There are few British traditions as regal and refined as the afternoon tea. It is said to have originated in the 1830s with Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, who found herself peckish between the gap between lunch and dinner. What started as inviting friends to enjoy tea and light refreshments in her rooms at Woburn Abbey grew to become a fashionable social engagement respectable enough to be moved into the grander drawing rooms.
Today, afternoon tea still retains a unique sense of occasion, to be savoured at leisure whether with family, friends or associates. Such a grand culinary institution demands the surrounds to match, and what better way to enjoy the occasion than in the breathtaking, historic courtyard of The Royal Exchange, with an array of delectable treats provided by The Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant.
Fortnum & Mason is renowned worldwide for its afternoon tea, and for good reason. When it comes to the hot beverage itself, Fortnum’s is the expert. Begin with a cup of classic Earl Grey or fragrant Chai, or even opt for its signature Royal Exchange Blend – a robust Assam, Ceylon, Kenya and Yunnan loose leaf blend. To truly mark the occasion there are also a range of other special tipples available, from a choice of champagne to Fortnum’s Sparkling Tea.
First come the elegantly presented finger sandwiches, made using the finest ingredients and in a range of classic flavours including Coronation chicken, cucumber with mint cream, and Norfolk cured ham with English mustard. Fortnum and Mason’s irresistible and acclaimed scones follow, served warm with clotted cream and a selection of Fortnum’s strawberry preserve and lemon curd – whether you choose to top your scone with cream or jam first, we will leave to you to decide. The experience is finished in style with a trio of picture-perfect patisserie, made using the best seasonal ingredients.
Throughout August, when you enjoy the Fortnum’s Classic Afternoon Tea at The Royal Exchange, you will receive another complimentary afternoon tea for a member of your group.* Book your table online here, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This offer is valid Monday to Friday from 3 – 31 August and is limited to a maximum of three complimentary afternoon teas per table.