An evening at the Shard

“Nothing is certain in London but expense.”
William Shenstone, 1743

This couldn’t be more true when it comes to this blog post. But once in a while you just have to treat yourself – am I right?

So for this post I thought I share with you my experience at the Shard. I was able to visit the Shard a couple of weeks ago as part of a Hen Night.

The night actually begun a couple hours prior when we, the hen and her entourage, hitIMG_20170729_174648 Dirty Martini at Liverpool Street for a couple of pre-drinks. Dirty Martini is a great place to start of the night as their drinks are awesome and the happy hour even better – two for one martinis? YES PLEASE. Only downside is the wait for your drinks – but good things take time. So order at least four at a time.

So after a couple of martinis it was time to make our way to the Shard. We took a cab and so glad we did. There are multiple entrances, but the cab driver dropped us of at the right one: the entrance for the Oblix restaurant. 

After passing through an airport style security check, we made our way up to the 32nd floor where the restaurant is located. The elevator trip couldn’t be quicker, but shame there was no way to look outside, as you can from the lift at Sushisamba

Once there the friendly hostesses take you to the table – reservation is key as this place gets busy. We had a lovely table near the window. The interior is chic but relaxed – no white linen. 

Straight away a waiter attended our table and introduced us to the menu – short but sweet. We worked our way through it and started off with some rosé, flat breads and cheese. How delicious does that look? 

 

This was followed by our starters. The bride choose lobster & scallop ceviche, I went for the crispy squid with chilli & lime.

Then it was time for the main….and OMG. This was one of the best steaks I have ever had. Mouthwatering.

And just to make sure we were really full, we shared a small dessert – chocolate truffles. 

As the quote suggest the night wasn’t cheap. The meal set me back approx. £75 but I’d say it is worth it for a 4 course meal including wine, view and excellent service.

We stayed for a couple more drinks which are also amazing but shortly made our way onward as there was one last surprise for the bride-to-be: SILENT DISCO!

The silent disco takes place on the 69th floor of the shard – and yes it is as high as it sounds. But before you go up you unfortunately need to make your way down first. There is no direct lift from the restaurant to the silent disco.

So down we went to find the separate entrance to the silent disco, which was just around the corner and a good opportunity to get some fresh air. 

Once you are up on the 69th floor you receive your headphones and you are ready to go. You can choose between three different DJ’s that are playing that night – each of them has their own color: greenn blue or red. Their equipment is also illuminated in their color. This way you can match the DJ with the music you listen to. 

The dance floor area is not large – it is a square with a staircase in the middle. You can walk around and admire the view whilst you listen to your favorite station. And the views are incredible. 

You can even go up to the 72nd floor via the staircase and you are literally at the TOP of the highest building in western Europe. Pretty amazing!

And while you’re up there don’t forget to visit the loo, I promise you will never have a better view when using one 😉

loo

 

See you next time,

Isabella x

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My top 5 views in London

As you know I lived in London for many year. Nine to be precise. Time is flying when you’re having fun! And I certainly did have a good time living in London. I mean how could you not? With all the restaurants, bars, museums, galleries and events going on. Do you see how I put food and drinks first? I got my priorities right…

Over the years I visited some lovely bars, restaurants and venues and some of them had stunning views over the city. I thought I share my top five views that I got to visit and also include some I’d still like to try. So here we go:

  1. Duck & Waffle: The highest 24/7 restaurant in London and famous for their – of course – duck & waffle breakfast. I visited the restaurant, which is located on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, twice over the years. It offers ‘traditional British cuisine with broad European influences emphasizing local, rustic, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.’ And while you tuck into your breakfast, brunch, dinner or lunch you get to enjoy this stunning 360 degree view:
  2. SushiSamba: Also located in 110 Bishopsgate, just one floor below, is Sushi Samba. Sushi Samba offers a fantastic menu combining  a ‘blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine’. And same as it’s neighbor it offers a 360 degree view of London. While Duck & Waffle is popular for their breakfast and brunch, Sushi Samba is popular for dinner and drinks – even offering an outside terrace for drinks. Same as Duck and Waffle, I visited Sushi Samba twice and wouldn’t hesitate to visit again for their amazing cocktails. So make sure you check out their menu and book a table plenty in advance.

     

  3.  Emirates Air Line: It’s a short ride but with some beautiful views over East London, The O2 and the Thames – the Emirates Air Line. The Emirates Air Line is a cable car that ‘crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks’. The ‘cabins arrive every 30 seconds and flights are approximately 10 minutes each way’ – usually shorter during rush hour. As part of London Underground tickets can be purchased via cash, card (including contactless) and Oyster Card. Definitely worth taking a ride to see these views:
  4.  Sky Garden:  Sky Garden is located near Monument Station and is therefore located in the heart of the City. 155m up it offers stunning views which can be enjoyed over three floors. ‘Visitors can wander around the landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden.’ As well as that Sky Garden puts on different events, including Sunrise Yoga and live music sessions. Make sure to check their events calendar.And apart from several restaurants and bars the venue also offers a limited number of tickets to visit Sky Garden free of charge each day. Tickets can be booked via their website and are high in demand. Because I had a specific date and time in mind I actually set myself a reminder approx. three months beforehand to book my place. Have a look at my visit here:
  5. Debenhams Roof Garden: Located conveniently on Oxford Circus the Debenhams Roof Garden overlooks the busy streets and shops of the City. So if you are looking to escape the sometimes maniac and crowded shops, stop by the Debenhams Roof Garden. It offers a variety of drink and food outlets including cute bunting and a flower garden. Similar to to Sky Garden it also puts on regular fitness and beauty events as well as a gardening workshop every month!

 

So there you have it: my top five views over London. What are your favorite spots to watch the busy world (or City) go by?

On my to do list are still: Altitude located in Millbank Tower near Pimlico Station, Vista at The Trafalgar which as the name suggests overlooks Trafalgar Square, Aqua Spirit overlooks Regent Street and is a really popular venue at the moment,  and last but not least Madison Roof Top Bar  on the top floor of One New Change with ‘supreme views across the City of London skyline’ and St.Pauls Cathedral.

Thanks for stopping by guys,

Isabella.