If you’re not familiar with Fortum and Mason already then let’s just say, it’s the crème-de-la-crème of department stores. Dating back to 1707, they quite rightly market themselves as ‘The most luxurious department store in the world’.
What could make you feel more British than a lovely cup of tea… and a whole lot of cake? F&M are famous for their extensive collection of tea; they have a whole menu exclusively designated to their personal selection which showcases a whopping 82 different styles of tea.
The Tea Room is located on the top floor of this magnificent store so we took the wooden and mirror adorned lift to the top. We knew we were heading for a calorie overload so decided there would be little point taking the stairs!
The doors opened out onto the reception area of The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, where the lovely hostesses of F&M were ready to greet us and took our coats. The waiting area is sandwiched (sorry couldn’t help myself!) between both sides of the restaurant and is also complete with a lovely young man playing a beautiful grand piano which, just added to the atmosphere.
Fortum’s don’t do afternoon tea by half. In fact they give you three different options to choose from. The Classic, The Vegetarian and The Savoury. For me the choice was easy, I opted for The Fortnum’s Classic Afternoon Tea… (Even more cake than the other options!)
That’s not the only tricky decision. Next we had to choose one tea from the vast selection on offer. Our indecisiveness was clear to the waiter, who attentively came over to offer us some tea assistance. He was one of their ‘Tearistas’ who are on hand and available for advice on all things tea! I would highly recommend picking their brains, as he helped me choose the perfect blend. First he asked me how I like to take my tea and what I usually drink. I’m an Earl Grey girl with milk and no sugar – so he recommended a few options and I settled on the number 58 ‘Countess Grey’. This was mostly because I liked the name, but wow – it did not disappoint! I was particularly fond of the infused orange flavour.
The food arrived and was more beautiful than any of us could have imagined. Starting with delicate finger sandwiches, followed by scones and finished off with tiny cakes: 3 layers of yumminess. WARNING: The top layer is not for the faint hearted, you need some seriously rich taste buds if you are going to finish these off, but of course, we all managed a bite!
The scones and sandwiches were my favourite though and we ordered a little extra helping as they were ‘scone’ too fast.
My only negative would be that the scones weren’t hot, and nothing makes me happier than having the clotted cream melt into the scone. They were still delicious though and the perfect bite-sized portions. We had a little battle about the correct way to prepare a scone… (My personal choice would be cream first and then jam on top, aesthetically the better option too!)
The whole experience from beginning to end was fantastic; it’s like being transported into another time when visiting Fortnum’s. I loved that I could share one of my childhood experiences with my younger cousin too. Every girl, young or old, should experience this indulgent treat.