Crossing the threshold into Fortnum & Mason, famed for its chiming clock, is like stepping into an exquisite Aladdin’s cave, for the ground floor is filled with the most sublime displays of extraordinarily luxurious food. This should give you an inkling of the treat that awaits you at teatime. A number of restaurants within the store serve afternoon tea, but the most elegant is, without doubt, the spacious St James’s Restaurant on the fourth floor. Here you can sit and relax in a comfortable armchair setting or, if you prefer, and specify when booking, at a more formal dining table.
The Classic and Estate afternoon teas are preceded by a choice of savoury canapes, followed a feast of finger sandwiches with an array of wonderful fillings.
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In traditional style, plain and fruit scones, Somerset clotted cream and a choice of Fortnum’s superb preserves are next, and if you have room left, you can then choose from the appealing miniature tea cake selection. For those wanting a more substantial feast, High Tea is the obvious answer: no sandwiches here but a selection of savouries including Fortnum’s famous Welsh Rarebit, muffins with poached egg or a seasonal pie. As for the tea itself, which was Fortnum’s first speciality and remains close to the hearts of its customers three centuries later, the choice is exceptional and unsurpassable, and there is help on hand should you have difficulty deciding what to select. Tea guests may choose from more than seventy blends and singleestate teas sourced from all over the globe, and for the connoisseur, the chance to savour the delights of Jade Pillar, Darjeeling Autumn or other exquisite rare teas, is an opportunity not to be missed.
Address: 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER Tel: +44 (0)845 602 5694 E-mail: email@example.com. Uk Web: www.fortnumandmason.com/afternoontea. Aspx.
Afternoon tea served: Monday to Saturday 12-6. 30pm, Sunday 12-4. 30pm, advance booking advised.
Set teas: Classic Afternoon Tea, Estate Afternoon Tea, High Tea, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg.
Nearest underground stations: Green Park, Piccadilly.
Places of interest nearby: Buckingham Palace, Royal Academy of Arts, Bond Street, Burlington Arcade.