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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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Silent Disco at View From The Shard: Shaking your booty at 800ft

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Best view in London – looking at Tower Bridge and Docklands from the 72nd floor of The Shard

Silent Discos have been growing steadily in popularity in recent years. To an outsider, they admittedly do look rather bizarre to see people singing and dancing to no audible music. I’ve been to a festival with a Silent Disco before which I didn’t partake in and it was quite weird to watch the participants and trying to guess which song they were listening to. I have long wanted to go up The Shard since I watched the inauguration laser light show of the building back in July 2012, but had held off due to the ticket price. However, when I heard there was an event taking place – a Silent Disco – I leaped at the chance to buy tickets, so finally visited this week.

In conjunction with Time Out, The View From The Shard – the viewing platforms on the 69th and 72nd floor – are hosting Silent Discos on selected dates monthly. Priced at £37.50, tickets include access to the floors over four hours and a pair of wireless headphones, which can pick up three different DJs and their mixes, depending on your taste. Upon arrival at reception, we put our coats in the cloakroom and were whizzed up to the 68th floor via two lifts, with a break halfway up the building. I had totally forgotten from the publicity at the time of The View From The Shard’s opening that the toilets have floor-to-ceiling windows with views over the City of London. I must admit I felt a sort of stage fright about using the facilities against a window – something I am sure many visitors feel a bit apprehensive about – until you remind yourself no one can see you at that height.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Listen to the blue, green or red DJs through wireless headphones

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Stage fright? The toilets have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the City

The main focus of the action was on the enclosed 69th floor viewing gallery. The three DJs were linked to three colours blue, green or red, so you could switch your wireless headphones to which one you wanted to listen to. Personally, I was a Team Blue girl – listening to dance anthems and old school soul and hip-hop, but did flirt with Team Green often throughout the evening. Whatever your music taste, there was definitely something for everyone. The clientele was a mix of 20 and 30somethings, mostly groups of friends, but some couples. There were several bars dotted around, with themed cocktails and champagne besides the usual spirits, wines and beers. We opted for £7 Mile High Cocktails (Vodka, Triple Sec, cranberry, lime topped with sparkling water and garnished with orange), which was refreshing and tasty. When I first arrived, I was a bit distracted by the view as it was my first time at The Shard. However, after taking in the sights at the 69th and open air platform on level 72 (which was rather freezing I must admit!), I was ready to ‘disco’. My apprehension about dancing to music through headphones soon vanished and soon my friend and I were singing along and dancing our feet off to the familiar tracks.

Music, dancing and drinking aside, the event is also an opportunity to enjoy the stunning 360 degree views of London at a height of up to 800ft, which are of course available all year round. The 69th floor includes interactive touchscreen telescopes so you can zoom in to your favourite landmarks. During the disco, we ended up finding a spot overlooking Tower Bridge and St Paul’s – a unique view for the average London dancefloor! Despite being at such a heady height, I must admit it didn’t actually feel as high as I expected. I thought the streets below would be even tinier, but you could easily identify buses, etc. Overall, my friend and I had a really good night out. There was a great atmosphere, really fun and friendly. The combination of dancing, great music, cocktails and the best view in London made for a unique and entertaining night out.  Get tickets if you can!

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

View of the West End, London Eye and River Thames

  • The View From The Shard. Silent Disco tickets £37.50, available through Time Out London. The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit The View From The Shard website.

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Reflection of The Shard on melted snow water

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Reflection of The Shard on a puddle of melted snow on the river wall of the northbank of the River Thames

Despite the unseasonal freezing March, I braved the cold today and spent several hours walking around the City of London and Southbank. The poor weather meant there weren’t as many people around so I enjoyed a bit of ‘me time’ with my beloved city. As I walked along the Thames Path on the north bank of the River Thames, I took this photo of The Shard‘s reflection in a puddle from the melted snow on the river wall. You can see the murky Thames just at the top of the image, as well as the snow-filled clouds and grey sky. It’s funny, the building has been finished less than a year and already I feel like The Shard has been there for longer.

For more photos of The Shard, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the building’s inauguration laser show.

Or for a review of Silent Disco at The Shard, click here.

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The Shard inauguration laser light show – gallery