Chances are by now you’ve been to Aqua Shard for drinks, but how about brunch? This isn’t just any brunch though this is the quaffing Champagne whilst eating lobster benedict and taking in the views from the 32nd level sort of brunch.
We headed up to the dizzying heights last weekend, make sure you get a reservation, by the time we left the queues were starting to snake around the corner and when it’s windy and cold that’s not fun for anyone. Once upstairs you’re whisked inside through the glass doors, and hit with staggering views of London, it really is breath-taking. The restaurant is very open as it should be, with dark wooden floors, hanging lights and royal purple and blue jewels of colour and of course swamped in natural light.
Available on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays between 10:30am and 3:30pm brunch is a lavish affair with three courses with dishes such as game terrine with toasted sourdough, beetroot cured salmon with aromatic jelly and trout roe, baked eggs with crab soldiers and beef rump with Welsh eggs. I had heard mixed things about the food at Aqua Shard, some saying it was wonderful, others saying it came second to the view, although the front of house manager, David assured us that whether they were on the 32nd floor or not, food always came first. That said at £48 for three courses of brunch (which excludes drinks) you do have to accept that you are somewhat paying for the view – but then again what a view it is.
We started with the lobster benedict – that’s right lose the ham and replace it with Colchester Blue lobster, surprisingly it wasn’t too rich, the poached egg was. We also went for the Heritage courgette and squash salad infused in Earl Grey tea, beautifully presented with the tea coming through just enough but remaining subtle it was the perfect late autumn salad.
We followed this with the smoked salmon and caviar omelette, with a generous portion of salmon the only thing that could have been added was perhaps a little spinach, or something to break it up. The gammon steak came with a Cumberland sausage which was a little dry served with poached eggs and onion marmalade, it was delicious but it just needed something to bring it together, it felt like separate items on a plate.
To finish choose the 70% chocolate pecan tart if you can manage it, decadent, rich in perfect, light crumbly pastry; or if you can’t manage it then opt for the summer fruit trifle, a little lighter but still indulgent.
An extra mention has to go to the service, it was impeccable, for the number of people in the restaurant – every table was full, the service was quick, efficient and they were friendly, a word of warning if you have a table with direct views then be prepared for guests to come right up to your table to try and take photos, although the waiters will move them along.
It’s not the place to go for your weekly brunch, but when you want to impress someone, treat yourself or just want to admire London in all its glory, Aqua Shard can’t be beaten.