Afternoon Tea at the Aqua Shard
With Mary Poppins
Afternoon tea is really ‘the’ thing to do at the moment, but you’ve got to be a bit picky as to where you go to avoid ending up with a pot of builders tea and some limp lettuce sandwiches.
I recently had the absolute joy of going to the Mary Poppins’ themed afternoon tea at the Aqua Shard, which plays homage to the much loved work of P L Travers, and I can thoroughly recommend it….as long as you can get through the booking process first.
Reservations are open on a three month rolling basis, but are made through a third party company, who also has a policy of returning enquiries on a 24 hour basis, so if you’ve put forward a date that you want, you then run the risk of it being snapped up by someone else before they get back to you. I didn’t have the best experience with the booking, but what I will say is that the staff are actually very nice and we got there in the end. Thank God.
That said, the afternoon tea was absolutely worth waiting for, so much so, that I would probably go through the booking nightmare again to arrange another one!
We were lucky enough to be seated right by the windows, which was a great start and gave us stunning panoramic views of London. We were each presented with a gilt framed mirror which had the menu etched onto it, and in front of us was beautiful crockery which featured original illustrations from Mary Poppins.
Nestled in the centre of the table was an array of homemade cordial liqueurs which we could add to our glass of champagne to make it even more fruity! Of course you don’t have to have champagne, which is an optional extra. If you prefer, you can stick to tea, choosing from from a fine array of bespoke blends. We were greedy, and had both!
Talking of being greedy, the Aqua Shard certainly does not skimp on food. The attentive serving staff got the ball rolling with a savoury selection which included finger sandwiches (Crackleberry farm egg and truffle, Dingley Dell honey roast ham and mustard, Ploughman’s, a Devon crab and cucumber brioche, and miniature crumpets with smoked salmon and cream cheese). I did not leave one single crumb as every mouthful was delicious.
While we were still ploughing our way through the mountain of savoury food, we were brought a cake stand complete with a miniature Mary Poppins umbrella on top. This was to hold our sweet selection and featured such quirky treats as ‘Strike Me Pink Sponge’ and ‘Cherry Tree Lane mousse’, which was covered in dark chocolate, and definitely my favourite. As if this wasn’t enough, there were also homemade scones with fresh jam and clotted cream, which went perfectly with the tea….and the champagne!
The staff at the Aqua Shard were superb and we didn’t feel at all rushed, which was a good job bearing in mind the amount of amazing food we had in front of us, and just as we were about to burst like Mr Creosote in Monty Python, we were finally presented with a stick of freshly made candy floss each. Heaven.
The one and only thing I would change about the whole experience would have been to wear a stretchy waist band! You have been warned.
At the time of writing, the afternoon tea was priced at £49 per person, with a glass of Veuve Clicquot an optional extra. So, while it isn’t the cheapest option out there, you get a stunning view and delicious, plentiful food. I would 100% recommend it.
To book, please visit the website www.aquashard.co.uk
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