If you are mad about the English afternoon tea ritual, Fortnum & Mason is the place where to stop if you're in London and want to buy something unique: this store in Piccadilly is in fact the quintessence of England.
A playground for the senses that starts at the tea-display table where you can smell the tea samples, and continues among the endless shelves of preserves, biscuits, candies and hand-made chocolates.
Opening the tea jars and bringing them to the nose, closing your eyes, is like taking a trip on the tall ships that came from the Far East to Europe, it is like feeling the sun that dried the leaves and the land that influenced the flavours.
The preserves and the honeys are a feast for the palate, with different textures that vary according to the fruit cuts or to the provenance of the bees: from Guatemala to Finland, at Fortnum & Mason you will find the most unexpected flavours. On the other side, if you fancy something really English, you will love the rose petal jelly, made with the fresh petals of the roses that grow in the same garden in Oxfordshire: divine with scones but good also with meats. To jumpstart the day, try the Lucifer Marmalade, flavoured with ginger and chili, but, if you want to dare even more, buy the jams flavoured with Cognac, Champagne or Rum.
The biscuit area is that one that gives more satisfaction to those who love design in addition to luxurious tastes: not that the packaging of the other products are less beautiful, but those of the cookies are really items for collectors, especially those with a built-in music box.
The top of the range? The butter cookies with pistachio flakes.
Fortnum & Mason
181 Piccadilly – London W1A 1ER
Tel.: +44 (0)20 7734 8040
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