About London Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason
There is no better place in London to enjoy the English tradition of afternoon tea than at the New Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon located in the world-renowned department store and grocer Fortnum & Mason -- frequented by British royalty -- this famous restaurant has an elegant and relaxed atmosphere perfect for enjoying this delightful tradition. The store was founded in 1707 by William Fortnum, one of Queen Anne’s footmen. During the 1700s, Fortnum & Mason made a name for itself by selling rare teas and spices not available anywhere else, a custom that still stands today.
Enjoy the tradition of English afternoon tea like true royalty. Visit the New Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon in London’s world-renowned Fortnum & Mason, a high-quality department store that has been frequented by royalty for centuries. Its Royal Warrants have included Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
Relax, sip delicious tea, and sample a fine selection of sandwiches, pastries and scones as you learn about the origin of this age-old tradition. English afternoon tea is said to have been invented by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in the 18th century, one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. In her day, the upper class ate a huge breakfast, little lunch and a very late dinner. Every afternoon, the Duchess experienced a ‘sinking feeling.’ One afternoon, she instructed her servants to serve tea and little cakes in her boudoir.
The experience was so delightful that Anna repeated it every afternoon thereafter. Soon, others followed the Duchess' lead, and in just a few decades the custom of ‘taking tea’ in the afternoon had become well established. At first, the practice was limited to the upper classes, but it eventually became so popular that tea shops and tea rooms began opening for the enjoyment of the general public.
After enjoying this timeless tradition, feel free indulge in a delicious meal (own expense) or shop around Fortnum & Mason for keepsakes to remember your English tea experience.