Loo, where I will… I see Fortnum & Mason. All the hampers fly wide open and the green downs burst into a blossom of lobster salad!
Fortnum & Mason is one of the world’s most renowned luxury department stores.
Fortnum’s first hampers were created in the late 1730s for well-heeled customers journeying to their country estates or to take the waters in Bath. Many began their journeys at the coaching inns placed along… Piccadilly! The food at the inns en route could be quite poor, so people asked Fortnum’s to prepare travellers’ baskets for them.
These proto-hampers held delicacies such as pies, fresh bread, West Country butter, famous Fortnum ‘scotched eggs’, cheese, hothouse fruit and rich fruit cake, with mineral water, small beer and hock to drink. No wonder they took off.
But Fortnum & Mason hampers were not all about leisure; many were a vital lifeline between soldiers abroad and their home comforts. Fortnum’s sent provisions to Wellington’s soldiers as they fought Napoleon in 1815; during the Crimean War Queen Victoria sent Fortnum’s beef tea to Florence Nightingale to nourish her patients; and First World War troops (including Winston Churchill, serving on the Western Front), prisoners of war and Red Cross outposts received all kinds of parcels, including one of 500 Christmas puddings.
Even today, troops in Afghanistan and Iraq receive consignments of biscuits, jam, chutney and marmalade, and of course tea.
Nowadays customers can indulge themselves in more than the iconic Fortnum & Mason hampers for their Christmas festivities. Everything from plates to fine wines to turkey and beef roast can be ordered online and will be delivered in time without a doubt – be it your Christmas Eve party or a private or corporate event ahead of Christmas break.
For your Christmas meal, be sure to place your order before 15th December and it will be delivered to you before Christmas. Fortnum has an impeccable reputation when it comes to deliveries so all you have to do is just set the table and heat up your meals. Voila!
Fortnum & Mason festive assortment
Fortnum Christmas Events
The Piccadilly store is the hub for all Christmas activity, with an array of events and classes for adults and children alike. To kick off the festive feeling, Fortnum’s Christmas Spectacular shopping event will see the store abuzz with entertainment, designers and producers, demonstrations and food and drink galore across all floors.
Customers can choose from a timetable of festive classes from wreath making, mixology and cooking with Fortnum & Mason’s Executive Chef, to Christmas crafts and gingerbread decorating for little Fortnum’s fans. An annual sell-out event, Father Christmas Story Telling returns with more dates than ever before. This magical experience for children and parents sees guests greeted by elves into a Winter Wonderland with games and songs. The man himself will be reading Fortnum & Mason’s own Christmas story and all guests leave with a party bag stocked with festive treats.
Hosted by some of the world’s leading wine producers, wine tasting evenings will span November and December.
Finally, Carols by Candlelight sees customers and choir join to sing around the Atrium. Situated on the first floor at the Candle Room – paying homage to Fortnum’s origins as a candle shop before it became a grocer – this event is full of festive cheer, as mulled wine and hot chocolate are served.