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 holds a treasured place in every Londoner’s heart. We simply adore it. We do so as 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 its sumptuous Five Mile Menu at Lang Cafe on 27th November. Expertly crafted to celebrate the ultimate union of Shangri-La’s chefs with the best artisanal suppliers (within a five mile radius) 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?
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 they craft honey from the smallest green spaces around Lambeth and Suffolk but I discovered that their Custom House raw honey was produced by a bee keeper in my very own neighbourhood. What a revelation! My jar 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 of which are lovingly hand blended to their own unique tea recipes. The Earl Grey Orange blend was simply divine.
British cured meats were served by Canon and Cannon ranged from classic pork to rabbit and duck. Chilli chorizo venison from the Highlands was rich and full flavoured and my favourite of the bunch.
Cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy was an excellent addition to the food and drink created for grazing and sharing and was the perfect accompaniment to the award winning Bacchus white from Bolney Estate in Sussex and Chapel Down rose from Kent.
Jensen’s gin distilled the traditional way in London was also served. It’s fresh, crisp taste was a perfect reminder why London was once the Gin capital of the world. Jensen’s has brought gin back to its spiritual home.
The finest natural Cornish oysters from Billingsgate Fish Market served with ponzu sauce were the best I had ever tasted. Paired with the most exquisite Britagne rose from Coates and Seely it was a fusion to die for.
The evening was a wonderful reminder that good food needn’t be exotic. Luxury can at times be redefined by time and tradition. How fortunate for us that the Five Mile Menu does just that. Do make sure you visit and enjoy this wonderfully sentimental journey at Lang Cafe.
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.