Fortnum & Mason Tea Salon
Tea has been a favoured drink of the British since the 17th century, when it entered British society as the drink of the discerning (and wealthy). One of the earliest references to tea appears in the famous diary of Samuel Pepys, who wrote in September 1660: “I did send for a cup of tee, (a China drink) of which I had never had drunk before.” Yet it was not until the 1830s that the idea of afternoon tea as a separate meal began. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is credited with first making afternoon tea into a formal social occasion, to which one would wear one’s best tea dress and set the table with the finest bone china. Complaining of experiencing hunger in the gap between luncheon and dinner – which had shifted to a fashionably late hour – the duchess began inviting her friends to enjoy tea and a light refreshment in her rooms at Woburn Abbey. She continued the practice upon returning to London and the afternoon tea became an increasingly fashionable ritual among the social hostesses of the upper classes.
Fortnum & Mason has sold tea for more than 300 years, the brand was established in 1707 when William Fortnum set up the first shop in St James’s with Hugh Mason and it has been a part of British history ever since. The UAE store has opened in 2014 in a spectacular location of Downtown Dubai with stunning views overlooking the iconic Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains. The stunningly pretty venue is an oasis of British tradition in the heart of Dubai which sets a picture perfect background for enjoyable afternoon tea, offering a large variety of tea blends, light finger sandwiches (with a vegetarian option), delicately presented cakes and traditional scones with cream and jam.