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.