Friday, July 31, 2009
Why I'll miss Fortnum & Mason Magazine
About a year ago, I discovered that London's famous Fortnum & Mason department store had just launched its own magazine. As a fan of a) London b) F&M and c) magazines, I soon subscribed. Every single issue has included articles on tea, so while I was delighted when the Summer 2009 issue arrived, I was quite sad to learn this is the last issue. I'm sure it was a purely economic decision just like so many other companies have had to make, but oh, I am going to miss this thrice-yearly arrival in my mailbox!
As a little girl, I was often told by my mother that I had "champagne taste and a beer pocketbook." Well, champagne taste was certainly what this magazine was all about! Why else would I open this new issue and immediately be lusting for a pair of F&M Hunter Boots in their signature blue-green "eau de nil" ("water of the Nile") color? (They'd be about $124, and where would I even wear them if I had them? To water the houseplants?)
Eau de nil is also featured on this Fortnum and Mason wedding cake, and isn't it lovely! If I were a British bride, I would want this very cake!
Eau de nil is the color of this tray in one of the food articles, which includes a feature on "Summer Ices" and a recipe for Green Tea with Earl Grey summer sorbet. I'd like to try it, but first I have to figure out what "liquid glucose" is (and it's not quite the same as our corn syrup, apparently).
Sugar is also the subject of this artwork next to a "books" column. Clever!
But of course it's the tea features I have enjoyed most, such as this article on British teacups and "biscuits" which features the "Royal Doulton 100 Years of Royal Albert Collection" of teacups and saucers.
The magazine also notes that a special exhibit of Herend porcelain was recently held at the store, including an exhibition of 301 handpainted teapots created just for F&M by Herend -- one for each year of the 301-year-old store's life!
I have very fond memories of taking tea in the St. James Restaurant, and it turns out the bone china used in the restaurant is now available for purchase -- for those with champagne taste *and* pocketbooks!
Can you see why I'm going to miss this magazine?