As I slowly get back into the momentum of exploring the best afternoon teas that London has to offer, I was thankful for the opportunity to finally pay a visit to one of London’s most famous destinations for Afternoon Tea, Fortnum & Mason.
Entering the main entrance through the ground floor food hall, we made our way up the lift to the fourth floor, and arrived at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. A historic room which has been through different phases over the last 307 years, it began as an apartment for the Fortnum family, before being turned into an interior decorating department in the 1920s and 1930s, an antiques department and a restaurant, and today pays homage to the timeless tradition of Afternoon Tea. Named in honour of Her Majesty’s visit in 2012, when she formally opened the room, in the company of their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge, The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon truly epitomises the sophistication of Afternoon and High Tea in all its splendour. The room is bright and airy, and we were lucky enough to be seated at the corner sofa table by the window.
We started with glasses of chilled Fortnum’s Blanc de Blancs whilst we perused the menus. Spoilt for choice from their vast selection of teas, I eventually decided on the Jubilee black tea which had a slight smokiness to it, created in 2012 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – the 12th monarch to have sat on the throne since Fortnum’s was founded.
We both opted for the Savoury Afternoon Tea, and it wasn’t long until our afternoon tea arrived on a traditional three-tiered silver stand.
The delicate finger sandwiches included:
Norfolk cured ham with English mustard
Cucumber with mint cream cheese
Rare breed hen’s egg mayonnaise with cress
Fortnum’s smoked salmon with tartare sauce
My favourite was the creamy coronation chicken sandwich – their interpretation of the famous Coronation Chicken sandwich is a little twist on chef Rosemary Hume’s original 1953 recipe, the plump raisins, sweet mango chutney, and fresh coriander remain in all their glory, with the exception of the nuts. We were offered a refill of sandwiches and couldn’t resist ordering an extra portion of it.
The savoury scones included pea and mint scones with smoked salmon cream cheese, and scone Lorraine with Fortnum’s mustard butter – a nice change from the traditional sweet plain and fruit scones, although I generally enjoy eating both sweet and savoury scones.
Finally the top tier was a selection of intricately presented savoury bites which included rabbit ballotine with pickled carrot, a miniature apple & pork sausage roll, a wild mushroom & truffle pate, duck mousse with a vibrant rhubarb glaze, and devilled eggs with caviar served in a dainty egg cup.
To finish off, we were offered a slice of their classic cake each which I very much looked forward to as I was craving something sweet after all those savoury delights – we went for their rich and indulgent chocolate cake and their Battenberg cake which they have been serving up with their famous Afternoon Tea in Piccadilly since 1926. I paired this with the Peach Black Tea, a sunny and naturally sweet creation which was the ideal companion to their made-in-Piccadilly Battenburg cake.
The Fortnum’s Afternoon Tea is available daily and is priced from £60 per person.
And to celebrate re-opening, Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon is offering one complimentary Afternoon Tea per two guests, available until 31st August – now that’s certainly an offer not to be missed, and the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family!
Reservations can be made via their website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
- My afternoon tea experience at Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was complimentary – views and photos are my own.