Want to know how to spend the day in London? This is it! a visit to The View From The Shard followed by champagne afternoon tea at The Balcon in The Sofitel st James.
The shard had been on my London bucket list for some time. I love London and enjoy finding out every bit of information that there is to know.
When we approached the shard I was stunned at how magnificent it looked, I had never been this upclose and personal with it. I had seen it from a distance and going up and looking at London from such a height was on my Bucket list. Having the chance from Red Letter days to go with my Bestie Sarah at Extraordinary Chaos made the trip even better.
The shard is Londons highest viewing platform and and 4th tallest building in europe. It is a must do when visiting london to see the city in its full glory.
The entrance is pretty impressive with viewing screens showing how the Shard fits in with city life including animations on the lifts inside the building.
I know I agreed to go up the shard but I didn’t take into account actually how you would get up there. I did say to Sarah “oh yes we are going up!’ I need not of worried as the lift system is completely effortless and travels at an astonishing 6 metres per second.
The lift in itself is amazing with a panoramic view of the Thames on the ceiling which changes as the sun moves over from night to day. In fact you would not realise you were even in a lift if it were not for the fact the number of floors scrolls past quicker than you can think, however I did need to pop my ears at the top though.
The lift system comprises of two lifts and in-between you will find the transfer zone floor 33 where you can follow the thames along the floor. Hop in to lift number 2 and you arrive at floor 69.
There is an audio and visual guide available which gives you over a thousand years of history at your fingertips, It will show you all of the iconic buildings and places that you can see and detailed and historic facts on them.
You can spend as much time as you need admiring the view and listening to stories on the audio such as tales of the window cleaners who have the astonishing task of cleaning over 11,000 panes of glass in the sky.
So your first stop is the viewing platform on floor 69, Floor to ceiling glass and the most amazing 360˚ panoramic view. We were not particularly lucky with the weather on our visit but the views were stunning just the same.
I did not realise just how high it was having visited the monument last year it looked so small from where I was standing in the palace in the sky. You can just see the Monuments golden statue to the left of the walkie talkie (20 Fenchurch street ) building in this photo. I can remember feeling slightly on edge at the height then up the Monument but the Shard felt different and so secure.
Let’s not forget the highlight of floor 69 the Lanson Champagne bar! we simply had to try a glass and stand back and admire the view. Rosè or classic brut served in a flute so many feet up up in the sky.
The next floor you can visit is floor 72, which is open to the sky! Grass lays at your feet and you are completely open to the elements in our case rain! sitting 244 metres high you can buy drinks and snacks from this platform also and spend as much time as you like admiring the view.
It does seem strange to be so high up yet see the sky and feel so safe at the same time.
There are also guest ambassadors on hand to answer any of your questions or even take your photo. It is also advisable to travel light as there are no cloakrooms to visit the The View From The Shard.
Just remember don’t look down!
The views are truly amazing you could spend ages trying to work out where all of the iconic buildings are. There is an great view of the Tower of London and the HMS Belfast, and it gives to a good idea of how easily accessible the whole of London really is.
As if that wasn’t enough a trip to the Balcon at the Sofitel rounded our day up. Sandwiches, scones and cakes with free flowing champagne in the most exquisite surrounding.
Traditional Style sandwiches followed by a choice of scones including chocolate which I didn’t even know existed, and the most pretty French style deserts to share.
All served with lashings jam, Lemon curd and my favourite clotted cream.
Plenty of champagne was served ahead of and during the whole time we were there.
I loved the choice of teas from Japanese, rose bud and even Macaron Cassis Violette! ( my choice )
Sarah had her eye on the raspberry macaron but we decided to share as we just could not choose.
The Hotel is really beautiful and made the perfect end to our day, The Balcon is so elegant and exquisite in its surroundings. Two spiral staircases incase the bar and even the lights are truly stunning, I spent ages admiring the decor.
I hope you have enjoyed The View From The Shard with Red Letter Days followed by Champagne at The Balcon.
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