In business for over 300 years, Fortnum & Mason is as historic as it is inspiring. A sweeping spiral staircase soars through the four-storey building, while light floods down from a central glass dome.
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, including chocolates, biscuits, teas and preserves.
A food hall in the basement has a good range of fresh produce; Fortnum’s Bees honey comes from beehives on top of the building. There are various eateries, including an ice-cream parlour. The famous hampers start from £60 – though they rise to a whopping £6,000 for the most luxurious.
The first floor is for homewares: china- and glassware as well as finishing touches such as silver scoops for stilton, F&M coloured 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 pickles.
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.