An Afternoon at London’s Fortnum & Mason Department Store.

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Established way back in 1707, this store has seen so much history and change over it’s time, but from almost the beginning it was a place that served royalty.

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Today, you can find plenty of things with the Royal patent, and several tea blends like the Queens Blend (her favourite), Wedding Breakfast (created for the Royal wedding of Prince William, to his wife Kate Middleton) and many others. This is where the Queen gets her groceries, and where James Bond apparently shopped, if you are a reader of Ian Fleming. It’s a by word in good taste and luxury to those of us who live in London, and though England, and especially London is a more egalitarian place than it used to be (gone are the days when there was a dress code to shop in Fortnums and Harrods) some things will never change.

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If you don’t know anything about Fortnums, their potted history can be found on their website HERE, and a lot of their items can be shipped world wide. Which is important, since Fortnums Earl Grey is the best in the world, hands down. (And I also love to send one of Fortnums beloved hampers home to family in Australia at Christmas)

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It being my birthday recently, my man and I decided to wander around London, and have High Tea in the Jubilee Tea Rooms. High Tea and Afternoon Tea are served all over London, but a lot of them are not traditional, and are cheap imitations. Afternoon tea is not just a cup after midday, as many of you know. I know that there are some wonderful places for this repast, and some people criticise Fortnums for being too casual and tourist conscious, (I’m pointing the finger at you Ritz London!) but it’s still rather nice. And the food is delicious!

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Fortnums is a beautiful place. I love the windows, which are always the best in London, though Harrods are also a delight. The timber work with it’s soft Art Nouveau lines is beautiful, and the range of food, hats, jewels, stationary and, well, everything, makes it a lovely place to spend the afternoon.  It’s a little slice of history, and a welcome panacea to the modern world (vintage lovers take note). They even keep their own honey bees on the roof!

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The store is open 10 til 9pm everyday, except Sundays when it’s 12 til 6pm. I recommend booking if you’d like to have afternoon tea, it’s a busy place. And although there’s not really a strict dress code, dress like you like yourself. You’ll enjoy your experience so much more.

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Fortnum and Mason is at 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER and their website with more information, history and online shopping can be found HERE.

 

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