Sunday 24 January 2016

Lunch at the 31st floor of the Shard

Hello and I am back with my promised photos of the wonderful birthday lunch I shared with my Hb for his birthday last Wednesday.

*****Warning***** this is a very photo heavy post so you might want to grab a cuppa or come back when you have a little more time to spare. If you are just here to see my challenge entry just scroll to the bottom of my post.

All restaurant bookings at The Shard have to be made in advance, 3 months in fact, so when we booked this last year we had no idea what the weather would be doing in January. We should not have worried though as we woke to a lovely clear sunny day.
The Shard is one of London's newest building and already is regarded as one of the most iconic of recent years. It stands high above all of the other buildings and looms up from underneath London Bridge station. I absolutely love it.
I took this photo standing at ground level, the top is not even visible. There are 3 main restaurants at the Shard.
We chose to eat at the Aquashard restaurant and it turned out to be a great choice.
We were greeted at reception

and took the express lift up to the 32nd floor.

There was some great artwork on the walls.

We were shown to the stairs down to Aquashard (which is on the 31st floor) and this was the wow moment when we realised what an amazing area and view this is.

We were shown to the bar for pre lunch drinks

 and given an amazing table to sit and enjoy our gin and tonics

Bombay Sapphire of course ;0) with Fever-Tree tonic..such an interesting bottle (or is it just me)?
We were spellbound by the view which really did take our breath away and I got up to take some more photos. For those of you who are not in the know the very tall white edged building in the centre is known as the Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street).  It caused havoc in the city a few years back when the sunlight reflected starting melting some cars...ooops! It had to be clad to stop this. The building to the right is the Gherkin and the tall one on the left is the Nat West Tower (Now Tower 42). Peeping out from behind the Walkie-Talkie is the Cheesegrator (Leadenhall Building)
 The reflection from the Walkie-Talkie on the Thames was magical, so sparkly.
The Shard is like a giant sun dial, it casts its shadow onto the Thames. My Hb reckoned you could probably learn to tell the time by it. 

I zoomed in on Tower Bridge
and the Tower of London
The Millennium wheel can be seen on the skyline below.
and how about this for one of the toilets.
There is just glass everywhere, and the reflections were awesome.

At 12.30pm  the waiter came over to take us to our table....and wow what an amazing table we had been given for our meal, looking out to St. Paul's, Cannon Street and the Millennium Bridge.
We took a while before we ordered as we just kept gasping at the view. London is our favourite city in the world and she certainly looked gorgeous in the sunlight from 31 floors up. My Hb could see his office in Cannon Street from our table.
The bridge in the centre is London bridge
 and the brown office building behind the left red crane in the foreground  is his office eh?

The food was really first class. Talk about a meal with a view.

I had a very pretty cocktail

and played around taking some arty shots with my camera at the table when we had eaten.
 I love this shot below which captures the skyline in the glass.
and then of course it was time to go...but a few more photos had to be taken...

It was the most wonderful day.

So.....the next day I had a rare day at home and decided that I would make a Moment to remember M's awesome birthday lunch. I wanted to represent the views, the textures, the glass and metals and our meal.

I had been given a business card so I wanted to use that I also wanted to use inspiration from the photo of the skyline in the of my favourite photos.

I had some ideas to play with. There were so many great textures at The Shard, cool brickwork, glass, metal etc. I created a textured background using texture paste and using lots of angular Shard - like and brickwork stencils.
I chose blue, black and silver as my paint colours...all quite metallic to me and the blue represents the sky and the river.
I bought the silver and blue DecoArt colours after attending a recent workshop...gorgeous colours.
 I added the acrylics with lots of sprays of water to make the colours run and create ripples like the river.

I kept adding layers until I was happy. I wanted an area in the centre to have less paint as it was to be my "window". 
I won some adhesive gem sheets at Christmas from Crafty Hazelnut's challenge and I knew they would be perfect to cut up and make my "Shard"with.
 Below is the business card I wanted to use.
 I also made a piece of embossed "metal" from foil using my sizzix embossing folder and added black paint to age it. I wanted to make a bottle out of it to remember the tonic with our pre lunch gin.
To make my "glass" I used acetate. I wanted to use my favourite Visible Image eye stamp to represent us both gazing out at the view of London. I cut the shape of the glass by hand, the same shape as our gin and tonic and water glasses at the Shard. To make some bubbles I used my embossing folder on another piece of acetate underneath.

 I also used my sun rays stencil to represent the sun shining and also the reflection on the River Thames from the Walkie-Talkie building.

I put some embossed acrylic behind my window to represent the reflections from the glass and also the river.  I added  blue paint to the raised areas.
So then I put on my creative hat .....

and came up with................

 this Moment. I cannot get the photos to show all the sparkle in the glass, irl it really glints and shines. I added glossy accents and glamour dust to the embossed acetate in the glass.

The heart is for our love of London and has Shard shaped hands and lots of texture.
I made a metallic bottle to peep out from behind my "Shard" just like the buildings peeped out from London. 

I painted the eye with acrylics and you can just see the sparkle and bubbles in the glass behind the image. The sentiment is also Visible Image and is always perfect to use for the Moments I create.

I would like to enter my Moment into the following challenges;

Sweet stampin 1/3 Vintage or shabby chic I think my Moment is a mixture of both
PaperArtsy Hearts I was inspired by all the different textures on heart in Leandra's introductory post.
Anything but cute Ring out the old...bring in the new this is the first time I have used this blue and silver Decoart paint....I bought these colours after attending a wonderful recent workshop where I got to play with lots of paints and products. It is also my first outing for the amazing gem sheet I won.
Pixie's snippets playground  1/3 #213 I used a snippet of acetate for making my glass. I used a snippet of card for my heart and I had a real inspired snippet..the hands of the "clock" are a snippet left over for trimming up my "bottle" behind my Shard.
Emerald Creek Dares Valentine's is not in the air, use a heart
Simon says stamp Mondays  best friends my Hb is my very best friend in the world :0)
Love to create  anything mixed media #2
Country View crafts Be inspired by Bottles...I was inspired by the tonic bottle and it is represented in my Moment behind my "Shard". made out of embossed foil.
Winter wonderland 2/3 something new my new are the 2 new paints and the gem texture sheet.
Craft heaven 2/3 something old something new old is my heart die and new are the paints and the gems sheet.
Craft your passion 2/3 anything goes
Moving along with the times 2/3 wet or dry embossing I used dry embossing for my foil element which I made into the bottle and the clock hands. I also embossed the bubble in my glass and the window panes too. 
The Artistic Stamper anything goes

Thanks to those of you who managed to survive right to the end of this post, I hope you enjoyed visiting the Shard with me. If you are ever in London it should be on your bucket list. You don't have to eat either, you can just enjoy a drink in the bar. There is a separate experience which takes you to the top too, if you fancy going even higher. 32 floors was just fine by me.

Welcome to my new follower, it's great to see you here. Thanks to all my regulars too and to my silent readers. It's such fun to have you here on my creative journey. I plan some crafting today as we are Bear sitting for my son, who is enjoying a few days in snowy Vienna with his GF. I hope those of you on the East coast of America are keeping safe after the huge dumping of snow out there.  The weather here has warmed up again...we went from -1c on Monday morning to 14c mad is that? The sun is even peeping through so it really feel quite spring like again. 

Enjoy your Sunday. 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane (with Bear at my feet and Billy upstairs keeping out the way on our bed) xx


  1. Happy birthday to your Hb! I'm glad you had a good time. It certainly looks memorable. I like the textures on your card too.

  2. Great memories :) and nicely captured with your art!
    Thank you so much for joining our Ring Out the Old, Bring in the New challenge at Anything But Cute!

