My grandmother’s flying back to Vietnam very soon now… My mother really wanted her to experience a little London luxury and British traditions so we took her to Fortnum & Mason for an afternoon (rather lunch) tea.
I love Fortnum & Mason so much… I could spend hours in it, just looking at all the gorgeous things! And the decorations are so pretty as well… I think I prefer it to Harrods, for various reasons: there aren’t as many tourists and I actually feel relaxed, it’s also smaller and so less overwhelming because I know I can take my time and still go through all the floors.
The building looks so beautiful from outside; each step is a step closer to Wonderland as you make your way toward the beautiful light blue windows which frame the most amazing showcases.
We first walked in candy world, level 0. The ornamentations this autumn are as original as sumptuous! Absolutely English ;)
If you go to the first floor, there’s a tearoom where you can enjoy a nice traditional afternoon tea. Now… if you want to go the extra mile, you’ll walk up another three floors to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. How luxurious does this sound?
Just like at Harrods, the elevators are old style, but where are the guy at the doors to open cute little golden gates for us?
We walked in the reception, which was promising: grand piano, tea showcases and more tea. We let the receptionistS know we were here and seated on the sofa to wait for them to take us to our table.
The tearoom is sooo fancy! Unlike the one on the first floor, it’s not crowded at all and makes it very exclusive (it was also quite early for an afternoon tea)
We sat down and as soon as our waiter came to present us the menu, I had a glass of Fortnum vintage champagne.
Before ordering, we were allowed a very elegant tea tasting to make up our mind – they have a really wide selection of teas.
I decided to have a Chinese Green tea: Handmade Dongting Bi Luo Chun (green tea is great for diets ;) )
My mother had some of the tea that was served at the Royal wedding which she lately bought of course.
A Darjeeling was my grandmother’s choice.
The plate stands made their way to our table: we had two traditional afternoon teas (sandwiches, scones and pastries) and I was served a savory one (savory pastries and scones).
Look at those little canapés!
Cheese and chorizo scone, leek scone, all served with a garlic and herb butter as well as cream cheese. I was in heaven.
Everything is brought in single portions BUT what is great is that whatever you love and want again – if you’re still hungry – they’ll bring it to you ;) But trust me, that’s not necessary…
We sipped our teas and took the time to appreciate every bite. We mostly shared everything but I really preferred my savory selection. It was more sophisticated and original than what you could find in other hotels or tearooms and the classic afternoon tea seemed a little too common to me for its actual price… But everything was delish!
The afternoon tea menus also include a slice of any of their cakes; undoubtedly, our little Asian tummies couldn’t bare any more food so they wrapped them for us to take away. Raspberry charlotte and almond and apricot cake.
After this lovely filling meal we headed to a section which holds a big place in the Londoners’ heart… anytime of the year! It’s always there… The Christmas shop!
I spotted the cutest Christmas tree decorations: little afternoon tea elements!
And of course, there was a Fortnum & Mason gallery Advent Calendar:
We kept on walking up and down the wooden wallpapered staircases to look at all the magical objects on display on every floor.
The kitchen tools section is where I found my happiness.
Each one of us crossed the doors with something: my mother had her Royal Blend tea, my grandmother got herself an elegant silver tea strainer and I was just happy with the most adorable mini cupcake cases…
Doesn’t all of this make you want to live in the most sophisticated city in the world?