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Aqua Shard review: Brunch with a view at one of London’s highest restaurants

Aqua Shard brunch © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Tor Bay Harbour Lobster Benedict at Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard brunch © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

We had a great view from our table, despite the drizzle

The Shard is home to six restaurants, all boasting amazing views of the capital. I’ve been to the bar in Aqua Shard on several occasions for drinks, but had never dined before. So I was thrilled when my boyfriend treated me to a surprise brunch at the venue for our anniversary. When dining at a sky-high venue, it’s always hit and miss if the weather will be on your side. On the afternoon we visited, London was suffering from questionable weather, but we managed to get a clear enough view for the first hour of our meal before the rain came down. We were fortunate enough to be given one of the best seats in the place, with seats looking out over the River Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and the rest of the City.

We were opting for the weekend brunch set menu, which features 3 courses and two amuse bouches for £48. I made sure I had eaten a light breakfast to prepare myself for such a big meal early in the day. Our first amuse bouche was pumpkin soup, which was lovely and creamy and tasted sweeter than I anticipated.

To start with, I opted for a brunch favourite – Tor Bay Lobster Benedict (Cackleberry Farm Egg, Roasted Lobster Hollandaise and Sea Greens). The serving had just the right amount of Hollandaise sauce so as not to overpower the egg and lobster. The seagreens were an unusual, but good accompaniment.

Crispy Cod Cakes (Pickled Lemon, Samphire and Cucumber Salad, and Spiced Kelp Aioli

For my mains, I went for another fish dish – Crispy Cod Cakes (Pickled Lemon, Samphire and Cucumber Salad, and Spiced Kelp Aioli). As a regular consumer of fish cakes, I was pleased by the quality and the accompanying sides gave the flavour a different approach than usual.

In between the mains and dessert, we had another amuse bouche of Yoghurt Sorbet and Crispy Strawberries, which really cleansed the palate. For my final dishes I decided on the English Bramley Apple Crumble (Toasted Almond Crumb and Nutmeg Ice Cream). When it arrived, it was a very different crumble to I’m used to – sort of a deconstructed twist on a traditional favourite. Although the portion was small, the rich sweetness made it very filling and was the perfect end to the meal.

Overall, we had a fabulous brunch. The weather wasn’t on our side, but we still got to enjoy a decent amount of times with good view before the rain came down. The service was good and the menu choice offered something a little different from the usual brunch offerings.

  • Aqua Shard, Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London Bridge, SE1 9RY. Nearest station: London Bridge. Weekend brunch is served from 10.30am-3.30pm. For booking, visit the Aqua Shard website.
Aqua Shard brunch © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Dessert was a deconstructed apple crumble, a different approach to an old classic

For more of Metro Girl’s restaurant reviews, click here.

Aqua Shard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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British Museum Of Food: A treat for foodies as you explore the history and art of grub

© Jo Duck for Bompas & Parr

The British Museum of Food opens in October at Borough Market for three months
© Jo Duck for Bompas & Parr

London is home to some of the top restaurants and chefs in the world. We’re able to travel around the world through our culinary choices without leaving the kitchen table. With our love of good food, it makes sense that the capital is the location for a new museum of food.

This October, foodies can rejoice as the world’s first museum dedicated to food is coming to London. Food and drink wizards Bompas & Parr are launching a cultural institution celebrating the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of food.

Initially opening for three months from 23 October, the British Museum Of Food will be based at Borough Market while it seeks a more permanent home. Bompas & Parr will be collaborating with the managers, trustees and traders from nearby Borough Market on the museum, which will span two floors. The new museum will both educate and entertain visitors about food and drink in B&P’s signature quirky and disruptive style.

Visitors will explore the most exciting elements of food through the museum’s exhibits and experiences. There will be plenty of ‘food for thought’ as guests are encouraged to consider what they are putting in their bodies and think about nutrition and health.

© Nathan Pask for Bompas & Parr

The museum is a new project from food wizards Bompas & Parr
© Nathan Pask for Bompas & Parr

Among the exhibits in the initial opening will include:

Be the Bolus: the Peristalsis Experience

An immersive digital journey into the body, following the path of food along the alimentary canal from the mouth, into the stomach and intestines, using footage obtained working with consultant gastronenterologist Dr Simon Anderson.

