Opening date set for London’s highest bar

GONG - Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London[2]The bar on the 52nd floor of The Shard at London Bridge is set to open in July, according to an update from the team behind the Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard.

Originally scheduled to open in summer 2013, the five-star hotel has been delayed during fit-out but its owners have now announced that it will open on May 6.

The food and beverage operations will include the 52nd-floor bar, Gŏng (pictured), which is named after interlocking wooden brackets commonly used in traditional Chinese architecture and featured throughout the hotel.

When it opens in July, Gŏng will include a cocktail bar, a champagne bar and an infinity pool, all promoted as a destination for sunset cocktails and late-night drinks.

The bar’s signature cocktail will be The Big Smoke, made with Dodd’s Gin, Grand Marnier liqueur, Tio Pepe sherry, Mancino Rosso Amaranto and orange bitters.

It will also offer a broad range of good champagnes by the glass, from rare small-grower varieties to the ultimate grandes marques.

Other F&B spaces will include Ting, the restaurant and lounge on level 35 – named after the Chinese word for living room. Located 128 metres above ground level, it will have 360-degree views across the capital.

Due to open on May 6, the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer a modern European menu with a hint of Asian flavouring.

Signature dishes will include hand-dived scallops from the north-west Highland coast cooked a la plancha and served with carrot, ginger and a light yuzu and grape seed oil dressing. Another will be organic Welsh lamb from Rhug Estate, glazed with mirin, sake and soy sauce, served with root vegetables and Kentish apples.

The lounge will offer an à la carte menu of authentic Shangri-La Asian specialties including curry laksa, “Hainan” chicken rice and char koay teow.

It will also be a destination for afternoon tea with two options – a classically English experience as well as an Asian-inspired alternative, both complemented by an exclusive selection of over 30 teas.

The hotel will also have a patisserie and deli on the ground floor, called Láng, meaning “pathway” in Chinese. Also opening on May 6, it will specialise in signature Shangri-La cakes, macaroons, chocolates, pastries, classic savouries, salads and sandwiches to eat in or take-away.

Suitable for morning coffee, a quick lunch or an afternoon snack, Láng will have indulgent treats such as Chocolate Temptation – a rich chocolate sponge, red fruit tea-infused Ghanaian chocolate ganache and raspberry compote, topped with a soft chocolate cream.

Overseeing all three venues is executive chef Emil Minev, formerly of Shangri-La properties in Tokyo and the Maldives. He has nearly 25 years of culinary expertise and was previously at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai and The Ritz in London.

The Shard is separately also home to restaurants and bars Aqua Shard, Hutong and Oblix which opened last year on floors 31 to 33. The Shangri-La hotel will cover 18 floors from level 34 to 52. The Shard itself stretches up 87 storeys, of which 71 are habitable, with the viewing platform, View From The Shard, on floors 68 to 72.

Other lofty bars in London include Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower in the City, while Vertigo 42 champagne bar is on the 42nd floor of Tower 42, also in the City.

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