London: An Elegant Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason

Afternoon tea. If there’s one thing that’s always on my must list when in London, it’s that. And while I’ve accumulated a huge list of new afternoon teas I would like to try, I also have a lot of favorite teas that constantly call my name. For this trip, I had a lot of time in London (eleven days, to be exact), so I figured I had plenty of time to do both: try a new tea, and revisit some old favorites.

My mom and I visited Fortnum & Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon back in 2013 and it has remained our gold standard for afternoon tea ever since, so it immediately popped back into my mind as a spot I should revisit. And, since it was just after Christmas, an added bonus was that the place was still fairly decked out for the holidays. It only added to the special feel of the tea!

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Fortnum has an extensive tea menu, but I couldn’t resist the ones with ties to the Royal Family (typical American, I suppose). I chose the Wedding Breakfast Blend, which, as Fortnum notes, is “a special blend created especially to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. Large leaf TGFOP Assam and Eastern Kenyan (the country chosen for the Royal Proposal) orange pekoe combine to create a rich refreshing brew.” It was lovely!

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(I swear, it was a complete coincidence that my nails coordinated so well with the china!)

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The sandwiches were all the favorites I expect at a tea: glazed ham with English mustard mayonnaise, cucumber with mint and cream cheese, egg salad, smoked salmon, and coronation chicken. My absolute favorite was the coronation chicken, and my server even brought me a few extras.

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An afternoon tea simply would not be a proper afternoon tea without scones, and Fortnum has some of the best ones. I mean, look how fluffy they are! Top them with the famous F&M lemon curd and you are basically in foodie heaven. The strawberry preserves and clotted cream don’t make bad toppers either.

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The patisserie at Fortnum is top-notch too. While all five of the little cakes were tasty (and so pretty!), my favorite had to be the red velvet layer cake. I am a sucker for red velvet, and this was no exception.

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One of the most indulgent parts of the already-indulgent Fortnum & Mason experience is that, after consuming all of that, you’re invited to select another dessert from the dessert trolley. From my prior visit, I remembered the beautiful Battenberg cake, and I had my fingers crossed that they would have it again this time around. And as luck would have it…they did!

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The Bottom Line: Fortnum & Mason remains one of my favorite afternoon tea experiences in London. The blue and gold china is lovely, the tea is on point, and the dessert trolley is a delight. I am certain this was not my last visit!

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