Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
A playful journey down memory lane, with an exciting series of nostalgic and creative sweets and savouries that pay homage to Travers’ books. Was Aqua Shard’s Mary Poppins themed afternoon tea practically perfect in every way?

Over three weeks ago, I met up with my lovely friend Vicky (Foodie for Thought), as we both share a love of afternoon tea. We had booked Aqua Shard’s Mary Poppins afternoon tea back in the summer, but the earliest we could get in was November! It was a busy Saturday afternoon, but my first time up The Shard and the first time in ages we were able to catch up, so I was really looking forward to it.
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
First of all, I’d like to mention the theme, which was wonderfully presented throughout. From the gold gilt mirror menus (which were impossible to photograph and equally hard to read) and the medicinal liquors waiting on our tables, to Mary Poppins’ trademark carpet bag and even the cake stand itself – there was no denying this was a themed tea. I particularly loved the chinaware, illustrated with motifs from the book and said cake stand, which was custom-made and complete with umbrella top.
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
Our first decision was to choose our tea: Mary (faintly sweet and floral with rose) or Bert (subtly sweet and smoky with vanilla). I’m personally not a fan of anything floral, but we both chose Bert’s tea, which was nice enough. At this point, we also decided we’d take advantage of the medicinal liquor and opted for a flute of champagne. With three bottles to choose from: rum punch, strawberry (gin) or lime cordial (vodka), we both opted for strawberry. Unfortunately, it was very much style-over-substance and we were in agreement that the liquor added nothing to the colour or flavour of the champagne. A shame, as it was a cute extra. I even added an additional pipette to my flute – but nothing!
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
 Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
Onto the food and unusually, I was team savoury! Vicky ate the truffled egg sandwiches (which she said were divine), as well as the honey roast ham & mustard ones. I tried the cheese ploughman’s which were okay, but ultimately just cheese & pickle. As Vicky doesn’t like fish/seafood, I lucked out with double portions of crab & cucumber brioche (incredibly light, fresh and yummy) and miniature crumpets topped with cream cheese & smoked salmon (got me wanting this for brunch at home) – so can’t complain,

Our waiter then arrived to the table with Mary Poppins’ oversized carpet bag, magically revealing a paper bag of warm scones. We only managed one each (I had plain, but there was also golden raisin). We also couldn’t work out the jam flavours, but apparently, they were supposed to be cherry and plum. And then it was onto the sweets... boy were they sweet!
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
First up, we sampled ‘Strike Me Pink’: a Victoria sponge cake covered in freeze-dried raspberries and topped with fresh berries and chocolate drops. I found the cake too heavy, but thankfully the fresh fruit cut through any dryness.

Next up was Mary’s chocolate & cherry hat: cherry mousse encased in dark chocolate. It didn’t look like a hat to me and I struggled to finish it, due to the amount and bitterness of the chocolate. The mousse centre was nice enough.

‘Back to Front Zoo’ was a golden syrup tart, with a dollop of cream. It reminded me a bit of cornflake cake; very sweet, very sticky, very chewy. I actually enjoyed this one, but maybe due to its small size. Any more would have been far too much.

By the time we got to taste Mrs Correy’s gingerbread star, we were both so full. Vicky’s biscuit lacked snap and mine was the other end of the spectrum. I love gingerbread usually and it was definitely the lightest of the desserts, so I’m gutted I couldn’t manage more than a mouthful.
Aqua Shard, The Shard, London, Afternoon Tea, Mary Poppins, Foodie, Food Blogger
And just when you think you couldn’t manage anymore, there’s fairground candyfloss! It’s spun from a machine on the restaurant floor and served by staff in costume, which is a great touch. I will always have room for confectionary and most definitely candyfloss, so I saw my stick off pretty quickly!

I have to admit, that while the theme was totally on point, the execution of the food was slightly lacking – especially when you consider the location and price. The Mary Poppins afternoon tea is £49pp (£66 if you opt for a glass of Champagne). I have been to better themed afternoon teas and also had a better taste experience at other establishments priced in a similar bracket. That said, the overall experience was good and I would return to Aqua Shard (or one of the other restaurants) in the future.

Love, Lucy xx 

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Love, Lucy xx

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