Monday, February 21, 2011

Fortnum & Mason tea delight

When I lived in England, something like visiting Fortnum & Mason would have felt a bit decadent, and maybe unnecessary. It's got a 'stands the test of time' type reputation for serving the best of everything, having royal warrants and for sitting in a beautiful building right near The Ritz and Piccadilly. But you could hardly say it's everyday food, or everyday eating for that matter - and the prices do match.

But when visiting from Australia, it felt so totally right to go there. I love a good tea rooms, especially when served properly with all the accoutrements. And they do really know how to do it at Fortnums, after all, they have been doing it since 1707.

They have done a fabulous job of making the whole Fortnum's experience feel quintessentially English, but not old, fussy and laborious as some English institutions seem to feel.
The shopfront is stunningly decorated - much like so many other places in London, we saw quite a few that felt like they had been rigourously designed, and that really knew how to stop people in their tracks (especially Selfridges, who were showcasing young designers when we were there).

 I fell head over heels in love with this fantasy tea set up - a bit Alice in wonderland with those not quite real tea pots, especially the gold one sitting in the middle of one of the stacks. How whimsical to be able to serve tea in a gorgeous girlie sets, surrounded by posies, butterflies and cute cushions.

The building itself is large, and very grand inside, with original looking lifts and people dressed as if they might be organising William and Kate's wedding in the afternoon. It was a joy just to look around the place - seeing the amazing range of teas, coffees and sweets on offer. Unfortunately I already had too much luggage, so had to leave it to looking only.

Those little veggies are actually marzipan, the detail in them was incredible. So fiddly.

For our morning tea we headed down to The Fountain Restaurant, which sits under the building and is just one of four cafes/restaurants at Fortnum's! The tea menu itself was as long as the food one, with a number of teas I have never heard of. My brother ordered a full English breakfast, which was brought to him within 2 minutes of ordering - so impressive. I had a pot of Earl Grey, my current favourite tea for such occasions. Served in giant silver pots no less, and silver strainers and jugs to match.
We ended up as eight having morning tea as extended family members kept showing up. Here I am with my lovely cousin Jane who I haven't seen for over 10 years.
Thank you London for putting on a show. xx


  1. Those marzipan vegetables are amazing! They're the most lifelike that I've seen. I've always wanted to go to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea. I've heard it is wonderful.

  2. Thanks for your comment Lorraine!
    Those veggies were something else - even if I don't really appreciate the marzipan. Hope you get to visit sometime soon.

  3. What a fabulous place! I have never actually heard of it. Next time I'm in London I should visit. How lovely to catch up with family :)
    Heidi xo


I love getting comments!