Review: Afternoon Tea At Fortnum & Mason | Bachelorette Party Ideas
Afternoon Tea At Fortnum & Mason
If you are looking to throw a bachelorette party fit for a duchess, then today’s review is for you! Last year, I attended the Dubai launch of the first international branch of Fortnum & Mason, one of England’s oldest and best-known gourmet department stores. I was super excited, not only because I myself am British and love tea, but also because Fortnum & Mason brings back many happy memories of my mum and I bonding over high tea together after our shopping sprees in central London. It was through her that I learnt all about the history of this impressive store.
Tracing its heritage back as far as 1707, Fortnum & Mason is where England’s very own queen and the royal family shop for some of their favourite delicacies. The Fortnum & Mason ‘Wedding Blend’ tea was made to commemorate the royal nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
I was invited to Fortnum & Mason along with my buddy Rania, of The Blush Diaries, to check out the venue as a potential hen and bachelorette party option. A tea party would be an ideal and charming get together for your bridal party in the run up to your big day, or could be a great way to spend the morning before your hen celebrations.
Invariably you’re going to have girls of all ages and in all manner of ‘conditions’ at your hen party (pregnant, trying to conceive, tee-totaling health junkies – you get my drift). You’ll need a spread that will appeal to anyone younger than 18, old enough to know better, on antibiotics or breastfeeding. So, why not arrange a morning or afternoon tea for your girl-crew, right next to the world’s largest, most glamorous shopping mall, and have yourself a quaint tea party! Maids of honour and bridesmaids: keep this in mind too, if you are the one doing the organising.
If you are a frequent shopper at Dubai Mall and haven’t yet visited Fortnum & Mason, you may have wondered what’s inside the standalone building close to the fountains and Souk Al Bahar. Step in to this peaceful haven and you’ll immediately notice the immaculate and super pretty interiors. The store provides a welcome break from the busy mall, and directly faces the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, offering a perfect opportunity for some great pictures with your girls.
The store occupies three levels, each with a unique concept. On the ground level, you’ll find the retail space, selling a variety of Fortnum & Mason speciality products, from traditional English jams and condiments, such as my personal favourite lemon curd, to a selection of the finest teas from around the globe.
Upstairs, on the first floor (where we had the privilege of being hosted) is the tea salon, with a lovely terrace directly opposite the Burj Khalifa, serving breakfast, afternoon tea and high tea. And last but not least, the third floor plays host to the cutest ice-cream parlour (more about that later).
On the menu:
We were treated to afternoon tea and, first of all, chose from a selection of teas. This was followed by servings of quintessentially English finger sandwiches, consisting of cucumber and mint butter, coronation chicken, Fortnum’s smoked salmon with lemon dill butter, rare beef and rare breed hen egg with mustard cress. I devoured the salmon sandwiches and could have eaten several more.
After whetting our appetite with the savoury, we moved onto the sweet. Rich and warm scones with clotted cream and delicious preserves were served alongside pretty macaroons and mini-cakes.
As part of the afternoon tea, you can also have slices of your chosen cakes laid out invitingly as you walk in. I didn’t know this at the time, so missed out … probably just as well as I’m on a mission to lose a few kilos.
Our teas were replenished regularly as we enjoyed our food. I personally opted for the Earl Grey Classic Tea. A simple and refreshing choice and deliciously aromatic.
The Fortnum & Mason staff were attentive, smartly dressed and well informed when it came to explaining the various tea options and recommending a selection according to our preferences.
And there’s more…
On the third level, you’ll findan ice-cream parlour and what a pretty parlour it is! Adorning the walls are colourful and playful pastel illustrations of English kings, the lion and the unicorn (the traditional symbols of the union between England and Scotland). Rania and I had just enough room in our tummies after the high tea to sample some mini ice-cream cones. YUM!! The ice cream is churned frequently, so you get a much richer consistency, which is typically how the English like to do it. I will definitely be back for more!
Afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason is by no means cheap, but certainly worth the experience for a special occasion or treat. Afternoon tea will set you back Dhs245 per person (with Fortnum’s Famous Tea), or Dhs275 per person (with Fortnum’s Single Estate Tea).
The team at Fortnum & Mason can host private bridal parties for up to 70 people and can include additional touches such as classic Fortnum & Mason bridal party favours. To enquire, call: 056 FORTNUM (056 367 8686) or email [email protected].