Aqua Shard

Afternoon tea, British·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Aqua Shard

Silver Award

Swankily appointed and fully refrubished, Aqua Shard has one astonishing USP – it is 31 floors up on the Shard (Europe'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 heritage beetroot salad with radishes, apple dressing, raspberry and beetroot leaf crisp or seared Orkney scallops topped with a burnt apple puree. 

Mains meanwhile, are split between dishes ‘from the sea’, ‘from the land’ and from the ‘market garden’ (a selection of vegetarian and vegan small plates). Tempting main courses on Aqua Shard’s menu include pan-roasted sea bass with a shellfish and saffron risotto, as well as Barbary duck breast with butter crushed turnips and roasted figs. 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 Mary Poppins afternoon tea, with fun nods to the classic novel and feature film, such as scones served in Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpet bag and a cake stand shaped to look like the magical nanny’s umbrella. Afternoon tea at the Shard kicks off with a selection of savouries, such as an egg and black truffle sandwich, and a miniature crumpet topped with Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese. 

Once you’ve finished with the savouries, you’ll enjoy freshly-baked scones with homemade jam and Cornish clotted cream, before finishing up with sweet treats such as fairground candy floss and Mary’s chocolate and cherry hat. A special children’s afternoon tea is available, as well as a Champagne afternoon tea for grown-ups.   

Aqua Shard is also open for breakfast and weekend brunch. Just remember, whichever time of the day you’re eating here, prices will be as sky-high as the views.

Good to know

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

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 Events

£78Forgotten British Dishes
Special Dinner
Forgotten British Dishes

20 Oct 2021 until 26 Oct 2021

Following the success of last year’s ‘Forgotten British Menu’ at Aqua Shard, journalist and broadcaster Matthew Fort, and Anthony Garlando - Executive Chef at Aqua Shard, have created an all-new selection of autumnal dishes to mark the change of season. Continuing a quest to revive and reinterpret dishes lost over time, this new menu celebrates the quality and characteristics of seasonal ingredients and draws inspiration from the techniques and traditions with which our ancestors used them. £78pp for four courses, English wine pairing supplement £49pp.

More Details

Location for Aqua Shard

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

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

Reviews of Aqua Shard

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71 Reviews 

paolo A

Best Restaurant in London
13 December 2019  

Outstanding view and food to match ! staff is friendly and helpful and made our experience very memorable. 

Food & Drink


Absolutely amazing !
13 December 2019  

outstanding view where you can enjoy London skyline from every angel ! Delicious fancy food and drinks

Food & Drink

Michael G

Food not bad, if overpriced,but let down by service
15 July 2019   - Verified Diner

Service awful - Started badly by reception staff smiling alot but not listening - or understanding - arrived about 20 mins early but request for a drink at the bar first ignored, vaguely on the grounds we would lose our table?; had to ask repeatedly for our initial drinks and some bread; similarly had to wait several minutes for our vegetables while food going cold; glasses topped up unecessarily every couple of minutes; being asked same questions by different staff who clearly didn't understand what they were asking, what the answer was or what to do with it; music way too loud; food not bad but incredibly over priced for what it was.  Not impressed - Oblix and Hutong much better Shard experiences in our view.

Food & Drink

John B

Not impressed
30 December 2018  
My second visit to the shard to eat but my first at Aqua Shard, Ive eaten many times at Darwins Brasserie in the Sky Gardens(far superior in everyway).This place is great for tourists and this menu is aimed at that market.This is a great pity as a lot of folk book it as a treat for an occasion, dont!. They don't care, this is as clear as day as they have a captive market. Every aspect is like a conveyor belt, the food is clearly served from a buffet table as NONE OF IT IS FRESHLY COOKED. We arrived 25 minutes early as we hoped to catch some friends already seated. We booked in being told to wait at the bar as the table wasn't ready, fine we could see our friends.If we had to wait at the bar there was no seating, you have to stand, there is a large open area at the base of the stairs where seating could easily be provided. We returned to reception at 2.30 we were escorted to a table with 2 females already seated, the waiter said you're sitting here with these, i said no we're not.. he then panicked going on to his head set, we then were seated as far away from the view as possible, I asked for alternative and something was mumbled to me, it was so dark we could hardly see the menu. Although we hoped to be seated near our friends we are at the complete opposite end. The staff faff around but appear not to do much, There are a lot of them, no one introduces themselves or explains anything, but on the whole polite, however they seem like agency staff. The wine menu is horrendously expensive as are the cocktails, clearly this is pushed, we ordered tap water a half glass arrived and was topped up once after we requested.We also ordered 2 diet cokes, they have to be the smallest bottles ive seen, they looked embarrassing, not only that they were 4 quid a pop..! We ordered the parfait and the buttermilk pancakes, they both arrived promptly, The pancakes should read pancake as you see from the picture its one small one with a miserable single rasher of bacon. Mine was the parfait(pictured) the pate itself was delicious but the brioche toast was old and stale , I returned it, they brought back an even more stale slice, the plates are clearly pre portioned, i was brought another from the line, the freshness was not checked at all..There was bread on the table, thank heavens as eating a blob of pate without is not fun.The syrup for the pancake arrived about 5 minutes after it was served. Our mains were beef with veg, yorkshires and roast potatoes, baby roast chicken, i asked to replace the roast potatoes with chips, we had the same sides.Its an extra 4.95 for the beef, a rip off for 2 slices of beef. My chicken was like road kill, boiled and flashed on a grill. The so called sauce arrived 10 minutes in to the main-courses, a tiny jug, we were told to share, the pot was so hot you'd get 3 degree burns, it tasted of gravy granules with LOADS of soy sauce in which my partner hates. The roast potatoes had been cooked the day before were inedible, we noted other diners were leaving a lot on their plates.the veg was thrown on the in fact the plates looked a fright. The biggest problem was the cafeteria standard , it was all REHEATED.. Do not come here if you are expecting a high standard of food, you wont get it. Finally we were given the pudding menu, and then left, not even the order taken, the copious amounts of staff all friends came over as they were leaving and said don't bother too much about the puds as they weren't all that, the cheesecake was a blop on a plate tasting of nothing. they left I called the manager over stating she could see our menus were still on the table waiting 20 minutes. I explained we didn't want to wait longer and could the bill reflect the non desserts. Our bill was 92 pounds with 2 small diet cokes, the desserts were taken off. The set menu for 3 courses is 44 pounds excluding service charge.This is poor food served by staff who are nice but not interested. All in all, an appalling afternoon, I will give credit where credit is due, but I cannot here.Buyer beware.
Food & Drink

Graham B

The worst restaurant in London
21 April 2018  
Tiny portions, tasteless, coffee delivered after starters, waited 90 minutes for main course, staff uncoordinated. How can they charge £17 for 3 asapargus tips and 3 almonds, then £38 for three 50p size pieces of lamb. A planned weekend with friends totally ruined.....never again......
Food & Drink

Jason A

21 March 2018  
Superb Scandinavian food and drinks. Excellent value for the set menu. Just could not fault the quality and choices. Modern comfortable and good location. Would recommend o all those who love fishy things with a twist.

Avril G

15 June 2017  
Delicious food, good place to bring clients.


30 May 2017  
The food was good, ambience, view is attractive, the price is OK.

Rachel G

04 May 2017  
I have been to the Shard many times (usually business meetings arranged by other parties); whilst the view is excellent I can't say the same for the food. It is cold, bland and unexciting. If I had to pay for it I simply wouldn't! I have also experienced afternoon tea which was equally as disappointing. I think it lacks quality and organisation.

Lauren F

04 May 2017  
Very expensive, however, a good location to bring clients to.
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