Our mission was to convert our friend into a regular afternoon tea go-er. She doesn't drink tea and describes herself as a "McDonalds person..." Enough said.
We set off to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason for a relaxing girly afternoon. Afternoon tea is hard to perfect; I find that there's always one element that could be better whether it be the sandwiches, the ambience or the tea itself. I was keen to see how Fortnums compared to other places I have visited recently.
The first thing that struck me about Fortnums was the level of experience that the staff have. This luxurious department store have had almost a century to fine tune this English custom and it's clearly evident from the get-go.
We were seated and our waiter instantly knew that my two friends (non-tea drinkers (!)) had placed a special pre-order for hot chocolate. He was very knowledgeable about the teas on the menu and helped me to settle on the Ceylon which contains Orange Pekoe and is described as a crisp, full-bodied and large-leaved tea. It was yummy and you can purchase it online here.
The pianist provided the perfect calming atmosphere; we sat back and ate...for hours.
The Afternoon Tea is, as you would expect, very classic in terms of it's offerings...I won't list everything but you can peruse the menu here. For those of you without a sweet tooth, there is also a Savoury Afternoon Tea.
I opted for traditional jam and clotted cream with my scones, but my friend loves butter and lemon curd in hers.... :/
Bar the scones (which were a teeny bit dry), the food was luxurious and delectable throughout. After gobbling up everything on our tea stand and numerous refills, we made our way to the cake trolley. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos but there is something for everyone and one slice of cake is a meal in itself. Make sure you save some room for it!
All in all, it was a lovely afternoon which was made better by the excellent service and calming nature of the Tea Salon. The Tiffany-coloured crockery is oh so elegant and helps to bring out the gorgeous shades of the tea cakes.
We even asked for some vegetarian sandwiches during one round of refills and the staff were happy to oblige!
My friend pocketed the raspberry jam and lemon curd on our way out and we had a mosey around the store before ending our lazy Sunday afternoon.
My favourite afternoon tea is still my "local" - Stoke Park Country Club. Fortnums however, is a close second. Next on my list is The Georgian Restaurant at Harrods so watch this space! Oh, and I forgot to add...mission accomplished.
If you're an afternoon tea-lover like me, check out my blog post on the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson.