Like Liberty and Harrods, Fortnum & Mason is a typical British store where Londoners and tourists do their shopping. People come here to discover the British art of living and if possible bring home a little piece of England!
So what do we find at Fortnum & Mason? And can we buy without breaking the bank? I'm telling you that now!
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Brief history of the Fortnum & Mason store
In 1707, two merchants - William Fortnum and Hugh Mason - founded a small grocery store located in St James Market, which they named… Fortnum & Mason!
William and Hugh created in 1738, the “Scotch Egg”: a hard-boiled egg coated with breaded sausage meat. This British snack - with nothing Scottish in it - was thought to satisfy the appetites of wealthy homeowners who traveled to their country homes. The grocery store won its stripes and the esteem of the English who nicknamed it "Fortnum's". So much so that during the Napoleonic wars, the British officers received from the store, dried fruits and jam.
Today, Fortnum & Mason holds the prestigious title of Royal Warrant Appointment for the quality of its products and services. The store is the official supplier of Her Majesty Elisabeth II for groceries, and the Prince of Wales for tea.
There are 4 Fortnum & Mason stores: 3 in London (Piccadilly, St Pancras Station, Terminal 5 of Heathrow) and 1 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Discover Fortnum & Mason's musical clock
Before entering the store, look up to discover the musical clock located above the doors of the main entrance. Although the store is over 300 years old, the clock was only installed in 1964 by the former Canadian store manager.
The 18 bells ring every 15 minutes and every hour, two characters of 1 m representing the founders of the store, come out and greet each other politely on a chime.
For the record, the 18 bells were made at the foundry of "Whitechapel", just like those of Big Ben!
What can you find at Fortnum & Mason?
This London department store is famous for its selection of teas and its famous picnic sorrel baskets, garnished with the brand's delicacies. We could compare Fortnum & Mason to our delicatessen stores such as Hédiard, Fauchon or the Grance grocery store in Paris.
The decoration of the store is always neat and refined, we come above all for the British atmosphere and we leave with memories ...
And to travel between floors, leave the elevator and opt for the magnificent wooden stairs that will not leave you unmoved !!
The basement is dedicated to food: fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, cold meats, cheeses, breads and high quality spirits.
The ground floor is devoted to delicatessen products: teas, coffees, marmalades, chocolates… The favorite product of tourists is of course tea and they are right! The varieties are numerous and if you do not know which one to choose call the salesmen who will give you all the information with a smile!
Fortnum & Mason is a luxury store, with quality products, therefore the price is up to the product. However, you will always find something to match your purse!
For your information, I give you some prices to help you prepare your budget. For each category, I give the lowest price. All the products have magnificent packaging, most often in the store color: light green. Difficult to resist!
250 grams of tea (tin): from £ 9.95
25 tea bags: from £ 3.95
220 grams of loose tea: from £ 7.50
340 grams of marmalade: from £ 4.50
Dark chocolate bar: from £ 5
For other prices, visit the store website.
This floor devoted to tableware and without a doubt my favorite! There are porcelain crockery, silverware, kitchen utensils and much more!
My favorite is the cups and teapots which are once again very British both in shape and patterns.
You can also find kitchen towels with the store's image, which are a good gift plan 😉
Finally, don't miss the famous “Hampers”, these wicker picnic baskets contain everything you need for lunch on the grass: plates, cutlery, glasses, cups, thermos… all very nicely presented. This refinement is accessible from £ 250…
Other "Hampers" are available but with products from the store: champagne, chocolates, teas, marmalade… Prices range from £ 55 to £ 1000
On this floor, there are fashion accessories for women (scarves, hats, bags, etc.), jewelry and a perfume shop.
Gentlemen, this floor is for you! Here you will find many accessories to be the perfect gentleman: bathrobes, bags, razors, ties, wallets ...
Have tea, eat at Fortnum & Mason
The store has 4 restaurants and 1 tea room. To be honest, I have never tried the restaurants because they are too expensive and for certain an out-of-age room that did not appeal to me! On the other hand, I tried the tea room on the 1st floor, which is very pleasant, with attentive service. For an afternoon tea, prefer The Parlor to the Diamond Jubilee, the lounge decoration is more modern, the atmosphere more relaxed and does not require a reservation.
You can of course enjoy tea and many sweets such as ice cream, milkshakes or scones. It's good but quite expensive. I advise you to go there when the footfall of the store is low in order to be more calm and have a more attentive service.
For your information, here is the list of restaurants and tea rooms:
- The Wine Bar (basement) Restaurant without reservation
- 45 Jermy St (ground floor) Restaurant by reservation
- The Gallery (ground floor) Restaurant without reservation
- The Parlor (1st floor) Tea room without reservation
- Diamond Jubilee (4th floor) Tea room by reservation.
Where are Fortnum & Mason stores located in London?
London has three Fortnum & Mason stores located at:
- St Pancras station
- Heathrow Airport - Terminal 5
- at 181 Piccadilly
How do I get to the Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly?