15th March 2017 at 05:57 #795940
Mrs M arrived at The Shard and were directed to the 35th floor and reception. Check in took a little longer than it might have done as there was some confusion as to the suite we had booked. We though we we were in one of the Signature Suites, but they were full so we had an “Iconic Suite”. A little disappointing…no butler…but we were not going to let that spoil our stay. The check in agent sorted things out for us and then showed us to our room on the 36th floor.
On entering the room it was dark, but as soon as a key card is placed in the little slot by the door all the blinds in the room rose like the opening of a west end show. The room filled with light and the views over London appeared before us. From St Paul’s Cathedral to the Tate Modern, London Eye and south to Brixton, the vista was enormous and impressive.
The receptionist showed us the amenities of our room, the lounge was an impressive size with a big desk with iPad, binoculours and hotel info. a sofa for 5, huge coffee table full of quality books on The Shard, London etc etc. a massive TV with coffee (Nespresso machine) and a decent tea set. The mini bar was impressive, as were the prices!. Although in fairness £9 for a small bottle of spirit I did not think was too over the top. The bedroom had a lovely King Size bed, one can lay in it and enjoy the views over London….how can you beat that! just off the bedroom was a changing room with plenty of storage and wardrobe space…along with a fire exit, perfect for storing my wheelchair that I now need. The bathroom was impressive, again floor to ceiling windows with a bathtub right in the window. The mirror at the sink included an inbuilt TV so one could have a bath and watch The Chase. the shower room and toilet were two seperate rooms off the bathroom, the toilet included a heated toilet seat…Mrs M found She rather liked it.
After a few minutes a few treats were delivered, a delicate chocolate cake and some chocolate. I settled in to an armchair Mrs M had lugged over to the window for me and admired the view as I had a red bull (gives me wings and I need them). I loved watching the trains snaking in and out of London Bridge to Cannon Street and Waterloo East, it was quite mesmerising believe me. Sometimes it really is the simplest things one can get pleasure from. It was soon my nap time so I put the blinds in bedroom down half way to stop the sun and dosed off looking out over the Thames and watching the traffic upon it.
I woke in time for sunset and it was impressive how London seemed to transform in to an absolute fairy tale of light. The trains seemed more interesting in the dark…I could see the signals so knew when they could go or would have to stop. I think I turned in to a train spotter while at The Shard.
We debated about in room dining, but frankly the menu for it wa disappointing so we decided to go to Ting a South Asian restaurant on the 35th floor. We we were give a table in the Window and had a different view here, East to Docklands and Tower Bridge…awesome. Friendly but very professional service with good descriptions of the food when we asked about various dishes. I now have a small appetite so I skipped started but Mrs M adored her soft shell crab. The Somellier helped MrsM pick a wine to go with her meal (no alcohol for me), I went for red bull and it was served beautifully from the can! I cannot remember what the main was called but we both the same, it was large noodles with squid and prawns and was delicious. Mine was done spicey as I liked it, MrsM,s less spicey as she liked it. I enquired how busy Gong was, the cocktail bar on the 53rd floor as I knew you could not reserve a table it was first come first served and was not huge. enquiries were made for me and I was informed a table was now reserved for me and they would be delighted to bring my dessert up to Gong for me if I should require it. I didn’t, but we did make our way up to Gong where a table in the window was waiting. I have not had alcohol since NYE but was going to treat myself. Mrs M had a Black Russian and I opted for an Irish coffee. Both were excellent, the service was attentive the views over East London magical. Canary Wharf looks so serene at night.
I was in bed a little after 10, exhausted but exhilarated.
Al little after 8am we put on our Shangri La gowns and slippers and ventured up to the 56th floor (I think it was 56) and the highest swimming pool in Europe. It was wonderful lazing in the pool while gazing out over London. I found it very therapeutic and not tiring at all as I had feared. The pool area was done in an Asian style and was absolutely gorgeous. An infinity pool overlooking the Thames is just an experience I will not forget.
After a swim we went down to Ting again for breakfast (we got dressed first)(breakfast included in the rate). MrsM tells me it was a very impressive breakfast buffet with a mixture of Western and Asian. It was round the corner but MrsM picked me some of my favourites and a few new things to try, I enjoyed it immensely looking down on HMS Belfast and the Tower of London. I could just…I think…make out a couple of beefeaters.
As we checked out we were given a delightful bag of goodies including chocolates, tea and a dozen macaroons as an apology for the rooms mix up. Yumm.
The Shangri La at The Shard did not dispoint, it was everything I expected and a little more. The food and beverage not bank breaking as I expected.