Choco-Phonica

A sonic wonderland focused on chocolate where visitors are asked to experience taste against the medium of sound, curated in collaboration with Space Doctors and Nathanael Williams Music with the advice of multi-sensory scientists.

The British Menu Archive

A selection of historical and beautiful menus, normally an ephemeral part of food culture but actually a revealing historical resource.

The Butterfly Effect

A walk-through tropical butterfly experience that tells the story of the unsung heroes of pollination in the context of global food security concerns.

Atelier of Flavour 

A gallery showcase of food as art, with a focus on how different artists have used unusual materials to represent the English Breakfast.

Harry Parr, partner of Bompas & Parr and a founder trustee of the museum, said: “’Around the world there are various museums devoted to specific items of food and drink, such as herrings and absinthe, but nowhere has an institution been created that seeks to embrace this crucial part of human existence. “This has long been an aspiration of the studio and we’re delighted to have been able to assemble a stellar cast to help us bring this to life. And where better than the spiritual home of London’’s food culture?”’

  • British Museum Of Food, One Cathedral Street, Borough Market, SE1 9DE. Nearest station: London Bridge. Open Wed-Fri 12-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £5, Children £4. The museum will open for three months from 23 October 2015. For more information, visit the British Museum Of Food website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

To find out about Bompas & Parr’s Alcoholic Architecture experience, click here.

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Alcoholic Architecture: Travel through the world’s first alcoholic weather system

Alcoholic Architecture is the world's first alcoholic weather system, allowing guests to inhale alcohol © Garage CCC

Alcoholic Architecture is the world’s first alcoholic weather system, allowing guests to inhale alcohol
© Garage CCC

A new boozy experience is coming to London… and this one doesn’t actually involve drinking at all. Alcoholic Architecture is a new venture from food wizards Bombas & Parr which will please even the laziest drinker. You won’t need to lift a finger to enjoy a cocktail, because you’ll simply inhale it.

Situated in a Victorian basement by Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral, Bombas & Parr have created the world’s first alcoholic weather system. Guests will wear protective suits as they enter a cloud of fine spirits and mixers at a ratio of 1:3. Instead of your traditional mouth entry system, alcohol will enter the blood stream through the body’s mucus membranes, such as the lungs and eyeballs! With the room full of clouds of alcohol and at a humidity level of 140%, it’ll be tricky to see far so slow and steady will be the way to travel. And here comes the science bit – by inhaling alcohol, it actually bypasses the liver, meaning you absorb less calories, but also means you can get the same effect by drinking 40 per cent less than you would do normally. Once inside, you’ll also have the opportunity to order further cocktails from the menu to complement the taste of the breathable mix.

With its location near the historic Southwark Cathedral, Bompas & Parr have drawn on the influence of the Gothic building and its previous site of a monastery with the design, staff uniforms and drinks menu. Guests can enjoy the tastes of spirits and beers created by monks, including Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer and Buckfast.

Harry Parr, director of Bompas & Parr, said: ‘With Alcoholic Architecture we are going for maximal intensity of cocktail experience. With every breath you take, notice a fresh botanical or flavour in the spirit that can be hard to discern in a regular drink. Taste the cloud, savour the sky.’

Sam Bompas, director of Bompas & Parr, added: ‘Creatively the installation draws inspiration from Borough Market’s produce, medieval history and weather to create a sci-fi fantasy where meteorology and mixology collide. Visiting Alcoholic Architecture will generate the same sort of awe and wonder we have all probably experienced when gazing up at the night’s sky. Imagine Disney meets De Sade in Barbarella’s castle by way of Medieval Times with flagons of ale.’

Guests will be limited to an hour within the cloud to ensure responsible consumption of alcohol. Bombas & Parr have also worked with respiratory scientists and chemists to calculate the safe length of time to remain in the cloud.

  • Alcoholic Architecture launches from 31st July 2015 for six months and will take place at One Cathedral Street, Borough Market, Borough, SE1 9DE. Nearest station: London Bridge. Tickets for hourly slots: £10 off peak (Mon, Tues and Wed all day, Thurs & Fri before 5pm), £12.50 peak (Thurs post-5pm, Fri post-4pm and Sat all day). For more information and booking, visit Bompas And Parr’s official website.

To find out about Bompas & Parr’s new British Museum Of Food at the same site, click here.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

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