The Charm of London

 

As a first-time visitor to a new place, one is usually dictated by a pre-decided list of things to do and see. Whimsical desires are mostly addressed in subsequent visits, when balancing the budget between a must-do-now and a must-do-once is no longer an over-riding factor. That is why a visit to Fortnum and Mason’s came about after Harrods and Harvey Nichols had already been given the once-over. Fortnum’s, as it is popularly called, is not just one of the oldest, but also the most upmarket department store in London.

Established in 1707, by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, the store celebrated its tercentenary a few years ago and has, literally, stood its ground for the past 300 years at its original site in Piccadilly. Since its inception, the store has been known for pioneering imports from all corners of the British Empire, while it was in existence.

It is no co-incidence then, that one of their main specialties since they opened to public, has been tea, and the blends they continue to stock have reached them from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Japan. Their classic collection includes the Darjeeling Orange Pekoe alongside the Queen Anne and Early Grey, while their collection of rare teas is almost entirely created by the produce of Assam and Darjeeling.

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