Aqua Shard

The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY

WLC Rank : 277

Food Type Cuisine: Modern British

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 9.50 (125 ml)

+44 (0)2030111256

www.aquashard.co.uk

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English Wines British Plates

Sommelier, Francisco Nevot, who ‘would rather drink a sub-standard wine with Claudia Schiffer than an exquisite one with George Bush’ aims to match worldly wines with British plates...

REVIEWS

Review 2018

A lift draped in leather by Bill Amberg Studio conveys visitors to the glossy expanse that is Aqua at level 31 of the Shard, known for good views of the capital and its ever taller annual Christmas tree. Spanish born sommelier, Francisco Nevot, who started his career as a commis waiter at Galvin, authors the correspondingly often sheerly-priced wine list, which can lay claim to having just four bottles below £40 but more than 30 over £400. Still, at such an aesthetically commanding vantage, most diners are likely to have arrived in celebratory mood primed to splash their cash.

Unfortunately, some wines cost more by the glass than can they do on the High Street per bottle (e.g. Peter Lehmann Riesling). Expect bigger names, such as Talbot and Tignanello to be extracted with hiss and drizzle by Coravin, and a good selection of English wines in fizz, still and even sweet form, from Albourne, Hattingley Valley, Hoffmann & Rathbone, Lyme Bay and Ridgview.

In the albeit incredibly packaged Cava, Kripta by Agusti Torello Mata, Nevot may have set a record for serving London’s most expensive Cava, while a magnum of Dom Pérignon costs the price of a couple of shrewdly, retail bought standard format cases.

Nevot,  who ‘would rather drink a sub-standard wine with Claudia Schiffer than an exquisite one with George Bush’ aims to match worldly wines with British plates, recommending Chianti Classico Riserva, ‘Rancia’ (Fèlsina Berardenga) with Gressingham confit duck leg from the market menu, or a flute of Hattingley Valley Classic Reserve from Hampshire with afternoon tea. ‘If the evening is more of a celebration, I also recommend a bottle of our Pine Ridge, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa which pairs perfectly with our Earl Stonham Farms [Ipswich] Wagyu beef for two guests to share.’

Other pretty, modern British plates may include grilled octopus with seaweed salsa verde, pink fir potato and pickled dulse, or crispy fried coral mushrooms with soft boiled Cackleberry Farm egg and brown butter hollandaise, followed by poached Cornish seabass with Poole Bay cockles, ginger butter sauce, cucumber and sea herbs, or chargrilled Rose County veal chop with confit garlic cream, New Forest mushrooms and foraged herb salad, perhaps with a £6.75 side salad. 

Nevot incidentally masterminds a series of wine dinners in the glass walled private dining room, with previous producers having included Louis Roederer and Ruinart. 

By Douglas Blyde.

Review 2016/17

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WLC Overall Score 86.2

Value
80
Size
87
Range
89
Originality
88
Service
87

WLC Overall Rank : 277

Food Type Cuisine: Modern British

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 9.50 (125 ml)

+44 (0)2030111256

www.aquashard.co.uk

Sommelier