August 17, 2010

Afternoon tea in London

I had a rather lovely Saturday in London last weekend - the main point of which was to take my god-daughter to Fortnum and Masons for afternoon tea to celebrate her tenth birthday.

Tea was served on bone china the same eau de nil colour of the exterior paintwork, and it involved beautiful sandwiches, crusts off naturally, scones with clotted cream and jam, biscuits, slices of delicious cakes and copious amounts of tea. We got very giggly trying to get the sugar lumps out of the sugar bowl with the silver tongs and I hashed up by forgetting to use the tea strainer (clearly lack of breeding!).

She was bowled over when the pianist (on a grand in the corner), struck up happy birthday and the other diners gave her a polite round of applause. When the waiter, with great solemnity, brought her a cupcake with a lit candle in it, and her smile was  from ear-to-ear!

Earlier that day, I had popped in on my sister at work - at a jewellery shop in Burlington Arcade, which is also in Piccadilly, 

which is full of amazingly smart shops mainly selling jewellery, leather goods and watches. Great for window shopping, but I get scared by shops which you have to press a bell to enter! Piccadilly Arcade opposite is even more handsome and kits out the grandiose gents of W.1.

However, one of my favourite coffee shops in London is just at the entrance of Burlington Arcade. It sells wonderful coffee and the most sublime macaroons on God's earth. I just cannot describe how much they differ from normal mass-produced ones - they are soft but slightly chewy with fillings made from intense fruit purees or creamy ganaches,

I bought a box to take home,

They were not


to share.


  1. Isn't it strange how things come in phases.... macaroons were always thought of as old lady cakes really - or maybe it is me showing my age?! - and now they are so Chic and Colourful and Tempting, and hellishly expensive for what they are!

  2. Lovely. You don't need smores when you have macaroons.

    Wonderful day, wonderful pictures.

    xoxo Jane

  3. How nice to take your god daughter to a real tea - of course, it's easier in England that in the U.S. - but such a nice grown up thing to do. I bet she remembers it always.

  4. Oh, I love, love, love afternoon tea. I've never enjoyed it at Fortnums, but I'm sure they do a beautiful job.