Through the Looking Glass: The Shard, Shangri-La and Swarovski

Last week, The London Journalist's Annie May Noonan was given the ultimate hump day treat with an exclusive invitation to a day of champagne and luxe exploration, all seen through the pristine lenses of Swarovski OPTIK’s new CL Companion binoculars.

The latest Companion binoculars are a product of the historic Swarovski company. A brand mostly known for its crystal, what is less known is that they have been producing sophisticated high grade lens systems since 1935. Ever since, Swarovski OPTIK has employed specialised glass production methods and technologies to create crystal clear high quality lenses for adventurers and lovers of aesthetic beauty.


Last Wednesday, a handpicked selection of guests were invited to try the Swarovski OPTIK experience for themselves. Starting their morning with a glass of bubbles at the Shard’s resident luxury hotel, The Shangri-La, guests tucked into handmade French pastries whilst the Swarovski OPTIK team equipped each invitee with their very own pair of Companions for the day ahead. Crafted with an almost sartorial elegance and small enough to carry in your hands, Austrian mega-brand Swarovski has crafted a product suited to those that appreciate the beauty of craftsmanship and the views to be enjoyed in the outside world.

The Shangri-La at The Shard

The Shangri-La at The Shard

Shangrila Shard 2.jpg

From Sub-Saharan Safari chic to the cliffs of Santorini, the CL Companions will no doubt be the gender neutral companion accompanying many a linen shirt and golden complexion this year. Whether you are an adventurer, wildlife junkie or urban explorer, Swarovski has designed what will be the next great accessory for us all. With settings for both glasses wearers and non, the Companion boasts an impressive jitter free magnification 8 times clearer and more focused than the human eye, making it the perfect tool for seeing London’s most iconic and architecturally beautiful sights from the top of the Shard.


Teaming up with specialist car firm Small Car Big City who provide curated tours of London according to your cultural, culinary or hedonistic wishes, guests were then taken (in the vintage mini of their choosing) around central London driven by expert drivers well versed in London’s lesser known histories.

After a Thameside tour of the older parts of the City, the sunny rooftop of Madison terrace in St Paul’s provided a champagne soaked pit stop ahead of the next leg of the journey that ended in another idyllic rooftop experience at the Trafalgar St James Hotel. With views over Trafalgar Square, and with more champagne and canapes served on the sun dappled terrace, guests, with the aid of their trusty OPTIK Companions, glimpsed the details of London’s architectural beauty usually invisible to the naked eye. Afterwards, guests were transferred, fed, watered and appropriately bubbly, back to the Shangri-La for an exceptional afternoon tea.

Soon to be the jet-setters and international socialite’s accessory of choice, expect to see the Companion around the golden necks of some of the best travelled and most cultured people you know.

Words by Annie May Noonan.

Swarovski OPTIK’s new CL Companion

Small Car Big City
Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard London