#DiscoverTheDetails: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum's
How we make Tea into an artform in our Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon
From the cakes and sandwiches, to the scones and the eponymous drink at the heart of it all, there's nothing quite like taking Afternoon Tea.
Here at Fortnum's, we've been serving an extraordinary version of this oh-so-British tradition for centuries. In that time, we've learned a thing or two about making every afternoon's sipping into a memorable one.
It all begins on the fourth floor. Whether you’ve padded your way up the lush red-carpeted stairs or taken the more leisurely option of our brass-fixed and mirror-laden lifts, two things will likely strike you most immediately.
First, is the gentle tinkling of our resident pianist from their seat behind the beautiful Tea Salon grand piano. The second, are the rows of eau-de-nil tea urns lining the walls. Both, as you’ll soon discover, are essential elements in our Afternoon Tea.
Indeed, just as you can request the tea of your choice, if you ask nicely enough, you might just be able to get our in-house entertainer to play a song of your choosing, too. There are limits, of course.
Stairway, for example, will probably be denied.
But what else -- besides the merry music and our pianist's willingness (and uncanny ability) to tease out everything from the theme tune to Twin Peaks to some Bach -- makes our Afternoon Tea so special? To what lengths do our staff go in order to ensure every visit is as perfect as possible?
For one thing, every table is exquisitely prepared. There are top-secret guides for Fortnum's Tea Salon team that turn table-setting into a precise and beautiful art. Angles, distances, symmetry: everything must be perfect. There are diagrams, even.
Of course, our staff are a wonderfully friendly and characterful bunch, positively overflowing with fantastic ideas to make your visit a memorable one, but nothing at all is left to chance.
Everything -- from the way our napkins are folded to the way your tea and treats arrive at your table -- is carefully choreographed with surprise and delight in mind. The Tea Salon is where magic happens. It's where you should feel light as a feather, and giddy with relaxed excitement.
Speaking of food arriving at your table, let’s take it, as the saying goes, from the top. On the highest tier of our signature tea towers is a delicious plate of ever-changing pâtisserie, each as wonderfully light and sweet as the next.
Each delicious piece is made, behind-the-scenes and on-site, by our team of skilled chefs. Despite our repeated requests, they won't knock up a few extra for us to take home every evening. We'll keep asking, mind you.
Elsewhere on our beautiful tea towers are incredible sandwiches of all flavours. But here's a small secret about these delicate little delicacies of which you may be otherwise unaware. When you dine in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, your sandwiches are constantly replenished.
Finish a plate and before you can say 'well, those were fantastic, I could eat those all day,' so a fresh batch will appear. If you enjoy a good sandwich - and these are very good sandwiches - it's a dream. More than that, it's the sort of memorable little detail which makes our Afternoon Tea so special (even if we do say so ourselves).
Speaking of dreams: our scones are ridiculously good too. Just look at them.
We cut no corners here, either, baking thousands everyday, right here in Piccadilly. The early morning waft of fresh-baked treats through 181 is hard to beat and it goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway), that they taste extraordinary too.
All of which is sufficient to get your mouth-watering; but there is, of course, one very important part of the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon experience that we haven’t even mentioned yet.
Namely, the tea.
Frankly, the space we could give over to explaining the huge variety of teas available for you to try is enormous. We could fill a book with it. Maybe we will, one day. We'll certainly be going into no little depth on our wonderful selection of famous teas here at fortnumandmason.com very soon.
But suffice to say, a wonderful afternoon of tea-tasting at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon starts with a simple request to a member of staff. Let them know what you like, what you don't like, what you've tried or haven't tried before, and they will be able to sashay a pot of something extraordinary your way. They know their way around a blend or two.
Arriving thirsty is a good idea. Leaving utterly satisfied is guaranteed. Book a table today and discover for yourself.