Prince Harry and Hollywood starlet Meghan Markle are to be married in Windsor Castle on the 19th of May. To celebrate the occasion, the Shangri-La Hotel in London has launched a Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea, which takes inspiration from the tastes and traditions of the British royal family and Harry’s beloved bride to be.
Afternoon tea is served in the hotel’s TĪNG restaurant on the 35th floor of The Shard. TĪNG is most notable for its chic interior and impressive views, as the outer walls are made almost entirely of glass. There really is nothing else quite like it in London.
The restaurant staff were very attentive and took great pleasure in explaining the regal elements of the afternoon tea. For example, the sweet treats feature colours and flavours inspired by flowers grown in the royal gardens. The tea stand itself is even adorned with pretty pink peonies, which are Ms Markle’s favourite flowers.
The afternoon commenced with a delightfully floral “Royal Celebration Cocktail” made with Monkey 47 Gin, blood orange liqueur, champagne and lemongrass syrup. We were also presented with two miniature cups of lemon infused tea served on top of a back box full of dry ice. When hot water was poured into the box, a swirling fog eddied across the table to great dramatic effect.
For the main event, delicate finger sandwiches were served alongside a cube of delicious Pumpernickel bread with Dorset Crab and a sweet goats curd and lavender rye stack.
The roast chicken and myrtle sandwich was inspired by Harry’s proposal to Meghan over a chicken roast dinner. Every royal bouquet contains a sprig of myrtle to symbolise hope and love.
There is a vast selection of teas on offer and you are encouraged to try a different one with each “course”. The Assam Doomni had a lovely, creamy consistency.
Next was a selection of light and fluffy scones (one plain and one with currents) served with a generous dollop of clotted cream and strawberry jam. With a whole plate of sweet treats still to sample, we were both pleased we hadn’t eaten any lunch beforehand.
The sweet treats were a riot of colour and looked almost too good to eat. This included a cassis violet macaron with a tart blackcurrant confiture, which pays homage to the Queen’s love of violets. The caramelised apple and elderflower tart contained a thoroughly British Earl Grey tea and grapefruit compote.
To accompany our deserts we went for China Milky Oolong and the Formosa Oolong, which had a nice spicy undertone. There’s coffee on the menu too.
Verdict: the Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea is a charming homage to the royal family. Service was exceptional and the views alone are worth the investment.
The Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea is served daily in the TĪNG restaurant and lounge until June 01, 2018.
Prices start from £60pp or £74pp with the Royal Celebration Cocktail. Due to popularity, booking in advance is highly recommended.
If you really want to get into the royal spirit, Shangri-La Hotel are also offering a Royal Celebration Experience which includes an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s luxurious rooms or suites, an in-room bottle of champagne with macarons, the Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea for two and complimentary use of the Skypool and gym. Prices start from £565 for two people.
Nearest Tube station: London Bridge – Northern and Jubliee Lines. Take the exit towards the Shard and take the entrance through the revolving doors. You need to take the lift to the 35th floor.