Aqua Shard

Afternoon tea, British·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Aqua Shard

Bronze Award

No stranger to high-rise dining, this isn’t the only Aqua site to find its home at The Shard, with the same sleek and stylish interiors and attentive service that you would expect from the group.  

From the moment we descend the central staircase the tone is set. It’s sophisticated, but not overly so, retaining a relaxed feel that’s fitting for such a popular tourist destination. The dining room is vast, seeming to go on and on, the view changing with every step. And yet, despite its size and lofty ceilings the place is abuzz. There’s a giddy excitement from those who’ve bagged seats right by the floor-to-ceiling windows and we cannot pretend to be immune from the splendour of dining at this 31st floor location.  

A set menu lunch is on the cards, although it’s almost identical to the offerings of the evening a la carte, with three courses and additional wine pairing options. Dishes here put the focus on the presentation. A flower made of whiskey-cured salmon arrives atop a perfect circle of well-seasoned egg gribiche; dainty shallot rings bring the whole dish together and it’s clear that design isn’t at the expense of the flavour.  

Mains, while enjoyable, don’t quite hold their own against such a fantastic start to the meal. The cod lacks seasoning and a crisp outer skin and just doesn’t live up to the delightful saffron scent that hits the moment the dish is set down. Desserts, however, bring us right back on board: a Baileys cheesecake is as colourful as it is delicious, with a vibrant rhubarb gel casing and decorative flowers that just beg to be photographed. A lemon tart with ginger ice cream is a winning combination in our eyes and we’re glad to have taken the recommendation. 

A spot that could easily lean on the environment to fill its seats, Aqua Shard holds its own with its buzzing atmosphere, perceptive service and high-quality cuisine.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Afternoon tea, British
Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury, Romantic, Traditional, Unique
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions


Swankily appointed and fully refurbished, Aqua Shard has one astonishing selling point – it is 31 floors up on the Shard (London's tallest building, no less), with floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views, mainly across the urban sprawl leading to the North Downs. The 360-degree views of London and the location alone should just about guarantee a full house every night, but it would be remiss to minimise the sterling contribution to the Aqua Shard menu made by the stellar kitchen team. 

With some mains breaking the £40 barrier, eating here isn’t cheap, but in return you’ll be offered some skilfully rendered and reassuringly seasonal modern British food. The Aqua Shard menu kicks off with starters such as a tuna and smoked duck with bergamot dressing or burrata with fennel and tomato marmalade and citrus olive oil. Aqua Shard’s main courses are compact but similarly tempting - options include pan-roasted Cornish sea bass with a pearl barley and mussel risotto, as well as beef fillet, caramelised onions, crispy potato and mushroom gravy. Dishes suitable for vegetarians meanwhile include English sprouting broccoli or skinny fries topped with parmesan and truffle shavings. 

Aqua Shard is also a popular choice for afternoon tea in London. Currently, the restaurant serves a family-friendly Peter Pan afternoon tea, with fun nods to the classic novel and feature film, such as sweet pastry biscuits with gold fairy dust and jellies shaped like crocodiles. A special children’s afternoon tea is available, as well as a Champagne afternoon tea for grown-ups. 

Aqua Shard is also open for a three-course weekend brunch, which takes a classic route with dishes like eggs benedict, bacon waffles and English breakfast, before finishing you off with a trifle or a bitter chocolate mousse. Whenever you decide to ascend the Shard to take in some of London's best views, Aqua Shard is on hand to make sure you're well fed and watered.


This venue also offers

Hutong at The Shard
Private Group Dining

Hutong at The Shard

Hutong at The Shard

Hutong at The Shard

Aqua Shard
Private Group Dining

Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard (bar)

Aqua Shard (bar)

Aqua Shard
Christmas Parties

Aqua Shard


Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9RY

020 3011 1256 020 3011 1256


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 10:00-14:30
Sun 10:00-14:30
Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Afternoon Tea
Mon 12:15-16:15
Tue 12:15-16:15
Wed 12:15-16:15
Thu 12:15-16:15
Fri 12:15-16:15
Sat 12:15-16:15
Sun 12:15-16:15
Mon 18:00-10:30
Tue 18:00-10:30
Wed 18:00-10:30
Thu 18:00-10:30
Fri 18:00-10:30
Sat 18:00-10:30
Sun 18:00-10:30
Mon 12:00-22:30
Tue 12:00-22:30
Wed 12:00-22:30
Thu 12:00-00:00
Fri 12:00-00:00
Sat 12:00-00:00
Sun 12:00-22:30


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83 Reviews 

Andrew G

03 September 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Christian G

24 July 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Mark R

23 April 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4


07 April 2023  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 1
Whatever you do, don’t trust the reviews. The food is average at best. 
You are paying for the view. The service is slow, and it seems that you are more of a hindrance than actually
someone they want to care for.
It is not what you would definitely expect for a
high classic restaurant.

John M

19 February 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 4

Good day

service was ok but busy our meal was left in the side for 5 mins before bring to our table 

but overall the atmosphere was very good 

Diane N

26 January 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4

Great setting, food and service, pretty faultless except quite pricey for what you get ........ I will be back ..... why no hooks on the toilet doors for coats/bags?!

Tony F

07 November 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
What a view ??

Amazing views, incredible food and wonderful staff. Great night out.

Uche E

15 August 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The food was delightful. I really enjoyed the sea bass as the main course and the desert. Excellent service. The ambience and setting was just perfect. 

Julie H

08 August 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Fantastic experience from start to finish. Excellent team of staff who added to the overall experience.

Amazing views of London

Grace T

29 May 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 5
Great experience

Top notch 

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