Afternoon Tea - Harrods vs Fortnum & Mason

Monday, 15 December 2014

My Uncle and I have been to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea on a few occasions.

And it is always wonderful.

The atmosphere is calm and tranquil with the piano playing in the background.

The room is clean and bright with everything from the china to the menus matching in the beautiful Fortnums blue.

The choice of tea is huge! Including royal teas made especially for the marriage of Wills and Kate or the birth of Prince George.

The cakes are delicious, as are the sandwiches and they are constantly refilled.

Plus it holds a special place in our family as this is where my brother proposed.

You can't top it really for afternoon tea in London. I even prefer it to the Ritz.

(How cute is my Picnic hamper I have - it holds two bottles of wine or champagne so you are bound to have a good picnic!) Slightly awkward that it was an engagement present...but hey ho! I love it anyway!


So...
for my Uncle Bill's birthday present I thought I would treat him to tea at Fortnums...unfortunately though they were very booked up in the run up to Christmas!

So we had to downgrade...to Harrods...not exactly downgrading - first class problems!

I booked the Georgian restaurant for tea
http://www.harrods.com/content/the-store/restaurants/the-georgian-restaurant
and we headed there at 3pm on Friday

We walked past the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - which excited me - and into the Georgian Restaurant.

We then asked if we could use the loo before we sat down for tea and were literally sent on a wild goose chase around Harrods.
...dear Harrods if you are going to have a restaurant where people are going to be drinking tea and champagne...put a loo nearby.
That is just common sense!

We were seated at our table and were provided with menus so we could decide what experience we wanted!

We picked the Champagne Afternoon tea...

So appropriately started with a glass of rose champagne...and presents for Emma :)

He spoils me :)


The Champagne Afternoon Tea starts with an amuse bouche - prawn cocktail with quails egg and caviar.


This was seriously good...massive prawns and the quails egg actually went really well!

You don't get an amuse bouche at Fortnums...just sayingggg

Harrods 1: Fortnums 0

Next we moved onto the traditional tier of sandwhiches, scones and cakes.


Very considerately the waiter asked us to let him know when we wanted scones so that he could bring out warm ones... lovely.

The sandwiches were very good but I think Fortnums are better.

The Turkey Christmas sandwich at Harrods was especially good, but the salmon was a little thick whereas Fortnums is always just right. Plus I love the Fortnums corination chicken.

Harrods 1: Fortnums 1

Now lets talk about the room and atmosphere.

The room is beautiful, especially the ceiling but it feels a little dated compared to Fortnums which just feels so clean and classic.

Plus the tables are closer together at Harrods whereas Fortnums you get your own space

Harrods 1: Fortnums 2

In regard to the clientel...

this is going to sound a bit snobby.

In Harrods there were a lot of children.

First of all why aren't they at school - it isn't the end of term yet! And second of all some of them were rather loud.

I've never noticed any children (loud or quiet I don't think) at Fortnums.

Sorry Harrods
Harrods 1: Fortnums 3


Next we moved onto the little cakes! 

This one was a dreammmm - marshmallow merignue on top of almond frangipane!
So good 

This one was a gingerbread macaroon with cream and a fresh raspberry

Very good again.

I think Harrods win on the cakes!

Harrods 2: Fortnums 3

 Next we moved onto scones although we were quite full by this point! 


They were served warm which was a definite plus - 1 point to Harrods. But there wasn't enough jam. 1 point to Fortnums.

Harrods 3: Fortnums 4


Also served with the champagne tea (which isn't served with the regular afternoon tea) is a Harrods trifle and fresh strawberries with pimms cream.

This trifle was delicious (and I don't even like trifle). It had big fresh raspberries and pistacio cream


However no strawberries and cream were brought out to us!

Very sad.
I was super full by this point but I paid for strawberries and I would like my strawberries!

1 point for the trifle but 1 taken away for the lack of strawberries!

They do get a point for packaging up the extra cakes into a little doggy bag though without me even having to ask though.

A lovely treat to have later that night!

Harrods 4: Fortnums 4

Now in terms of the whole experience, I am going to give 1 point to Fortnums for their toilet facilities...they would never send me on a wild goose chase around the clothing department!

Harrods 4: Fortnums 5

I think I would pick Fortnums as my number one choice because of the ambience and also the personal family appreciation.

But if you want some really good quality afternoon tea definitely give Harrods a go. £49.50 a head for afternoon tea is a lot but for a special occasion its a lovely place to go.

For a comparison Fortnums is £51 for afternoon tea with a glass of house champagne.



Has anyone else been anywhere nice for afternoon tea in London? Let me know! I'm always up for trying more tea and cakes!

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