Fortnum & Mason

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St James's

The results of F&M’s recent £24 million, two-year revamp (revealed in 2007, 300 years after its opening in 1707) are stunning: the store retains all that was marvellous about its Georgian past while changing just enough to position itself as a 21st-century shopping experience.

A sweeping spiral staircase soars through the four-storey building, while light floods down from a central glass dome. The iconic F&M eau de nil blue and gold colour scheme with flashes of rose pink abounds on both the store design and the packaging of the fabulous ground-floor treats, like the chocolates, biscuits, teas and preserves.

The first floor is for homewares: china- and glassware as well as finishing touches such as silver scoops for stilton, eau de nil linen and cashmere hot water bottles; there are regular cooking sessions too.

The second floor is home to beauty rooms, fashion accessories, jewellery and a perfumery, while the third floor has menswear, luggage and writing accessories, along with an excellent wrapping service.

The five restaurants, all redesigned by David Collins (of Wolseley fame), are equally impressive, with the ice-cream parlour a welcome addition. A new food hall in the basement has a huge range of fresh and dried produce, as well as top-notch wines from all over the world, meaning that Fortnum & Mason is no longer just a place for a picnic hamper, biscuits or an eye-catching jar of pickle.

Look out too for craft exhibitions, literary lunches as well as gallery collaborations. Fortnum & Mason is fabulously redolent of a time when luxury meant the highest degree of comfort rather than ostentation and remains a treat for all who venture through its oak doors.

Fortnum & Mason is number 20 in our list of the 100 best shops in London.

Venue name: Fortnum & Mason
Contact:
Address: 181 Piccadilly
London
W1A 1ER
Opening hours: Open 10am-8pm Mon-Sat; noon-6pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|7
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H Turner

Amazing store with amazing produce! Upstairs the biscuits, cakes, chocolates and teas are the best you'll find in London, downstairs the meats cheeses chutneys and wines are the best of showing of british and world food you'll find all in one place. With great customer service and a wonderfully traditional setting!

Johnny

I wonder why certain people insist on shoving their opinions down other people's throats (tee hee). It's so boring. Murdering an animal for the purpose of producing food for humans is cruel. Foie gras is cruel, but it's just one of many ways of inflicting cruelty on animals in our name. The point to remember is that the overwhelming majority of people LOVE to eat the dead flesh of animals, and they're never going to stop. So why don't you go and eat your lentil soup somewhere else and stop trying to inflict your facist opinions on everyone else. It's still (just) a free country.

Duchetti

I love foie gras and F&M sells an outstanding one. Their teas, Welsh honey and biscuits are superb too.

Kate Rushton

Fortnum and Mason is my naughty treat. It is just like the posh food shops my Grandma used to talk about. There is nothing nicer than a chocolate from their counter and feeling like a kid again.

Miss b

Fortnum and mason promote the systematic abuse of animals. They market and sell foie gras, which is completely illegal to produce in the UK on the grounds of animal cruelty. Go to Harvey Nichols or Selfridges instead.

Ab

I can't spend my money free of conscience in an establishment which chooses to continue to profit from the abuse of animals. Abuse so horrific the process is outlawed in many countries, including the UK. The state of California also prohibiting the production and sale of foie gras in 1 July 2012.