Dessert Correspondents

A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog

Fortnums – Devonshire Tea in the Dandenongs

Relax in an English conservatory setting with Devonshire tea in the verdant Dandenongs Mountain Ranges.

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Our experience

Scones were one of the first things that MoMo & Coco learnt to bake. Easy to mix, quick to bake, faster to eat, there’s not that many reasons to search for scones outside of the home. But, many of the most lovely things in life are the simplest things to enjoy, and a weekend drive to the Victorian countryside is somewhat incomplete without a platter of scones. Tucked away at the end of the main street that runs through the small leafy township of Sassafras, Fortnums is one of the prettiest restaurants/tea room/venues that we have ever had the pleasure of coming across.

Fortnums – the frontage

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Constructed as an English garden conservatory, it’s so very elegant outside. A manicured lavender hedge lines the frontage, and potted pansies, begonias and petunias sweep a prism of colour all the way up to its entrance. Sunlight cascades through the window frontage, a line of small chandeliers glint from the ceiling, daisies smile from little white vases on tables dressed twice-over in milky white and olive green linen.

Fortnums – the frontage

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Fortnums – the decor

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Light lunches are served at Fortnums. They do not aspire to culinary breakthroughs or to technical cooking here. It’s simple, it’s very reasonably-priced, it’s stomach-filling, it’s tasty, and therefore perfect for unfussy day-trippers who drive through and visit. MoMo & Coco’s favourite are the open baguettes with a choice of fillings ($12.90 and $15.90) and the vast spread of the Ploughman’s Lunch ($24.90). There’s also meaty pot pies, salads, potatoes and bigger meat plates too.

Fortnums – table setting

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Desserts are Fortnums are equally delicious, but really, it is the Devonshire Tea ($8.90) that is truly unforgettable. Served on a lacy paper doily, two beautiful scones are served as scones should be — just oven-baked warm, moderate in size, and soft and fluffy. They are not nuggety, not crumbly, not monster-sized, and most definitely not cold as at so many dismal places. Dusted over with icing sugar, they come accompanied with a dish of home-made jam (a little drippy but flavoursome rather than sugary) and double cream. MoMo & Coco dare you to say no.

Fortnums – the Devonshire Tea

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Fortnums – the home-made jam of the Devonshire Tea

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Fortnums – the cream of the Devonshire Tea

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Fortnums – Step 1: Spread jam and cream on individual halves of the scone

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Fortnums – Step 2: sandwich the two halves of the scone, admire and eat. :)

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OUR VERDICT

Fortnums provides a antidote to all that detestful industrial, warehouse, minimalist decor, all that hipster-dominanted audience, all that unjustified raves of far too many dining veues in metropolitan Melbourne. Its setting evokes a sort of genteel timelessness. It is really quite perfect for not only lunching and tea time, but also for functions. Service is always welcoming, mostly efficient. The food is simple, well-priced, done well, easy to eat and easy to appreciate by all generations. But it’s that Devonshire Tea, an old-fashioned beauty made anew that’s truly remarkable. If the country towns of UK have the renowned scones of Huffkins Tea Rooms, in one country town of Victoria there is Fortnums.

  • Dessert adventure checklist
  1. Dessert destination: Fortnums Restaurant and Tea Room, 395 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras, Vic 3787.
  2. Budget: $ ($8.50 pp)
  3. Sweet irresistibles: Devonshire Tea
  4. Must-eat: Available daily.
  5. The short and sweet story: Relax in an English conservatory setting with Devonshire tea in the verdant Dandenongs Mountain Ranges.

Fortnums – a traditionally English afternoon

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9 comments on “Fortnums – Devonshire Tea in the Dandenongs

  1. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    May 8, 2012

    Ooo scones and tea perfect! They’re my favourite and scones were one of the first things I made too :) but i made the mistake of overworking the scones when i first started hahaha but they look great here I’ve never heard of Fortnums before because whenever we go to the Dandenongs we always go to Miss Marples ~

    • MoMo & Coco
      May 12, 2012

      Hi Daisy! Never go to Miss Marples, their “scones” are more cake slabs than anything else, haha. Fortnums is at the end of the road that cuts through Sassafras. Let us know how you go, thank you for your continued readership, MoMo & Coco.

      • Daisy@Nevertoosweet
        May 13, 2012

        You’re welcome Momo and Coco :) love your posts hehe I know but a friend of mine LOVES MIss Marples hahaha so funny

  2. Cara @ Gourmet Chick
    May 9, 2012

    What a bargain $8.90 for Devonshire tea – I like what you say at the top – that high tea is not just about the food but very much the experience. Will let you know how I go at The Langham…

    • MoMo & Coco
      May 12, 2012

      Hi Cara – thanks for your comment. Yes, $8.90 is very reasonable…until you compare it to $3-4 GBP to what is offered in UK. Australia dining generally seems to be a bit more expensive than if you dine overseas. Yes, do let us know how the Langham is, we have been to the normal chocolate bar weekend buffet in pre-blog days, but it was just ok. Thank you for your continued readership, MoMo & Coco.

  3. Judith Brooker
    June 9, 2012

    As we have booked our accommodation at a B and B in Olinda for 4 days in June we had intended to visit Miss Marples for a Devonshire Tea. However, after viewing the comments above I think we will try and find this Cafe. Your description of the D.T. is exactly what I had in mind: fresh, fluffy scones with home made jam and double cream. I do so enjoy a quality afternoon tea served by people who enjoy doing what they are doing. Thank you. Mrs. Brooker

    • MoMo & Coco
      June 12, 2012

      Hi Mrs Brooker – thank you for your comment. Let us know how you go. :) Have a lovely visit, and thank you for your readership of our dessert-only blog ~ MoMo & Coco.

  4. Miss Sage Sugar
    May 10, 2013

    Fortnums Devonshire Tea is wonderful. When I visited, their scones were cooked to perfection. One of the best Devonshire Teas in the Dandenongs. Love their homemade berry jam but would have loved more cream… Enjoy reading your posts :)

    • MoMo & Coco
      May 10, 2013

      Hi Miss Sage Sugar – thanks for your comment, great to hear you have visited too! Definitely one of the best Devonshire Teas in Melbourne period. We are not too much cream fans, but lemon curd would have been excellent too. :) Thank you for your readership and support ~ MoMo & Coco.

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