[Fortnum & Masons Jubilee Tea]
This was my first, and surely not my last, time being exposed to Fortnum & Mason and while I was thoroughly excited with the selection of coffees, teas and biscuits available, I was extremely disappointed with the Afternoon Tea.
The set itself runs at £18 for a pot of tea, 2 scones and three mini ice-cream cakes (meant for one...I don't know why). It is rather pricey for what you're getting. But first, let's talk about the tea.
I went with a friend and she ordered Earl Grey while I went for the Afternoon Blend Tea:
I do love the aesthetics of their service though. The cups, saucers and dishes are perfectly coordinated in their baby-hued colours of pink, blue and yellow, while the teapots are gorgeous silver pieces. Let's establish now that they are not stingy with their tea because the pot was obscenely large and heavy and contained more tea than I could finish in one sitting (and that is unheard of for me). However, after awhile, our tea was overbrewed and bitter because the leaves were sitting in the pot for the time that we sat there. It would have been preferrable to have a smaller pot which they could add water to over time. I suspect that half the pot of tea was left untouched primarily because of how bitter it became after awhile.
Now for the Afternoon Tea set. It was simply disappointing.
[Tier 1 - Clotted Cream and Jam]
It's really difficult to complain about either of these. The clotted cream was absolutely lovely while the jam was a proper preserve and quite nice.
[Tier 2 - Plain and Raisin Scone]
I really don't understand this obsession with icing sugar. Scones are already served with jam...additional sugar is not required. I suppose, however, that scones tend to be quite ugly things so this is purely for aesthetic purposes. I still don't approve. Stop it.
Icing sugar aside, the scones were simply not very nice. They were too dense and not at all flaky:
[See, barely any crumbs]
I didn't really enjoy them, but there is nothing an obscene amount of clotted cream can't fix apparently.
[Tier 2 - Mini Ice-Cream Cakes]
I am not a fan of ice-cream, so I didn't eat these, but I was told they weren't particularly spectacular. I would definitely not recommend this place for Afternoon Tea. It is truly a waste.
But, if you are in Fortnum & Mason, go there for the decor and the tea. It really is absolutely wonderful tea!
And just look at the decor:
Just a note on this: We had tea on the fourth floor because the parlour on the main floor was closed for a private function. I'm not sure if there is a real difference between the two, but I thought it should be mentioned. I wouldn't trust their scones anyway.
Also, for the amount of tea and the quality of it, £5.75 is pretty all right I would think. Really, just don't bother with the scones. Yes, I am bitter. Extremely bitter.
Fortnum & Mason
181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER