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).
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.
Thank you London for putting on a show. xx