London Bridge has a brand new local bar

IMG_4537London Bridge has a brand new, swanky local bar with all the hallmarks of a good place for a drink; swinging atmosphere, great service, wonderful drinks and very good food. Let’s not forget the location; 31 Thomas Street. It’s the closest bar to London Bridge station and if you’re walking by you won’t miss the buzzy atmosphere through the floor to ceiling windows. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s another among many. Here’s the thing; this is no ordinary bar. It’s Shangri-La’s Bar 31 created by the locals for the locals. Here’s what that means for us.


IMG_4521All the produce for the menu comes from neighbouring Borough market. Expect the best; rice Buddha bowls with egg and kale, pickled avocado, Vietnamese avocado rolls and daily specials such as spiced chicken wings and shepherds pie. It’s world cuisine on a plate via Borough Market. I had the Vietnamese avocado rolls and pickled avocado when I attended the opening and they were sublime. With quality local produce and a menu curated by none other than chef Daniel Mcgarey their sharing plates are nothing short of spectacular.


For drinks Shangri-La has flexed it’s giant sourcing muscle and gone as far as…their doorstep. (I did say the bar was local). Beers come from Bermondsey Breweries, Hiver Brewery and Anspach & Hobday. Bermondsey Distillery’s Old Tom gin and a whole host of cocktails and Champagnes have also made the cut. A sure-fire summer hit might well be their homemade lemonade followed by an ice cold glass of rosé.


Want to know who provides the live music on Friday and Saturday nights? Buskers. London’s finest street singers from Bermondsey to Piccadilly Circus have been scouted for Bar 31. On opening night we were entertained by Sherika Sherard, Piers Dashfield and Tim Cronin who’s soulful renditions were the perfect backdrop to a beautiful evening.


As a Londoner, I can tell you that Bar 31 is as good as London gets. It’s in the heart of the city at an iconic landmark, is a great spot for meeting-up and perfect for showing visitors to London what the city is all about. A mesmerising piece by graffiti artist Mr.Cenz greets you as you walk in, the atmosphere is relaxed and the service is flawless. Add to this Shangri-La’s commitment to the local economy and you’d have to agree that Bar 31 is a credit to London.

Five Mile Menu – A Great British Journey

The first ever mention in history of London’s darling Borough Market is to be found in the Scandinavian collection of sagas Heimskringla (1014)Snorri Sturluson speaks of a “…great market town called Southwark…” A few unforgettable millennia forward and Borough Market still holds a treasured place in every Londoner’s heart. We simply adore it. We do so because it brings together all that is quintessentially London; our beloved Thames, classic medieval architecture and the finest British artisanal food.

So how fitting that Shangri-La at The Shard, which commands London’s skyline, has formed a path between its refined taste and some of the greatest connoisseurs of food and drink in the capital. The hotel launched the sumptuous Five Mile Menu at Lang Cafe on 27th November. Curated to celebrate the ultimate union of Shangri-La’s chefs with local suppliers the launch is an undeniable triumph. Naturally, as an ardent lover of fine food I needed little encouragement to attend the launch.

What Exactly is the Five Mile Menu?

The Five Mile Menu is a precious, sentimental journey from a Dorset kitchen table to the mysterious Cornish ocean via London’s urban bee keepers. All the produce on the menu has been sourced within a five-mile radius of Shangri-La at The Shard and will be available at its local cafe and wine bar Lang.

What’s on the Menu?

FudgeIMG_7754 2

One taste of  WHIRLD‘s sublime hand-made fudge will evoke memories of long, care free summer days spent by the seaside. I couldn’t pick a favourite between clotted cream and sea salt caramel flavours. I had both.


The surprise of the evening was courtesy of multi-award winning rooftop apiary Bermondsey Street Bees. Not only do their bees make honey from the smallest green spaces around Lambeth and Suffolk but their Custom House raw honey is produced by a bee keeper in my very own neighbourhood. What a revelation that was for me having grown up in what many considered to be a wasteland. My gift of a jar of Custom House honey had the distinct flavour of warm citrus and caramel and now sits with pride on my breakfast table.


Camelia’s Tea House offered the best of their artisan tea each lovingly hand blended to their unique tea recipes. I shall forever be in awe of what can be achieved with this humble leaf. The Earl Grey Orange blend was simply divine.

Cured MeatsShangri-La, At The Shard LANG Five Mile menu, Chef Michael Batoux and Joe from Cannon & Cannon 2

British cured meats served by Canon and Cannon ranged from classic pork to rabbit and duck. Salami with seaweed from St. Ives and cider from the north coast, venison salami with green peppercorns from the Scottish highlands were both rich and full-flavoured; this was truly British food’s moment.

Cheese and WineIMG_1021

Cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy was an exquisite addition to the food and drink created for grazing and sharing. It was a fine example of the craftsmanship of British cheese. The offering ranged from soft goat’s cheese from Herefordshire to cow’s milk cheese from Caerphilly; a British journey on a plate. They were a well matched pairing with award-winning Bolney Estate Bacchus white and Chapel Down rosé from Kent.


Jensen’s Gin distilled the traditional way in London was also served. Its fresh, crisp taste was a gentle reminder why London was once the gin capital of the world. I have never been a gin drinker. However, even I could appreciate the spicy, woody cleanness in my glass. The more I stirred it the fresher it tasted; sprigs of thyme filling the glass creating the appearance of a small forest in my hands. Jensen’s has brought the drink back to its spiritual home.

Oysters and More WineIMG_4616

The finest natural Cornish oysters from Billingsgate Fish Market served with ponzu sauce were the best I had ever tasted; plump and beautiful in their ethereal shells. I couldn’t help but sniff for the fresh waters of Cornish rivers on them. Paired with the most exquisite Bretagne rosé from Coates and Seely it was a combination to die for.


The evening  was a pleasing reminder that good food needn’t be exotic. Luxury can be redefined by time, tradition, patience and skill. How fortunate for us that the Five Mile Menu does just that. How right that Shangri-La has chosen to fit in with its neighbours. Be sure to experience this glorious gathering at Lang Cafe at The Shard.



Lang Cafe is located at The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG and opens Monday to Friday 7am – 9pm; Saturday 9am – 9pm; Sunday and Public Holidays 9am – 7pm.