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Review: Champagne at The Shard

The Shard

It was one of those rare years, where I was going to see my Dad somewhere near Father’s day (as for most of the year he is 3000 miles away living in Dubai!) so I scouted around London for the best Father’s Day present I could find. But what do you buy a Dad that has absolutely everything? This is what I came up with…

Me and Dad at The Shard

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

There’s nothing that my Dad loves more than a great view and glass of bubbly so I decided to take him on an experience at The View from The Shard, which included an aerial view of London whilst we sipped on champagne. Perfect. I even arranged for us to go to the last viewing at around 8pm so we could watch the sunset over the horizon, what better way to celebrate Father’s Day?

Champagne pouring at the Shard

It’s only been open for a couple of years yet The Shard has become a real London icon, joining Big Ben, The London Eye, London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on its famous skyline. It towers over everything in London and looks wonderfully out of place, juxtaposing against the historical landmarks like the Tower of London. At 1012 feet, it is the tallest building in Europe and was built to bring life and energy (but without adding more traffic!) to the South of the Thames, where London started from. It is built in such a way that it seems to spiral upwards out of the River Thames, pretty cool!

Also in tow for our Father’s Day celebrations were my boyfriend Nathan and my Gran. I was a little worried that they may not enjoy the trip as much as they’ve all visited the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world. But luckily I didn’t have anything to worry about. I found that we enjoyed The View from The Shard more as by not being as high up as the Burj Khalifa, everyone could ID their favourite landmarks and see the view in more detail. If you wanted a closer look and find out more about certain landmarks, screens were provided to give you more information and show you the view at different times of the day, which was a really nice touch.

It was great to see the family having such a good time (being the organiser you always feel that pressure, right?!) and listening to my Dad’s tales from the 90s London he worked in, amazed by its growth in the last 20 years and lighting up when he spotted places that triggered fond memories.

The Shard View Stations

Nathan showing Gran how to work the viewing screen, poor guy :P

Window view The Shard

From the balcony The Shard

One of my favourite parts of visiting The View from The Shard was the view from a very unusual place…the toilet! If you’ve ever wanted to answer the call of nature while enjoying a commanding aerial view of the City of London through floor-to-ceiling windows, then The View from The Shard is the visitor attraction for you!

The Shard Toilet View

Room with a view: the 68th floor of The Shard offers one of the most scenic pees in London!

As the sun started to set we headed to the top floor open air viewing deck to enjoy the warm summer London evening and finish our champagne. There was a series of deckchairs where people could relax and enjoy the views, many even sitting on the floor chatting away in groups over drinks, what better way to start your Saturday night off?

View from the top The Shard

I give The View from The Shard a solid 10/10. It was reasonably priced for the incredible view we got and for only a little extra you can add champagne to the experience (who doesn’t love that I say). Selecting a specific time to go in advance meant that the crowds were spread out over time slots so you weren’t squeezing in between people to get to see the view (I’m talking to you Empire State Building). We also weren’t hassled to have a forced family photo taken at every new corner (I’m looking at you Burj Khalifa) so we could just relax, take our time and enjoy the view together in peace.

Next time you’re in London, be sure to take the family for an experience at The Shard, you won’t regret it!

10 Fun Facts about The Shard

1) 95% of the construction materials used to build The Shard are recycled

2) It is the 59th tallest building in the world, around 2.7 times shorter than the tallest, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is 2716 feet high

3) The corners of the development are open and the shards of glass don’t touch which allows the building to “breathe”

4) It has 11,000 glass panels, enough to cover eight football pitches

5) The architect was inspired by the railway lines next the site

6) The average lift speed is 6 metres per second, it certainly made our ears pop!

7) A Fox nicknamed Romeo was found on the 72nd storey believed to have survived on food left over by construction workers

8) Six women climbed to the top of the building’s exterior in July 2013 for a Greenpeace protest against Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. It took them 16 hours to climb it!

9) The name, ‘The Shard’ is derived from master architect Renzo Piano’s description of the development as a ‘shard of glass’ during the planning stages

10) You can see The Shard from 40 miles away, from the South Downs to the Thames Estuary

Have you ever visited The View from The Shard? If you have what did you think? Share your experience below :)

Mel x

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!