Big hurrah for the Shangri-Shard

Gabriella Griffith

IF ANYONE was going to get an invite to sleep in the Shangri La following its grand opening yesterday, you’d think it would be Boris Johnson, given his unwavering support of what he dubs the “intergalactic spear” (the Shard to you and I) – but it appears his invite was lost in the post.

“I haven’t been invited, but if they did I’d love to stay, it’s tremendous,” Johnson told The Capitalist. “I tried to get a paper napkin just now, but they didn’t have such a thing – they only have linen napery,” he mused about the hotel’s luxury wears.

No invite, but the mayor certainly received stellar service. After he arrived on his bike (he rides a Boardman cycle, if you’re curious), one of the doormen held on to it for an hour while the ceremony was going on. “I told Boris I’d valet park his bike – don’t want it getting stolen,” he whispered.

Boris joined Lord Sebastian Coe and Shard developer Irvine Sellar in cutting the red ribbon, before watching a rather lengthy dragon dance, which involved throwing lettuce at the gathered dignitaries (a symbol of prosperity, according to compare Fiona Bruce).

“It went on a bit long, didn’t it? I’d rather do the marathon,” Sellar joked to The Capitalist about the dance. “But it’s marvellous, another great milestone for the property.”

Overall, it was a successful morning – Jonathan Caplan, one of the UK’s top barristers, was singing the praises of the hotel.

“I regularly stay in Shangri La in Hong Kong,” he told The Capitalist. “The service is fantastic, there’s always something special about people knowing your name.”

Cheers to that (arf, arf).