I have been to London countless times but I have never had afternoon tea while visiting my favourite city. Before and after our Camino through Portugal and Spain, we stayed in London for a few days to visit family (and shop, at least for me!) I love visiting London, it is easily my favourite city I've been to and I think it always will be. It holds a special place close to my heart, not only because a large part of my family lives there but also because of how alive the city always feel. There is always so much going on and for some it might be overwhelming but I thrive on it.
I planned two full days in the city of London while I was there since my family lives on the outskirts. The first was a day with my cousins before I left for the Camino and the second was a me day with my mum. We did everything I wanted to do and I planned it to a tee! We went shopping, visited the National Gallery for the Monet exhibition (more on that soon,) had tea with my cousin, walked around the parks and met my oldest friend for Indian food. It was an exhausting day but the perfect day and to top it off we had the most beautiful, sunny weather. I couldn't have asked for more!
But let's talk about the best part of the day, afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason. First I just have to say wow. It was such an amazing experience I am so thankful to Michelle for booking it and treating us to an afternoon of delicious food and drink! When we arrived we were sat down in a beautiful booth table where we had our choice of a few different afternoon tea menus as well as a large list of tea to choose from. We decided to splurge and started with a bottle of champagne because we were on vacation and deserved it! Not going to lie, my mum and I were very tipsy for the rest of the afternoon, not sure how Michelle managed to go back to work!
Michelle and I both decided on having Fortnum's Afternoon Tea Menu, which came with five finger sandwiches, two scones paired with clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd, finished off with five miniature afternoon tea cakes. My mum had something similar but the vegetarian option due to her shellfish allergy. We all ordered our own teas as well, I went with the Fortnum & Mason blend which was perfectly suited with the desserts I tasted. Michelle had English Mint and my mum went with the Afternoon Blend. We were all very pleased with our choices and we could not have asked for more, but we did. As the waiter came back around we ordered a top up of finger sandwiches, which were quickly devoured. I wish I had had more space in my very full belly to indulge in more of the sweets but we decided to take them to go.
Once we finished our delicious tea, almost three hours later, Michelle had to return back to work so my mum and I decided we had to explore Fortnum & Mason further. I had no idea how large it was, let alone I had never even heard of the company. My mum had and she was telling me all about it before we visited it. Michelle informed me it is where the Queen gets her groceries from, which makes sense after visiting it. Nothing was cheap, but everything looked amazing. All the displays were so beautifully curated, it was just fun walking around. We picked up a few bits for presents and ourselves, like the Sundae Tea, which I bought for myself and love. It's a green tea infused with different fruits and smells and tastes both sweet and fruity. I love enjoying a cup every morning when I wake up.
If our suitcases were bigger and we didn't already have so much to take back with us I would have kept shopping! We decided to take our very full selves out for a massive walk afterwards, through the beautiful Green Park, onto Hyde Park. It was so wonderful just walking around London with nothing to do or see but just to enjoy it as we went. I'll share more about my time in London soon, so stay tuned!