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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Wow, will definitely have to have a look around next time I’m London bound – it sounds amazing!!
Lovely article and you have just reminded I def want to go there for a look around when I am in London next weekend! 🙂
Thanks Ross and enjoy your weekend in London! Any other plans?
Great post, I absolutely love Fortnum & Mason! I ran a post recently about my obsession with their biscuit tins and am running another F&M post in the next week or two– yes I love the store that much! I’ve had the cream tea but not the full blown pricey one– there’s only so much I’m willing to pay for finger sandwiches.
Just found your site, love it, am bookmarking!
Thanks for popping by, Kristin, I’ll be sure to check out your F&M posts!
Wow !! love the pictures 🙂 and happy new year all of you . may you keep smiling all the upcoming year 🙂
Thank you and a happy New Year to you too.
Welcome !! Enjoy your holidays 🙂
Happy Holidays for you too! 🙂
Thanks Zara. Had a lovely day with family. Hope you did too.
Hi Kathryn, Fortnum and Mason looks so beautiful and festive for Christmas. I visited this store the couple of times I was in London. I enjoyed it and look forward to visit again when I return to London, which is soon I hope.
I love the new look of your blog. It’s looks crisp and clean and very easy on the eyes.
Thanks Marisol. Do you visit Harrods too? That’s another amazing store that is well worth visiting.
Glad you like the new look and happy holidays to you too!