Tea Time at the Fortnum and Mason

You can always spot me having a spot of tea!

In honor of the anniversary of my return from studying abroad in London and Queen Elizabeth’s birthday a few days ago, I thought I’d share the unpublished  Diamond Jubilee Afternoon Tea experience I had at the Fortnum and Mason. If it’s any reflection on how delightful of an experience it is, Condé Nast Traveller dubbed afternoon tea at the Fortnum and Mason one of the “Best Afternoon Teas in London.” As a devoted lover of afternoon tea, I could not pass up the opportunity to reflect on this momentous occasion while I am drowning in finals studies. Let’s just say studying for exams are not my cup o’ tea, but the Jubilee blend I had at the Fortnum and Mason certainly was, my friends. I can still taste it.

When our cab immediately pulled in front of the venue, I knew it would be a grand experience. We were welcomed by a rich wood double door entrance and a red carpet with beautifully adorned double staircase. While walking through the store to get to the tearoom, I was entranced by all the gorgeous crockery and many delicious looking candies like Turkish delights in Easter colors.

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We then reached the fifth floor where the tearoom was. And it was a dream. My ears were delighted by a grand piano playing classical music, including the Downtown Abbey theme song that made my mother and I swoon. I felt cocooned by a bright and airy room with beautiful crown molding, pastel paintings, and clothed tables. My eyes immediately flocked to the desert table filled with delicious-looking cakes that Marie Antoinette herself would have been jealous of. Little did I know I’d soon be surrounded by tiers and tiers of delicious goodness on my own table that would fill me to the rim: an array of finger sandwiches from egg salad to salmon cream cheese, fruit and plain scones that I piled with clotted cream and strawberry jam, chocolate cake, a lemon tart, and some delectable, spherical pink pastry I still can’t put my finger on. Those cakes on the table I had been drooling over earlier quickly became completely obsolete.


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Completely by accident—or maybe subconsciously—okay no I planned it, I ended up matching the décor of the room to a “tea.” In the British fashion, I sported a houndstooth print dress of navy and emerald green with military inspired pockets. I picked up on the gold buttons on the pockets by wearing gold hoop earrings and carrying a metallic gold sequined clutch. For shoes I stuck to nude heels to let the dress be the centerpiece of the look.


Needless to say, I will always reminisce on what I see as the best high tea experience I’ve ever had, as I go searching the good o’ U.S. for a afternoon tea experience to be of the same caliber. While I have experienced many splendid teatime dining experiences, the Fortnum and Mason’s Afternoon Tea will always hold a special place in my heart. I say that not only because of the scenery and delicious goodies, but because I was surrounded by my family in my favorite city in the world.

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Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

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