I strolled into Fortnum & Mason for my afternoon tea as if I belonged there. In actual fact, I’d never stepped foot in the shop until three days previously when mum was in London for the Phantom of the Opera. I’d told her I’d been invited for tea so we went to check it out. It’s well fancy in there.

One of those places that if you were really sad you’d buy something just to get the carrier bag – hope dad liked his tres expensive chocolates.

Walk in to Fortnum & Mason and you’re entering a time warp, so long as you only look at the staff in their full suits coloured in the traditional blue hues that is. Look around too much and the flip flopped tourists gawping at the prices will ruin your view, not that I have anything against flip flops, of course.

Fortnum and Mason model

Oh Fortnum & Mason, you reminded me of a more refined time, one that I definitely don’t belong in. The staff are friendly and falling over themselves to help you, the famous shop has space to actually move around and enjoy fondling the products, and every part of the emporium has been beautifully designed many years ago.

As I say, I was there with my friend to sample the famous Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea courtesy of AttractionTix. They have the best prices on excursions, adventures and fancy days out and said I could choose one to enjoy. No theme parks or cultural tours for me, straight for the fancy afternoon tea in London. I’m growing up.

Fortnum & Mason shop

I’ve lived in London for six years now, so it pleased me immensely to be reminded that there are a few things in reserve I still need to explore in London.

I walked around the aisles admiring all the teas, the chocolates and the delicacies I’d never heard of. I admired the prices too, and soon became one of those ‘gawping tourists’ I revered.

Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea

The Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea in the Diamond Jubilee Salon is famous worldwide thanks to Queen Liz opening it back in 2012. But the history of tea here goes way back, to 1707 in fact. They have a whole tea tasting menu here, but I’m not sure my limited palate is quite ready for that.Fortnum & Mason reception

We shunted the golden staircase and took the lift up to the top floor. We were greeted by the friendly staff who took our coats and bags and invited us to sit on the chaise lounge and wait for our table to be ready.

It was one of those situations where you feel like you have to whisper. We kept quite and just knowingly admired our fellow guests as they arrived – some obviously for a treat, others so distinguished I imagined this was just another day out from their fabulous schedule.

Fortnum & Mason menu

No more than five minutes later and we were shown to our table. They seated us in the posh way – pushing our chairs under after us – and gave us both a comprehensive menu.

Do we choose, or do we get it all?

You get it all, and if you need any more, just shout.

 Ar yes. An all you can eat Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea, brilliant.

Afternoon Tea Drinks

Seeing as it was Bank Holiday Monday, and a special occasion, we decided to order some wine to go with the tea. They had a separate wine list and we went for a Rose at £10 a glass.

Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea

The Rose arrived at the same time as the Darjeeling Tea I’d ordered so I had an interesting juggle of those two and the water. But the tea wasn’t just your average PG Tips and a bit of semi skim, this was Darjeeling Tea of a ‘robust’ character, and number 51 of 85 to choose from. It was served from one of the traditional Fortnum & Mason teapots and you had to strain it to drink it. Poor old philistine friend totally forgot on her second pour and got all the leaves of her lemon tea in her cup. Amateur.

Afternoon Tea Food

Next out came the three tiers of food and the three tiers of preserves.

Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea

From the bottom; steak, egg, salmon and of course, cucumber sandwiches. All with crusts cut off and perfectly sized.

The salmon sandwich won for flavour, hands down.

Next tier up and we had two delicious scones each. Served with strawberry jam, lemon curd, and clotted cream. Incredible. They were all you can eat too, but all we could eat was two each.

And finally, on the top tier was a range of little cakes. I had stuffed myself on the sandwiches so only managed a forkful of them all. Delicious though.

Fortnum & Mason cakes

Oh, we also got access to the cake train. A trolley with creamy, chocolatey, fruity cakes piled up on top. I had some lemon drizzle cake while my friend went for the biggest beast on there. We shared. Hers was better.

The price

  • 12 finger sandwiches
  • Two scones
  • A slice of lemon drizzle cake
  • Two cake bites
  • Glass of wine
  • Darjeeling Tea

                                     = £59

It does sound pretty expensive, but this wasn’t just any afternoon tea, this was a Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea. Part of the money is the experience you’re paying for and this Afternoon Tea would be a perfect day out for a special occasion in London.

Fortnum & Mason tea

Walking back down the golden staircase to try and take off a few calories we were satisfied with our efforts. Later that night though I scolded myself for not pushing just one more round of sandwiches in. If you decided to go, make sure you do as they say, and eat all you can.

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tagged in drink, Food