Possibly the one place in London where you can’t see The Shard is in The Shard itself; instead, stellar views of the capital – from Battersea Power Station to Canary Wharf and beyond – spread out from every side of the glass pinnacle.
These are best enjoyed at sunset, with a cocktail at the Shangri-La Hotel’s Gong bar on the 52nd floor or at the viewing platform open to the elements on the 72nd floor. To see the personality of the city change from on high as night falls, book in for dinner at the Ting restaurant; better still, splash out on a hotel room and have the spectacle all to yourself.
It’s difficult to focus on the food when staring agog out the window, but Ting’s Asian-influenced menu is full of beautiful distractions, such as langoustine risotto and lamb loin with sake.
Shangri-La’s bedrooms all face out, which makes pulling down the blinds and sinking into the plump mattresses a challenging prospect at the end of the day. Best to sleep with them open and wake to the city coming back to life at dawn.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard occupies the 34th to 52nd floors of the Shard building, and has 202 guestrooms, a ground-floor deli, restaurant, bar and infinity pool. Mains in the restaurant,Ting, start at £20.
The View from The Shard, on the top floors, opens daily from 10am (to 10pm April to October and Thursday to Saturday year-round, and to 7pm Sunday to Wednesday November to March). It’s best to book your time slot ahead, to avoid possible queues.
The nearest Underground and national train station is at London Bridge, on the Northern and Jubilee tube lines and with train services from southeast England.