Sometimes traditions are made to be broken, and that is precisely what I did on my trip to Fortnum and Mason, legendary British department store. I was told to go for the tea, but after a long day of walking, a glass (bottle) of rosé seemed a much better decision.
Established in 1707, there is oodles of history at this purveyor of luxury goods. Located in Piccadilly, the store felt a bit like a movie set, with beautiful displays of candies, cookies, and sweeties simply everywhere. Very British, very posh. I had fun walking up and down the aisles looking at everything, all beautifully packaged, and while I didn’t pick up anything when I was there, this would be the place to come if you were looking for something really special to bring back home.
My friend and I made our way to the The Gallery, which is a restaurant with a taste of the foods from the Food Hall on the ground floor. It was located on a mezzanine that overlooked the main floor, and offered a quieter respite from the frenzy of the store. Very open, and yet still very quiet — we had gone upstairs to the more “ice cream shoppe” styled option, and found it was a bit overwhelmed with kiddies and families, which wasn’t quite what we were looking for. This was also not as formal as some of the other options on site, and I appreciated the relaxed but refined vibe.
I had been told by many people that I had to go here for a cup of tea and some scones with clotted cream. Well, I got the scones with clotted cream (note: serving is just enough for one!) and opted for a glass of rose instead of the traditional tea, because my friend and I had been walking for hours, I was a bit too warm for a cup of hot tea, and, well, sometimes you just need to create your own traditions.