Fortnum & Mason, the famous department store of central London in Picadilly street.
Fortnum's began in 1707, when the royal footman William Fortnum set up a shop in St Jame's with his landlord, Hugh Mason. Starting as a grocery store store, now has been expanded, while more stores have opened, in St Pancras of London, also in Dubai and Hong Kong. The picadilly store went under a 30 million renovation, to celebrate the 300 years of operation in 2007.
The main department store at 181 Picadilly, has many floors and about 5 bar-restaurants, from the more famous ''The Fountain'' to the ''1707 wine bar'' and the ''The Parlour'' for ice cream.
There are many departments inside with various products, but I m more interested in the Food department. You can find anything from cheese or charcuterie, to deli products, confectioners, chocolate, fruits and vegetables. Coffee, tea and wine in a wide variety too but I think you can guess all that. Most likely their famous hampers filled with wines, champagne, other alcoholic beverages, Stilton cheese, preserves and cakes.
For Christmas, you can find many products too. What really caught my eye was the Advent Calendars. The ''calendars'' to count down the days till Christmas. In Fortnum & Mason thought, they are made out of wood in various designs and are filled with many different sweets. About 1kg of them. Different versions of them are filled with small bottles of jin or whisky.
The advent calendar came by a courier in a huge box. I worried if it will come damaged but Fortnum & Mason packaged it extremely well, huge attention to detail.
Except from the Advent calendar I also ordered a woodland strawberry preserve. This marmalade comes from Scottish wild strawberries harvested once per year for F&M. It is quite good, maybe more acidic than normal strawberries jam, which take my vote.
Fortnum & Mason
181 Picadilly street, W1A 1ER
Gordon Ramsay RHR (3 Michelin stars)
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (2 Michelin stars)
Laduree at the Harrods, London
Paul Bocuse, (3 Michelin stars)