Highly Recommended: Autumn Afternoon Tea 32 Floors Above London At Oblix
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"Ooh, look at the Thameslink trains."
"Eat your scones."
"Theres goes the Thames Clipper boat."
"Eat your scones."
"LOOK how many buses there are on London Bridge."
"Would you stop looking out the window and just eat your damn scones".
With afternoon tea — or any meal — served in surroundings as impressive as those at Oblix, there's always a worry that the food will be mediocre at best, relying on the views to do most of the heavy lifting.
Not the case here, with the autumnal afternoon tea, created in collaboration with pastry brand Maitre Choux. The sandwich selection is solid — if basic for somewhere as ritzy as this — although the chef's been a little heavy-handed with the horseradish on the beef.
A hefty dose of fancy comes with the scones though. Jam? Check. Cream? Check. And what's this? We've eaten our fair share of afternoon teas, and this is the first that has seen honeycomb served as a scone accompaniment. And yes, we were all ready to write about how innovative it was to try honey with scones, but it just doesn't work, blah, blah... but you know what? It does work, stopping short of teetering into sickly sweet territory. The jam, too, is worth a mention for its freshness and tart fruitiness, dodging the sugar-riddled trap that many preserves fall into.
The cakes are where the afternoon tea really shines. The centrepiece is that Maitre Choux eclair, sticky toffee flavoured, and as much like a little taste of autumn as you can get without chewing on fallen leaves. A hundred times more appealing, too.
The mandarin and sherry cheesecake is an odd one, the first bite very herby (oregano? Basil? Not sure). The second bite might as well be a whole different cake — all herby promises are gone, replaced with the all-encompassing fruity flavour we were expecting.
As for those views? Magnificent, even on a drizzly, misty October afternoon. Watching daylight turn to twilight as London life goes on below you is quite the treat. Afternoon tea is served in Oblix West, so expect to come face to face with the likes of St Paul's, the London Eye and the BT Tower — and if you really press your nose to the glass, the skyscraper cluster of the Square Mile.
Afternoon tea is served until 4.30pm, so if you book a later slot in November, you'll even catch the sunset from that westward view.
Maitre Choux afternoon tea at Oblix at The Shard. £42 per person, available until end of November 2019. Take a look at the other newly-launched afternoon teas in London, including a rather fancy 1920s-themed affair.
Last Updated 30 October 2019