Monday, July 11, 2011

Spotlight on tea: An afternoon at Fortnum & Mason

Elizabeth eagerly awaiting afternoon tea at Fortnum  & Mason's St. James's Restaurant on Thursday.
An event 20 some years in the making: afternoon tea at the St. James's Restaurant at 300-year-old British department store Fortnum & Mason. All these years of devouring Austen, the Brontes, various Victorian mysteries and a shameful number of romance novels did not, in fact, prepare me to be a graceful lady at tea. Even worse, Ryan was better at it than I was!

Beautiful place-setting, although we're still not sure what the odd-shaped fork is used for.

To count:
  • 5 times I poured the loose-leaf tea into my cup without using the strainer.
  • 3 times I spilled tea on the tablecloth.
  • 2 sugar cubes dropped on the table.
  • 1 sugar cube dropped on the floor.
  • 1 question to the waitress about how to eat our soup (Answer: drink it straight from the cup).
  • 1 somewhat subtle photo session.
Despite the blow to my ego, it was a lovely day and I am beyond grateful that Ryan agreed to do it. We got the best seat in the place,  a window overlooking Picadilly.

The view of bustling Picadilly below our window.

The tea and the food were absolutely delicious. You can see the menu here (since I know Gena Kittner Luecke will ask; review the options for "Afternoon Tea"). Every course was excellent, but the best thing we ate by far was these blueberry mousse puffs, which you can see on the top of the tray. Ryan's comment after eating his half of this crunchy, sugary delight: "It's exactly how I imagine crystal meth would taste."

Ryan was an amazing sport during the entire process. It helped that the food was so delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Love it. And I do appreciate the link to the menu. I have to ask: Did you try, and, if you did, what were your thoughts re: "Rare Breed Hen Egg & Mustard Cress Bridge Roll"? Sounds pretty exotic for afternoon tea.