The Ultimate Afternoon Tea Experience in London
While in London last month, I had the pleasure of having afternoon tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. I've always been a huge lover of afternoon tea, so the idea of having afternoon tea in England where the tradition originated had me excited enough to wanna spontaneously combust. If we were only going to have afternoon tea once in London, we had to do it right! So I researched all of the best and most famous places. Just kidding. My friend recommended Fortnum & Mason and I was like "OMG that sounds amazing!" and that was that.
I went with a group of friends, so some of us ordered the "Savoury Afternoon Tea" and some of us ordered the regular "Afternoon Tea" (which comes with sweets instead of savouries) so that we could try a bit of everything. The main thing to know about the afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason, and the point that sold me on it, is that yes it is on the pricey side at £44-£48 a person, but it's essentially all-you-can-eat! Anything you like, you can ask them to bring more of. Furthermore, at the end of the meal, you get to choose a slice of cake from the cake carriage!
Fortnum & Mason has been selling tea for over three centuries, so instead of going with my usual standby choice of "English Breakfast" (although it was super tempting to actually have it in England for the first time), I decided to try the "Royal Blend." No regrets but they do allow you to switch tea blends if you so desire.
These are the savouries we got. I've seen pictures of some different ones on Yelp so maybe the menu changes seasonally. There's a wild mushroom puff with truffle, English asparagus wrapped in Parma ham, savoury choux with smoked salmon tartare, lobster and egg mayonnaise, and pea panna cotta with quail egg and cheese straw. The Savoury afternoon tea also comes with savoury scones; we got a cheddar cheese onion scone and a Portland crab scone. Surprisingly, those were pretty good, and I didn't mind the fishy spread that was served with them at all.
The tea sandwiches: smoked salmon, coronation chicken, cucumber and mint with creamcheese, honeyroast ham with mustard, and rare breed hen's egg salad. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the sandwiches as the fillings were so sparse and the bread was a bit stale. I was expecting tea sandwiches in England to blow me away, but I've definitely had much better in the States.
The presentation of the pea panna cotta with quail egg and cheese straw was so pretty, but the taste was overwhelmingly green and vegetably. Something to try once and never again in my opinion haha.
This is the regular afternoon tea, served with individual patisserie rather than savouries, and regular scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and fruit preserves (not pictured).
I never think these types of little sweets are very tasty, but it's fun and interesting to try.
The cake carriage...we were so stuffed by this point that we didn't even all get a slice! We just shared a few instead: