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Afternoon Tea in London

I am having a hard time choosing between two places to have a solo afternoon tea. The Wolseley or Fortnum and Mason. Each looks wonderful. Each has very good reviews. I would love to hear from anyone who went to one of these two places for afternoon tea.

What was the room like, the service, the food? Why did you enjoy it or not? Did they serve enough food, I know some teas, they come around and bring you more sandwiches and deserts when your finished. Or is what your receive the only food you get for the entire tea? Were the rooms pretty and the set up nicely done. I am looking for the whole experience, good food, good scones, pastry, pretty room and good service. How long did you stay and what time did you go.

Thanks a lot for your input. This will be a important ( not the only important) thing I do on my trip to London.

Posted by
3261 posts

I had the savory tea at F and M-it was my dinner that night. You can have as much as you want to eat. The atmosphere was very relaxing after arriving in London that morning, pianist playing. We enjoyed it enough that we will probably do it again sometime on the day we arrive, despite the high cost. I do want to go to the Wolseley sometime too. The store at F and M is definitely something to see.

Posted by
1176 posts

Thank you for your response. Even if I decide to go to the Wolseley I will make sure I go to the store portion of Fortnum and Mason. I did go but back in 2005 and really don't remember it. The two establishments are only a short distance away from each other.

Thanks again! And yes, like you, I will use it as my dinner.

Posted by
80 posts

F&M is very traditionally British and the retail areas an experience . I didn't have the tea there, but did have dessert and ice cream in The Parlour. It was very pleasant, but nothing memorable in terms of the food. I did have tea at Highclere Castle and that was amazing, although a day's trip from London. I'd probably try another venue in London for High Tea.

Posted by
2949 posts

I have to say my impression of Fortnum & Mason was different. We went because a family member highly recommended it. I didn't think it was traditionally British. We were there for lunch, not tea, but the menu was trying hard to be continental and I didn't think the actual food was particularly good. Also (this is going to sound prejudiced) for me a traditionally British experience would involve a British waiter/waitress, and our waiter was Spanish. It was expensive. For my taste the shop area was unbearably glassy and shiny and modern. Overall, I wouldn't bother going back.

Posted by
4197 posts

Check TripAdvisor since it has photos of each of those places + reviews. I've been to Fortnum and Mason but didn't have tea. We usually go to the Orangery by Kennington Palace.

Posted by
1540 posts

I've been to some very expensive teas in London.

But, there is a very good small tea room with all the teas, scones, sandwiches etc that you could want.
It is Tea & Tattle - across Russell Road from the British Museum. It has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and other review sites. I've also been to tea at the Ritz for close to $100 and this small place is much better IMHO.
If a small tea room is "not your cup of tea" you can splurge on the Ritz or Brown's - both are pricey and the Ritz has a dress-code.

Tea & Tattle has web site and reservations are recommended.