Dispatch From London: New Garden at the Top of the Shard

The View from the Shard

As the weather becomes balmy in London, urbanites flock to the city’s parks for picnics or a spot of Afternoon Tea. The newest place to indulge in sweet treats is the View at the Shard-- the sky-high attraction at the top of the tallest skyscraper in western Europe. Landscaped with beautiful flowers, the View at the Shard has been transformed into a summer garden—complete with a row of reclining deck chairs and gentle birdsong played over the sound system.

The View at the Shard teamed up with Fortnum & Mason, the legendary purveyor of fine gourmet products, to offer an Afternoon Tea experience for guests. There are four different picnic blankets set up in the corners of the top viewing platform (level 72), laid atop the artificial grass that’s been installed for the occasion. The picnic “hamperling” contains classic finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, a miniature jar of raspberry jam, and Fortnum & Mason’s signature Royal Blend tea. It’s also possible to add Champagne when ordering.

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Garden at the Shard

Sittings are available daily from June 23 to September 8, 2015 for two persons maximum per blanket, with reservations at 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6 pm. The price is £85 for two people and includes tickets to the View at the Shard. The View at the Shard is a fantastic place to scope out London’s attractions- with vistas up to 40 miles- as the wind blows through your hair.

Another option for savoring the views is the fabulous Gong bar at the Shangri-La hotel, which occupies the 52nd floor of the Shard. The sumptuous Afternoon Tea at the Shangri-La is also a not-to-miss experience—as much for the fabulous eats as for the sigh-worthy views. (The Ting Lounge is on the 35th floor.)

Photos: The View from the Shard/ Mary W Nicklin

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