Many years after its supposed completion, there’s still no top on The Shard.
Which presumably not only leaves its tenants (both of them) exposed to the elements, but also acts as an easy point of access for wily cat burglars who –
A) Own a pair of toilet plungers, and
B) Know how to use them.
However despite the conspicuous absence of a lid atop Western Europe’s tallest building, the doors to first of the Shard’s restaurants – the ultimate room with a view – have only gone and opened….
Joining the building’s other tenants (referred to by some as “Shardines”, and by others – keen to master their Sean Connery impersonation – as a “Shoal of Shardines”) is Rainer “Zuma/Roka” Becker’s latest creation: Oblix.
Your journey to The Shard’s 32nd floor will begin, as journeys like these so often do, in a lift. But this lift will only have one button, bearing the number 32. Having pressed it and ascended 500ft skywards you’ll then excitedly head along a moodily-lit corridor, past a bustling open kitchen and into 10,000ft of restaurant on one side and lounge bar (serving up cocktails and live music ‘til 2am) on the other, both of which – courtesy of those massive windows – offer near panoramic views of London, stretching from St.Paul’s to Big Ben and beyond.
Having been stirred by the US-style boldness of the building – which, on the off-chance that this crops up in Trivial Pursuit one day, consists of 11,000 panes of glass, 306 flights of stairs, 44 lifts, and has 13.7km of concrete piles supporting it – Becker’s put together, in his words, a “simple, tasty and high quality” NY Grill inspired menu made up of salads, steaks BBQ’d on a charcoal grill, slow-roasted joints from a spit roast and pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Servicing your every need, should you visit, will be staff nattily clad in Ted Baker and white-shirted, brown leather-aproned, ice saw-wielding barkeeps; who just so happen to be in possession of something a little bit unique: it’s called the Johnnie Walker Grand Voyage, and it’s essentially an impressive whisky vessel, which itself is comprised of eight tanks each filled with different Johnnie Walker whisky blends. Each of those tanks is made from wood infused with distinctive flavour profiles from around the world – you’ll find Apple, Cinnamon, Bergamot & Chamomile from Europe; Fig & Ras El Hanout from The Middle East; Tobacco, Popcorn & Walnut from the USA, etc. The point of it all being that you can take a sort of global trek across your own tongue, via the medium of whisky.
But if that’s not your thing? There’s also a crack commando unit of wine experts….
… manning London’s first interactive Shommelier Shtation.
NOTE: Oblix is now open. You can book by either emailing email@example.com, calling 0207 268 6700 or online right HERE.
Oblix At The Shard | 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
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