About this time last week, I was making preparations for my 23rd birthday dinner. I don’t usually do much for my birthdays. I like spending time with my family and then my best friends and leaving it at that. But sometimes you just have to treat yourself. Get glammed up, look classy and feel like a million dollars.
I turned 23 at the beginning of the month. The weekend of was spent celebrating with family, as I think it always should be. I was taken on a surprise outing to Barking to go Go-Karting and then to a kickboxing class the next day. I had so much fun doing both of those things although I felt like a piece of pounded meat in a butchers by the end of the weekend! And for most of the week afterwards actually.
The following weekend I decided to plan a birthday dinner at The Shard. I’ve only been to The Shard once before, for my 19th birthday and I absolutely loved it. We went to The View from The Shard and it was amazing. This time, I wanted to go at night. See the city glittering in a thousand tiny little dots below me.
I was doing a joint celebration so my friend chose Hutong for the restaurant, which serves Asian cuisine. The food is meant for sharing. You order a few different plates – say of prawns, chicken, scallops, spring rolls and then you all tuck in together. I can’t say the food was what I expected. The portions were small and although it tasted good, it wasn’t anything amazing. Unfortunately, I don’t think the prices charged were worth what we got for our money. I’ve had some really good meals in other places and they didn’t charge me £20 for a plate of diced chicken breast.
The service, however, was great in my opinion. The staff are very attentive and you don’t wait for anything. I had to call them up earlier in the day to amend my booking from 6 people to 5 and they were really efficient and polite about it. When we arrived, we were seated immediately and our table was on a little podium in the corner. It was sort of like a little pod which made our experience a lot more private without having to pay the private dining fees. They’re fee is a £1000 minimum for guests of 6 or more, which is crazy! However, for what we did pay, we still felt like we were tucked away in our own space. There was a little trolley beside our table with water, plates etc so that we had everything we would need with us.
As you would expect, the views were incredible and despite not having a window seat, we were still able to see them as we ate and as we walked through the restaurant. This is really important because the only reason people go to The Shard is for it’s amazing views over a sprawling city. So I can confirm that this restaurant and the one below us which I think was called Aqua, give you views over the city no matter where you’re sitting. They make sure of it.