Still catching up on reviewing some of my favorite London teas, Mr. Fogg’s is just one of the many themed teas that we enjoyed there – where the “tea” is more alcohol than Earl Grey. But for an out-of-the-ordinary tea adventure with a setting that takes you back in time, it was an experience to be savored.
When I was there with friends (a couple of years ago now), we almost walked by Mr. Fogg’s Mayfair residence without noticing it. Until we saw the uniformed attendant walking back and forth with his umbrella, which piqued our curiosity, and saw the small Phileas Fogg plaque to the side of the door.
Think 19th Century Explorer’s Club meets Victoriana fantasy: Antique bicycles, animal heads, top hat “chandeliers” are sprinkled throughout, not to mention a nod to Phileas’ Fogg’s world-traveling balloon hanging from the ceiling at one end of the room.
Tea – It’s not hard to figure out that a tipsy tea produces just effect that in its drinkers – one pot and the world just looks rosier! That being said, the gin, vodka and champagne combinations, taken with other special ingredients were absolutely delicious, and the “tea” flowed generously. And here was me thinking I didn’t like gin – who knew it could be so tasty?
It’s true that at one point, when we were wondering how we were going to make it back to our hotel in our tipsy state, my friends and I were ready for a more sobering pot of real leaf tea! But it was still completely worth the change of pace from the dizzying choice of leaf-tea afternoon teas one can get in London.
Sandwiches and pastries – We were very ready for the sandwiches by the time they arrived, being quite merry already by then! And there was an array of tasty pastries like macarons, fruit tarts, pistachio cake and more, to equip us to head back out into the London fog and back to our hotel.
Ambience and service – If you haven’t guessed it, the atmosphere was fun, festive, and old-fashioned. We were lucky enough to get a seat in a window alcove, so it was light and bright in spite of it being a rainy day in London. We could enjoy the view of the rest of the room and all of its decorative details, enjoy people-watching (very well dressed ladies and gents!) and listening to the pianist, just one more group in a small cluster of Mr. Fogg’s special party guests.