We had visited the Ice Cream Parlour at Fortnum and Mason before, which is incredible, I really recommend the hot chocolate. It comes with a miniature chocolate ice cream cone on the side of the cup of melted rich dark chocolate. The buttery crisp apple strudel is also divine and not mentioning the insane ice cream sundaes too.
But we wanted an afternoon tea, we headed to The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. With a pianist tinkling away in the background, we were seated at a beautifully laid table. I know that is weird to say, but I love the Fortnum and Mason blue, my KitchenAid is a similar colour, which I think has been discontinued, but everything my kitchen is that blue and paired with the silverware for afternoon tea, it looked pretty as a picture.
Fortnum and Mason Afternoon Tea
The first task we had was to choose for the 85 different teas we would like to go with our afternoon tea. I went for Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea. From the tea menu, ‘These pearls are made using small leaves from white tea bushes in Fuding. The tightly rolled balls are repeatedly scented with fresh jasmine blossoms, creating the beautifully fragrant pearls. The colour is pale; the flavour is delicate and has a wonderful light smoky jasmine aroma’ Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect tea to have with my afternoon sandwiches and cakes.
Then the finger sandwiches, scones and cakes arrived! We were told we could have more of any if we wanted, to be honest, we did get another plate of the sandwiches as they were delicious. I particularly enjoyed the Coronation Chicken, but there was also Ploughman’s, Rare Breed Hen Egg with Mustard Cress, Fortnum’s Smoked Salmon with Lemon-Dill Butter and, of course, Cucumber with Mint Butter. Yum! I liked the use of different type of bread as well with the different fillings, as made a change from the standard white bread.
After we had demolished two plates of the sandwiches, we moved on to the scones. Having one fruit and one plain each, then the hard choice of either clotted cream with strawberry jam or lemon curd. I think my mum was in heaven with the lemon curd, I tend to make her a jar now and then for a treat and it doesn’t last too long. If you want to make your own, check out my recipe here.
Working up the cake stand we finished with the cakes and patisseries. They looked so pretty and didn’t disappoint on flavour either. We halved the desserts so we could each try the different desserts. There was a rose flavoured éclair, a chocolate and coffee crunch, raspberry pannacotta and a white chocolate and apricot mousse, which was lighter than air. Perfectly portioned to share. I don’t normally like rose in desserts as it reminds me of old ladies (no offence to rose perfume wearing old ladies) but the éclair was perfectly balanced.
We were well and truly full and well tea-ed at this point and getting ready to pay the bill when we were invited to the dessert trolley. Say what?!? More cake! We eyed up all the delightful desserts on the Coronation Cake Carriage and after hmm and ahhing we decided it was only right to have a slice of chocolate cake and the Bakewell Tart between us but to be boxed up to go instead of eating it there and then. I’m glad we waited as we got a lovely Fortnum and Mason box and got to have cake for dinner too! The chocolate cake was topped with a rich ganache and was to die for. The Bakewell Tart was lovely and moist, with halves of apricots as well which worked really well.
We had a wonderful day and was a lovely treat, a nice way for some cousin/auntie/mum/sister bonding. Next time we add some bubbles!
What’s your favourite finger sandwich when at an afternoon tea?
Fortnum & Mason
181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER
Tel: 020 7734 8040
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