A couple of months ago, I had the immense pleasure of lunching at the Shard.
Located 128m above ground on the 35th floor of the Shard, it offers some of the most extraordinary views across London, St Pauls Cathedral, the Tower, the Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.
The restaurant’s name Ting, is derived from the Chinese word for Living Room, and it generally has a more relaxed atmosphere than some of the other restaurants in the Shard.
When you book a table you will be presented with a choice. You can either indulge in a fine dining experience in the much more formal setting of the Ting Restaurant or chill out in the far more informal Ting Lounge. Since the Ting Lounge has a special Set Lunch Menu at quite an agreeable price, we opted for the latter.
LOCATION OF THE TING LOUNGE AT THE SHANGRI-LA
The Shard is located right on top of London Bridge tube station. Depending on what exit you get off / arrive at, you may need to walk a couple of minutes to find the entrance to the Shangri-La.
London Bridge is a central hub in London and one of the city’s biggest train stations. It therefore shouldn’t be difficult to find your way to the Shard.
The Shard itself is an astounding glass structure, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and is currently the tallest building in the European Union (the Mercury City Tower in Moscow is the tallest building in Europe).
INTERIOR AND ATMOSPHERE OF THE TING LOUNGE AT THE SHANGRI-LA
You will be blown away by the view, but you should take a moment to consider the beautiful Chinoiserie Interior. The decoration and amount of detail perfectly capture the aura of the Chinese Culture with an elegant and modern twist.
You enter the Shangri-La through its ample reception at Ground floor Level. After being greeted by the friendly staff, your bag will get x-rayed before you head up. This is a general safety measure of the Shard and no need for concern.
You are then shown to your mode of transportation, a set of two elevators and whisked up within a couple of seconds to the second Reception of the Shangri-La Hotel on the 35th Floor. I must admit I am really scared of heights and did feel a little faint after my speedy trip into the sky.
I got a little obsessed with the absolutely unique patterns of carpets in the Hotel and took far more pictures than was required. So I hope you’ll forgive me for slipping in these two.
The Ting Restaurant requires a reservation and you won’t be able to just turn up on its doorstep. However, although we arrived a little too early, the staff was very accommodating and after admiring the décor in the Reception and the Flabbergasting Panoramic Views we proceeded directly to our table.
FOOD AT THE TING LOUNGE SHANGRI-LA
After taking prime seats by the window, overlooking the ‘Gherkin’ and the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building, my friend Carli and I began perusing the menu.
The Ting Restaurant and Lounge offer a distinctive A La Carte Menu of Authentic Asian Specialities alongside European Comfort food. If you are a fan of the Classic Afternoon Tea, you’ll be in for a Treat. The Ting Lounge offers both the traditional English Afternoon Tea with Cucumber Sandwiches and Scones and an Asian Alternative.
Our Lunch started off well with a homemade Sourdough Bread and Sea Salt Butter. Ear-shatteringly crisp and fluffy in the middle. The butter also came to the table warm which always gets bonus points. Nobody wants to struggle putting butter on bread!
BENTO BOX AT THE TING LOUNGE SHANGRI-LA
We then opted to try out the Bento Style Set Lunch Menu for 22£. All in all – considering that you are enjoying panoramic views and a brilliant atmosphere at 128m above Ground in one of London’s most iconic building – this is quite a reasonable Price Tag. And this is the Bang you get for your Buck:
AYAM BARENG BEREMPHA
A deep fried marinated chicken with Asian Herbs and Spices
FRIED HOR FUN
Wok-charred Rice Noodles with Seafood, Pak Choi and Smooth Egg Gravy
CHICKEN & DRIED SOLE
TAPIOCA SAGO PUDDING
with palm sugar syrup and coconut cream
In true Bento Style all four courses arrived at the same time in a beautiful Bento Box.
To be honest, I could have done without the Fried Hor Fun, which wasn’t much more elaborate than your typical Asian Stir Fry. Nonetheless I relished the Tapioca Sago Pudding and could easily have eaten several bowls worth of it.
COFFEE AND COMPLIMENTARY PETIT FOURS
The Meal was then topped off with complimentary Petit Fours displayed like prized possessions on top of rasped Chocolate in a little Jewellery Box.
THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD
The Ting lounge undoubtedly enjoys some of the best views a restaurant could ever hope to have. And without a doubt, this was a major factor in making our lunch memorable.
We had a very early lunch and were, therefore, lucky enough to be given a table right beside the window. But there are panoramic views all around (event on the toilet). So don’t fret if you arrive a little late and all the best tables are already occupied.
While the panoramic views from the Ting Lounge are incredible, London’s current highest and best views can be enjoyed from the Shard’s viewing platform on floors 68, 69 and 72. At 244m above ground, it offers visitors an unparalleled 360-degree for up to 40 miles.
Just because we hadn’t had quite enough of the extraordinary views across London, we returned to the Shard the next day to experience the View from the Shard.
If on the other hand you have had your fill of birds-eyes-views, you might instead want to go on a walk down the Southbank.
Lunch at the Ting Lounge at the Shangri-La was a great experience.
This has to be one of the most exciting restaurants I visited in 2014 and I would highly recommend it for a special occasions. Not only do you get a beautiful view of London from The Shard, but excellent all round service.
If you want to take in the views of the Shard – without paying the steep charges to visit the viewing platform – it’s definitely worth heading up to the Ting Lounge for lunch. All the views as well as a lovely bento box for exactly the same cost!