While I’ve enjoyed having high tea back on my own side of the pond (in Chicago and Ann Arbor, to name a few), I felt a special anticipation at having high tea in London. If there’s anywhere on earth where you’ll get a truly spectacular afternoon tea experience, I figured it had to be in London. And for that experience, I wanted to chose one of the city’s quintessential tea spots. While there are seemingly endless tea options in London town, after doing lots of research, I settled on Fortnum & Mason. And let me tell you: I made the right choice.
From start to finish, our afternoon at Fortnum & Mason was perfection. While I can’t wait to return to London and try tea at one of the city’s many other venues, I can’t help but think that the temptation to return to the delightful Fortnum & Mason will be quite strong, too.
When we arrived, we spent a fair bit of time admiring the gorgeous front display windows. We also poked around the store’s interior – which stretches out over six fabulous floors and is filled with delicious foodstuffs – before heading up to the very top floor for our tea.
We arrived in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon and found ourselves in a very delightful setting – everything was decorated in robin’s egg blue, and a pianist provided lovely background music. We ordered the Afternoon Tea, which featured plates of finger sandwiches, thick and fluffy scones, and little pastries. I chose a Moroccan Mint tea for my drink (ever since I visited Morocco, I have a hard time resisting mint tea!)
The finger sandwiches were, on the whole, super tasty. We had a selection of five: cucumber with cream cheese, coronation chicken, rare roast beef with gherkin and caper dressing, smoked salmon with lemon dill butter, and hen egg with mustard cress. Predictably, the smoked salmon was my favorite – though I really enjoyed the roast beef, too.
Next up, our scones, which were baked just right. They also were accompanied by one of my favorite afternoon tea features: lemon curd. The Fortnum & Mason lemon curd was so damn good that I bought myself a bottle to take home!
Our pastry tray was also a highlight. Clockwise from the top, we have a peach layer cake, a cake encased with white chocolate with a crumble on top, a berry cake topped with powdered sugar, a sacher torte, and a strawberry eclair. Aren’t they all so pretty?!
Finally, the salon also had a table with gorgeous, decadent full-sized cakes atop it. We were told we could feel free to choose slices of any of the cakes and, though we were quite stuffed by this point, we couldn’t resist ordering one slice to share. We selected the Battenberg, a sponge cake with a pink and yellow check pattern, covered in marzipan. The cake was ridiculously decadent and was almost too sweet to finish (but we managed anyway).
We left stuffed to the brim but oh so happy to have visited. Afternoon tea is one of my very favorite things to do; getting all the plates of tiny, beautiful goodies is such a treat, and I always feel ever so elegant as I sip my tea. And experiencing it all at Fortnum & Mason? Well, that was just incredible.