    Samra DT
    Paper Talk with Samra

  3. Thanks so much for sharing lovely photos with us.

  4. Sure are a lot of photos Jane but it looks great and appreciate seeing them as our pre Christmas visit for 23rd December was cancelled due to the state of high security in the City over the festive season. Was a pain to say the least as it took some organizing to get 12 of us all there for the same time for the planned meal.

    B x

  5. Oh wow Jane..amazing..what a view!!
    I love that area of London, so much of interest to see in the City! The last time we were there we stayed in the London Bridge Hotel just beside the station and at that point they were still building the Shard. I know I keep saying this but I really need a trip to London!!
    So glad you and M had a great day and your moment has captured all the elements of it!
    Have a great week my friend, so mild isn't it!
    V x

  6. Oh my goodness! What an awesome creative journey you took us on. I loved it and I especially love the project that evolved! Excellent and thank you for entering the challenge.

  7. What an amazing and creative piece.It's certainly a fantastic way to recreate and keep a precious memory.Love the pics to show the whole process.Thanks for joining us at Craft Your Passion.Hope to see you again next week.
    Lisa x

  8. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos Jane...they are awesome and I have to say my favourite is the skyline through the glass. A visit here is on the bucket list...hubby would so love to go up and take glad you were blessed with the weather.Your creation is very cleverly put together to represent your visit......can I feel a scrapbook coming on here?

  9. WOW WOW WOW . . . what amazing photo's and what a wonderful experience. Great idea for a spesh birthday! LOVE the Moment you made of the day too. You are so talented.

    Now you've given me some ideas to revamp the Tree House Bar. Hooch o'clock later if you fancy another snifter!

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  10. I am well and truly wowed with your creation, absolutely super, thanks for joining us at MAWTT this week, xxx
    Fab pics too, xx

  11. Dear Jane,

    My! Where should I start I love and have enjoyed your post so very much.
    It must have taken you hours just putting everything together, thank you!

    I'll start with the end because your moment is a work of art, please tell me you are going to share a picture of it with the manager of the Aquashard?! It is sublime! The various effects, metal, glass are sensational!

    I'm so grateful I could visit the shard thanks to you. When we lived in London (1999-2000) none of these modern buildings were around yet and I have been wanting to come back ever since then. I have shown your post to my husband and lunch at the Aquashard is now on our bucket list! It reminds me of our anniversary lunch at the Jules Verne on the Eiffel Tower. It's an experience one never forgets!

    Your love for this beautiful city is contagious and I find it very interesting how you use the feminine pronoun "she" to talk about London. To me, Paris is a "she", London is a "he", Chicago is a "he" isn't it interesting? I'm wondering if other cities are "he" to you?

    Anyway, thank you for your post, what a treat it has been! You are the best guide and reporter on top of being an incredible artist!


  12. What a wonderful post which made great reading. Your finished memory page just oozes with creativity. Love it.
    Julie x

  13. I super enjoyed seeing all those photos of London. I have English blood in me and have never been able to visit and probably will never get to.. so I really appreciate you showing it to your readers. Your memory page is spectacular. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  14. wow Jane - what a lucky lady you are - that really does look like the most stunning lunch venue - and you were so very lucky with the weather - brilliant make too - gorgeous yextures - love it! Hugs Rachel x

  15. What a fabulous post Jane! I really feel as if I visited The Shard with you. I can understand how much you love London and I still get a buzz on the rare occasions we go back.

    Your Memory layout is absolutely amazing - the eye is just incredible - along with every other carefully thought out piece of detail! I love it!!


