Monday, 22 December 2014

A new Christmas tradition: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason

A lot of people I've chatted to this year have all said they were struggling to get in the Christmas spirit and just hadn't got the festive feeling, myself included. So I was on a mission to spread some holiday magic and get myself and others in a Christmasy mood. That’s where a trip to the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon came in.

Fortnums is one of my favourite shops in London and is a must visit at any time of year, but at Christmas it’s like stepping back in time. There are endless varieties of Christmas biscuits, chocolates and other delectable delights and their Christmas Shop is simply beautiful. If Fortnum & Mason can’t make you feel festive, nothing will.

So some friends and I all decided to give ourselves a little Christmas treat and have the famous Afternoon Tea in the stunning Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon on the fourth floor of this magical emporium of prettiness. The best bit is you can go after work as Afternoon Tea is served until 7pm, making it more Evening Tea!

As soon as you ascend the garland-wrapped, grand staircase to the fourth floor and enter the lobby of the tea rooms you’re greeted by a grand piano and a stunning Christmas tree and then shown to your table. We had a gorgeous and cosy corner booth, and the salon to ourselves pretty much, in one wing of the salon. The Tiffany blue and velvet finishes make you feel like you’re staring in a period drama and that you should be your most ladylike self. We failed miserably at this, but c’est la vie.

Once you've chosen your tipple from the extensive tea list, Assam Superb for me please, and the sort of Afternoon Tea you want you have to make polite conversation with your companions/chaperones until the treat arrive. Then the fun starts!

The mouth-watering selection of fingers sandwiches, scones and petit four appear all at once and you can start off savoury, just as mother taught you, or break all the rules and work from the tiny cakes down. You can do what you want, you’re an adult. And I promise not to tell your mum.

The food is beautiful and plentiful. Don’t be fooled by the ladylike, bite-size proportions as the attentive waiters will ask you several times if you’d like the selections restocked. It’s the poshest version of an all you can eat buffet, so skip lunch, ladies.

We had such a fabulous time we've decided to make this an annual Christmas event, so thank you Fortnum & Mason for getting us in the mood for Christmas. Keep up the good work!


By Carina Sullivan

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