Love it or hate it, you have to admit that the Shard, currently the tallest building in all of Europe at 306 metres high, and the newest addition to the London city skyline, makes for quite an impression on the eye, not least because its construction in the London Bridge area rather than the more developed City, means that the skyscraper is something of a lone ranger in amongst a terrain of far shorter historical constructions. While I had my reservations at first, particularly when I saw the building on completion and realised that the jaggard edges at its summit (said to resemble shards of glass – hence the name) were not going to come together into a satisfying point, I have to admire the way that this vast building stretches into the sky for as far as the eye can see, bursting out of the Bermondsey skyline as an indisputable symbol of man’s quest to build higher and higher into the realms where only nature has previously reined free.
But seeing the mighty Shard from a distance is one thing – how about dining at its foot, on the roof top of a nearby restaurant with the more recognisable skyline of riverside London reflected in the Shard’s huge glass facades? Well that was exactly the dining experience I enjoyed at the end of last week when, with my dear friend Celia, master baker and author of the indefatigably brilliant Lady-Aga blog, we spent the late-summer’s evening at the Rooftop Café of the Exchange building, a laid-back antipodean affair, where aussie chefs and suitably chilled-out waiters serve a menu loaded with tantalising light summer treats, to be savoured while enjoying the view which, thanks to the reflective surfaces of skyrise buildings all around, could be seen wherever the eye did venture.
So while you must excuse the fact that, for all those fine views, my memory of the food is less precise (luckily my fellow diner was more astute in that respect, and I will let her review on Lady-Aga fill you in on all the gastronomic details), as The Daily Norm’s favourite photo(s) of the week will testify, the view of London was simply too breathtaking to let food take centre stage. I could, in fact, fill this post with photos of the views which I took on my handy iphone that evening, as the sky over London went from a fair-weather cloud scattered lemony yellow, to a rich raspberry pink. However in an attempt to pare down my selection to a mere few, I have selected what was undoubtedly my favourite view of all – the double whammy which was provided in seeing the recognisable London skyline (London Eye and Parliament included) reflected in the sparkling new surfaces of the glazed and angular shard.
Quite unable to choose between these three views, each taken slightly later during the evening, I simply opted for all three. One series – a view in transition – taken in three successive shots.
All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2013 and The Daily Norm.
- Love it or loathe it? How the Shard has divided the capital (standard.co.uk)
- Postcard of the Week: The Shard, London’s Tallest Building (thewell-travelledpostcard.com)