    Di xx

  16. Stunning art journal page and a wonderful post!
    Thank you so much for joining in our Ring out the Old, Bring in the New challenge at Anything But Cute! Branka DTx

  17. You definitely have sold me -- I know I should be focusing on your journal page which is outstanding but I have enjoyed all of your pictures so much. I love the UK and know we have to go back. Must start saving now - no time for the stock market to be taking a dive! Of course I am a big fan of England's history and of Andrew Lloyd Weber. I love the Queen and her family -- modern day romance!!!! And I have made so many blogging friends in the UK --- Oh dear - my dreams are made of this!!
    Yes Dear Heart - I enjoyed your post very much!
    sandy xx

  18. Fabulous post Jane! That building is incredible, wow, so many wonderful shots and you were really up high!! I'm not afraid of heights when it feels secure, but I sure would have been weary of floor to ceiling glass panels! lol. Love your piece, the combination of the glass (acetate) and metal really shows the inspiration you found from your day out. I find it so frustrating to try and capture glimmer and shimmer with a camera, I have no doubt that it is so amazing in real life! Love the addition of the sun rays, such an incredible mixed media piece!

    While I'm here - Thank you so much for joining us at Anything But Cute for our 'Bring in the New' challenge! Hugs, Pamellia DT :)

    1. Dear Jane,

      Happy belated birthday to M! What a wonderful lunch you had, those views are simply fantasyic, thank you for sharing! And your moment on brilliant too, love those gems!

      Happy last week of January, happy crafting!


  19. Oh my, my comment was for some reason attached as reply to Pamellia's comment, not intended :)

    Happy Tuesday!


  20. Wow Jan, what a fabulous way to remember such a special day, your creation is beautiful and very clever, I really love how you used the acetate and the eye looks wonderful. I loved seeing your photos of the Shard too - I don't mind heights at all, when viewed from my computer screen!

    Thanks so much for joining in our 'Ring out the Old, Bring in the New' challenge at Anything But Cute. Anne DT xx

    1. Came back for a second look, apologies for the spelling mistake on your name Jane, just a slip of the finger...

  21. WoW! First off, I have never been to London, although it on the top of the bucket list, and I now need to add "have lunch at AquaShard". Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your experience. Second ~ your mixed media creation is stunning! The textures & colours are fabulous and I love how you used the acetate.
    Thank you for sharing it at Emerald Creek Dares
    {julia} Emerald Creek DT

  22. Fab project and I love all your Shard photos.
    Thank you for sharing with us at Sweet Stampin this week, Wedgie xxx

  23. Wow, Jane; this goes down as my all time favorite Jane-post; although I really did like the one where your kitty posted about the Christmas tree!

    I will start with those amazing photos of that incredible architectural building you were blessed to visit. My what a wonderful piece of glass, steel and sex appeal! You have captured it's beauty and that of the view from that exquisite restaurant with your photos. It must have been a truly memorable event! thank you for sharing it with us! I'm afraid of heights, so this was a perfect way to enjoy those views, and oh, what a table you got!

    Your Moment is a perfect "reflection" of your day at the Aquashard; you have managed to capture the feel through your wonderful art! That eye is amazing! thank you for joining our Ring Out the Old, Bring in the New challenge at Anything But Cute. Hugs! Sara Emily DT

  24. Fantastic project. Lots of fab techniques. Thanks for joining us at Sweet Stampin'
    Cass xx

  25. Fabulous project.

    Thanks for sharing at Sweet Stampin'


  26. Oh no, I think my comment just got gobbled up :(

    I was saying how amazing it looks and how brilliantly your moment reflects the experience. I was also saying I'm rubbish with heights, so I struggle a bit with these restaurants (my Sister very kindly takes me to some great places...last time it was Tower 42) and although I admire the view, I'm not very good at going right up to the window to look out.

    Thanks for sharing, and for sharing the moment too, I love seeing the processes involved.


  27. Fabulous! Really makes me want to take some mixed media classes...sigh, there just aren't enough hours in a day! Thanks for joining us at Moving Along with the Times.

  28. Wow - weren't you lucky with the weather?! All those grey cloudy days and then, having booked three months in advance, you strike this glorious day! Fantastic photos of a memorable birthday lunch (love the arty one taken through the drinking glass - clever stuff!), and what a great page to commemorate the event. Fabulous post - thanks for sharing it all with us.
    Alison x


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Jane x