Recently I have been to London for a short trip. When in this metropolis, you understand that I do not want to miss the chance of celebrating the British tradition of having a proper afternoon tea between lunch and dinner. This ritual has found its origin in the early 1800s when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, decided to schedule one extra meal to still the hunger in between breakfast and dinner (the only two meals of the day), which was common in that time.
I would love to try out each and every afternoon tea offering but due to the limited amount of time that I was in London, I could just try one this time. Eventually I have chosen for Oblix Restaurant which is located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, the tallest building in the United Kingdom, because what is better than to combine great food with a stunning view over London? Another special thing is that each item on the menu is inspired by a specific London bourough and is made from local ingredients. The whole afternoon tea experience made it also a special present to give to my sister, whose birthday was during the trip itself.
Just like an authentic afternoon tea, it came as a distinguished served three-tiered offering, consisting of traditional finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. The scones were served straight from the oven after we tucked in the savoury and sweet items. Not to be missed at an afternoon tea is of course the tea itself. We could choose from a selection of loose leaf tea blends. For £38 per person we could enjoy an afternoon tea with items that could be replenished on request. For an additional £10 there was the option to upgrade to a nice glass of champagne. Since at night we were going for birthday drinks in a sky bar, we have chosen to opt this out.
Starting with the sandwiches, they came in five different flavours. There was no doubt that the classics were smoked salmon with cream cheese & rye and the duck egg with truffle mayonnaise. Then coronation chicken with mango & coriander, ham with alexandra cheese and cured angus beef with horse radish really provided an innovative twist on the sandwich selection. They were delicious on their own way but for everything there is a winner, right? The coronation chicken was really my favourite and I could not resist but to refill it.
For the scones, they were served in a batch of twelve pieces covered under a white cloth. They came with clotted cream, honey, blackberry & fig jam. I enjoyed trying out each of them. The scones had a crunchy crust with a soft inside.
As for the sweet part of the afternoon tea, this was a dessert paradise stealing the heart of everyone with a sweet-tooth. It consisted of five pastries: pumpkin cake, chocolate stout & pear choux bun, sea buckthorn meringue tart, café mocha cake and chocolate pecan bar. The pumpkin cake was definitely my favourite. I especially liked the combination of the pumpkin taste with the sweet vanilla cream.
Overall, the menu items, ambience, view and staff has made it all a very unique and good experience. With only an one-hour flight away, I will definitely come back for more.
Have you been to Oblix at the Shard before or did you have an unique afternoon tea experience somewhere else? I’d love to know.
Until next time!
(Disclaimer: I was a guest of Oblix. All opinions are my own.)