There was one last thing I wanted to do, and MrsM agreed we should. We loaded up the wheelchair with me and the luggage and walked/rode the 5 minutes to Borough Market, one of my absolutely favourite places on gods earth. We sat and had a coffee or two and watched the lunchtime bustle and I just adored the smell of the street food all freshly cooked and from all corners of the world. bliss. I did buy some Malaysian chicken curry for the fridge at home. Don’t visit The Shard without visiting Borough Market.
I have been diagnosed with primary pancreatic cancer and secondary liver cancer. I have about three months left on this good earth. I am constantly tired and can now barely walk without a stick and find myself having to be wheeled about in a wheelchair. I have not worked since middle of February so my days of business travel are over. My trip to The Shard was probably my last trip anywhere, McMillan nurses will be guiding my care from later today. I am starting to be in the most awefull pain but keep a brave face on it for my wonderful wonderful wife and children. They don’t deserve this, and it is them that makes me sad to see the hurt in their eyes, but also I see their love and that gives me strength. I have a constant stream of relations, friends and colleagues visiting me at home that will soon be converted in to a hospital room ugh. But it is home where MrsM insists I stay even though I was happy to go in to a hospice at a later date to make it easier for her. I love MrsM.
Back to the point…..I would like to thank you all for previous kind words and much debate over the past few years I have had the pleasure to be a part of this forum. I enjoyed it, I learnt from it, and used often the advice from it. By the way, I sold my IAG shares last week.
It is unlikely I will post further, I find it exhausting, this post has taken over an hour and a half so far, but I wanted to do it anyway. I hope to mosey in from time to time while I still can to see what your all up to. But from now…just a lurker.
May I say to you all, don’t put off what you want to see or do, you don’t know what is around the corner, and give your loved ones an extra big hug on me.
Thanks to you all in making this a great forum, including the BT staff and Tom.
Best wishes to you all.
MrMichael15th March 2017 at 09:03 #795965
Thank you Mr Michael, thank you! I wish you peace.15th March 2017 at 09:38 #795967
Your bravery is an inspiration. So glad you enjoyed your stay in London.
My best wishes go to you and your family over this next chapter.15th March 2017 at 10:00 #795969
Our thoughts are with you15th March 2017 at 10:04 #795970
MrMichael, A thought provoking personal review – thank you.
I wish you all the best and also very glad your stay was enjoyable.
Peter15th March 2017 at 10:18 #795972
MrMichael…I wish you comfort and calmness on your final journey…15th March 2017 at 10:37 #795974
I have enjoyed your reviews over the time I have been a member and your comments! My thoughts r with u and your family! I hope your passing is painless and dignified15th March 2017 at 10:59 #795975
Thanks for the excellent review of the Shard and other places – nice work.
Peace to you, MrMichael. I have read your posts over a long period and they’ve always been good, and thoughtful. I’m absolutely sure that even in the last few days, despite your bad news, your posts have been uplifting and very helpful to a lot of people. Thank you for that and once again, peace to you.15th March 2017 at 11:40 #795983
Thank you MrMichael for being MrMichael.
I have no words to express or ease the pain you, your wife and girls are going through.15th March 2017 at 12:05 #795989
Next time we get irate because we didn’t get a Gold member welcome from the CSD, there are no menus in business class or an umbrella is not made available for us as we wait on rain-soaked aircraft steps, think of Mr Michael’s post above and focus on what really matters.
Mr Michael, many thanks for a very courageous post- and I hope you stay around for as long as you comfortably can.15th March 2017 at 12:34 #796004
I don’t think I could have said it any better than travelworld.
MrMichael – my thoughts and best wishes are with you and particularly your wife and children.15th March 2017 at 12:46 #796011
Very sorry to learn about this.
I wish you peace and goodwill in the short time you have left.
John – ST15th March 2017 at 13:02 #796023
MrMichael, your a legend. Wishing you peace and comfort with your loved ones.15th March 2017 at 13:14 #796026
Loved the review, as its poignancy tugged at my heart, as it probably did with many others on the forum touched by encounters with the Big C. .
My fingers are crossed that fate will bring you and your loved ones some more moments of exhilaration that allow you all respite from the inevitable bouts of exhaustion.
Like others on here, I’d also like to say, thanks for the 1574 valued comments you made to the forum.15th March 2017 at 15:00 #796036
Very sorry to read this, but thank you for posting it – and your other contributions.
From all the team at Business Traveller, our thoughts (and prayers) are with you.
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