cocktail to start with, as well as a plate of Christmas Cake and Mince Pies – the perfect seasonal treats.
I then started on the sandwich selection and worked my way up the stand!
Due to dietary requirements we requested a few adjustments to our finger sandwich selection and so we had Turkey with Cranberry, Cucumber & Mature Cheddar and an Avocado and Tomato Sandwich to choose from. My favourite was the Cucumber and Mature Cheddar whilst Amit loved the Avocado and Tomato Sandwich.
The scones were baked to perfection and so soft and fluffy! I’m a cream first girl and I really enjoyed devouring these.
Then the best part of all – the sweets!
There were 4 treats to indulge in -Mulled Wine Pear Compote, a Mint Chocolate Ganache that took centre stage on the plate with a Blackcurrant & Hibiscus Mousse, a Snowman Coffee Baravois with Orange Jam and a Passion Fruit & Cardamom Mousse Macaron.
I have got to say the snowman was my absolute favourite standout treat and not only was it so adorable in presentation, I could easily have eaten 10 more of them as I love coffee flavoured desserts!
It was a truly wonderful experience and a great decadent way to celebrate the festive season while soaking up the amazing views of London.
The Festive Afternoon Tea costs £68. Add a glass of Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label, Brut, NV for £78.
Find out more: https://www.ting-shangri-la.com/afternoon-tea/-afternoon-tea