Having recently visited the world-renowned department store, Fortnum and Mason, in London’s Piccadilly, let me take you back in time…

The shop’s story began way back in 1705, when royal footman, William Fortnum, opened a shop in St James Market with his landlord, Hugh Mason, selling among other things, Queen Anne’s half used candles.

Benefiting from a timely explosion in trade which created an expanding, wealthy middle class, together with the rise of the East India Tea Company, Fortnum and Mason soon established itself as an emporium for unique, goods of quality, found nowhere else.

Fortnum and Mason

It was some 200 years later in, 1926 that this famous grocery store was transformed into a unique department store with a restaurant that offered afternoon tea to their customers.

Today it has 6 restaurants to choose between and, as always, the finest collection of teas and coffees, wines and spirits as well as a luxurious food hall and confectionery department. Other departments include homeware, beauty and accessories for him, her and the little ones. Whether you are there to make a purchase or simply to window shop it is well worth making a visit to this lovely store.

Fortnum and Mason

Fortnum and Mason

Fortnum and Mason

Everything stops for tea

The English’s love of tea is well-known throughout the world and it is traditional to serve afternoon tea at 4pm, as stated in the light-hearted lyrics of the 1930s song ‘Everything stops for tea’.

If you would like to relive this tradition in the ultimate style, for the rather hefty sum of £90, you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. Having been refurbished and renamed in 2012, it was opened by HM the Queen accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.

You’ll be served a luxurious selection of freshly cut finger sandwiches, home-baked Fortnum’s Scones with Somerset Clotted Cream and your choice of luxury Fortnum & Mason Preserve as well as a scrumptious selection of cakes, patisseries, and of course, your choice from an extensive range of teas.

Alternatively, from just £2.95, you can enjoy a freshly squeezed juice or smoothie from their Juice Club on the lower ground floor.

Getting there

You’ll find Fortnum and Mason at 181 Piccadilly, just as they have been for over 300 years, between Green Park and Piccadilly Circus tube stations.

Piccadilly at Christmas

As well as Fortnum and Mason, there are many more exclusive shops, restaurants, and hotels in the area, including The Ritz, the Caviar House and Prunier seafood bar and Patisserie Valerie, as well as a couple of lovely covered walkways namely, the Burlington Arcade and the Piccadilly Arcade.

Piccadilly Arcade

The Piccadilly Arcade has been home to a collection of 16 unique shops of quality since 1910.

 

Burlington Arcade

Nearly 100 years older still is the Burlington Arcade. Step back in time and wander through this elegant covered walkway connecting Piccadilly with Bond Street.

Seasons Greetings

With one of my favourite images taken on my afternoon in Piccadilly this Christmas, I’d like to wish you all a very, merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Fortnum and Mason's Christmas window

One of Fortnum and Mason’s Christmas window displays

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Fortnum and Mason at Christmas

 

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