Have you ever had an experience that was so special, so unique, that it was practically perfect in every way? A place that was so magical that you want to lock the memories away in a little locket and hold them close to your heart forever so you can remember every small detail for the rest of your life?
Well I am extremely lucky and so grateful to say that I got those exact feelings this weekend when I was invited to dine above the clouds at The Shard’s magical Mary Poppins themed Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard via my favourite food company ‘Bookatable’. And I have to say, that this has been the absolute highlight since my time working as a blogger so far!
You lot have got to know me well the last few months, and by now you know how much of a sucker I am for anything and everything Disney themed. And of course how much I just adore all things cake, chocolate, sweets..you name it. So when you put the two together, well what could be more perfect? Nothing I tell ya!
In my eyes the whole world of Disney is just beyond magical and wonderful and everything they touch turns to gold. I actually remember the day I saw the announcement on Instagram that Aqua Shard were bringing out an iconic Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea in preparation for the upcoming Christmas film release. The excitement I felt was on another level. However you know what it is like when something incredible and brand new arrives in London, the whole world and its wife wants in, and I found myself struggling to find a booking. The excitement soon turned to a sinking feeling of ‘will I ever get the chance to visit this dream experience?’ Fast forward a few months to Christmas, and the release of the film, which was just a total dream. I, as well as the whole country was well and truly in Mary Poppins fever and did not want that buzz to go away any time soon. Disney had got it spot on once again! But I still had not got a chance to visit that dreamy dreamy tea! Cue sob!
So when the email of all emails landed in my inbox on a freezing cold, miserable February afternoon from the amazing ‘Bookatable’ asking if I wanted to try one of their themed afternoon teas, where the Mary Poppins tea was an option on their amazing list of experiences, I practically flew off my chair in excitement. Was I dreaming? Was this a joke? Somebody pinch me. DISNEY DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!
Because of my TV work commitments I have spent all of March and half of April working away on location at a studio in Bristol (which I promise to fill you in on as soon as I can). Despite having the most incredible time away, it is always really hard working away from the hubs. He is always so supportive of my career and has never held me back even though doing long distance is a total nightmare. So with that time apart looming ahead of us I booked the tea for the day I officially finished and would move back to London, knowing it would give us both something really special to look forward to. Despite it being a long two month wait until I got to visit the tea of DREAMS I was just so grateful for Bookatable for giving me such an incredible opportunity.
Six weeks flew by in a blink and the day had arrived. My excitement levels were BEYOND!!!!! I was finally getting to visit the tea I had spent the last two months thinking about/counting down too.
Do you ever have the worry that when you are looking forward to something for so long it wont be as amazing as you had hoped for? I always do this, and as the day grew nearer I started to worry that The Shard wouldn’t actually be my cup of tea. I worried it would be too posh and formal with a bit of a stuffy atmosphere. But oh my goodness, I was made to eat humble pie (or treacle pie if were going down that road…right enough go the tea puns Sammy) because it was my favourite place i’ve been to in London so far.
As the lift doors opened, and we descended onto the 31st floor, my jaw dropped open as before my eyes was the most buzzy, vibrant, stunning restaurant surrounded by the most INCREDIBLE views of London. I knew at that second that this was going to be a day to remember forever.
We were very quickly ushered to our seats, right against the window where the whole of London could be seen and we were in total shock at how stunning the restaurant was. We were very kindly given complimentary champagne which was such a lovely surprise, and could choose to add in a special flavoured potion of our choice to give the champagne some flavour. I choose the strawberry, whilst the hubs went for the rum punch.
It is extremely fitting that the Mary Poppins tea is 1000 feet above ground as Mary is famous for arriving through the sky and it just feels like every small detail has been thought about. I mean if this tea was served in a quirky underground basement restaurant it wouldn’t quite have the same effect would it! With this tea, it felt as if Mary could fly past and wave to us with her umbrella at any moment. Oh wouldn’t that have been wonderful!
Now let’s get down to business.. the food, and let me tell you, it was a TREAT. Every single part of the tea was absolutely wonderful and so ridiculously yummy. The presentation alone was enough to make me want to cry happy tears, I mean look at it; a tea stand fitted with Mary’s boots and umbrella. Have you ever seen anything more adorable?
First up were a selection of finger sandwiches and mini crumpets. I am very fussy so just had ham sandwiches, but the hubs had every single flavour on offer and confirmed they were delicious. (Sadly he scoffed them down so quickly that I didn’t even get the chance for a photo- I’m sorry what a piggy!)
Next up were freshly baked scones which we could top up with home made plum and raspberry jam, with clotted cream. And the way this was served to us nearly sent me over the edge. Our delightful waiter arrived with Mary’s iconic bag, and the next thing we knew four steaming hot scones were being pulled out of the bag. Just like magic! Such a fab and fun surprise and it is the little details like that which made the experience so unique and memorable.
The delicious sweet treats consisted of a fluffy pink victoria sponge, a golden gingerbread star shaped biscuit, a ‘cherry tree lane’ dark chocolate mousse, a golden syrup tart with raspberries and my personal favourite… cherry flavoured candy floss. It felt like we were eating the clouds that floated next to us. Every single treat was so detailed and scrumptious I never wanted it to end.
I also just have to mention the atmosphere of the restaurant. With loud Disney instrumental music constantly playing and the waiters being dressed up in adorable pin striped suits (which made me feel like I was at The Magic Kingdom) it was just such a special place to be. I could have honestly spent hours sitting there soaking up every bit of the magical atmosphere.
The Manager revealed to us that this tea took 18 months of meticulous planning, and it was totally clear to see this as so much detail and effort has gone behind this totally brilliant experience. I honestly had the most nostalgic trip down Cherry Tree Lane and Aqua Shard have truly outdone themselves and have done P L Travers and Disney proud.
Thank you Bookatable for such a wonderful, wonderful day. It is always so brilliant working with you, but this experience was on another level. I will remember it forever.
The Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea will be served until November 2019, so to get a slice of the action you can book via Bookatable right here. I promise it will be the most magical time.
Disclaimer- I was kindly invited to review this restaurant via Bookatable. They kindly paid for this experience however all views and opinions are my own.