Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shopping Fortnum & Mason — and a giveaway!

Today, friends, I must ask you to forgive the glare on a few photos, but it simply wasn't to be avoided. Still, I just know many of you would have oohed and aahed over these window displays at Fortnum and Mason just as I did — even if you can glimpse the street in the background!

I love the idea of using these large frames to showcase their offerings. See that pretty Herend coffeepot at lower left? It rotated!

And of course I liked the eau de nil frame showing some of their food hall offerings, such as cakes and jams.

I was pleasantly surprised when I asked an employee about their photo policy and she happily informed me that yes, photos were permitted, they just didn't like for photographs of single products to be taken up close. No problem! Here are some of the floral teawares they had. At back are lots of blue and red transferware, which made me think of my friend Phyllis.

Now I do wish I had a closeup of one of these teacups, because they're not exactly what you might think. A designer named Richard Brendon has brilliantly found a way to rescue orphaned saucers with his "Reflect" wares. He searches them out and pairs them with platinum and gold teacups which "reflect" the pattern of each saucer. You can go here to read more about what he's doing.

Brendon is also the designer behind this "Patternity" design of teawares, which I also think is quite clever. I like these because they're in that eau de nil color I so love, and I also think the contemporary design may attract a whole new type of tea(ware) lover. I can just see a young man or woman who's not particularly enchanted with grandma's fusty old pink teacups going for these, can't you? (And actually, I think they're quite cool myself!)

If china's not your thing, well, a) you're probably at the wrong blog and b) check out the silver at Fortnum and Mason! Lots of eye candy here for certain.

Meanwhile, downstairs from the teawares there are lots of teas to choose from. I love that these loose leaf teas are displayed in glass teapots! And do you see that sculpture at right, of two teapots pouring tea into a teacup?

I decided to "bring it home with me" in the form of a tote bag, and it's perhaps my favorite tote bag ever! On a side note, they didn't have this design of bag upstairs with the teawares, and when I asked about it, a saleswoman said she believed some of these designs were down below and insisted on going downstairs to check for me herself. That kind of service is pretty unheard of these days, isn't it?

Since it was my birthday that day, I decided I needed this lovely tin of Celebration Blend Tea. It's a blend of strong Assam and jasmine teas, which I thought sounded intriguing. When I got home and tried it, I found this combination works well and I really love this new tea!

Since I was looking for "unbreakable" souvenirs which would travel well, I was delighted to find this pretty tea towel. I'm thinking of getting it framed to hang in my dining room!

Last but not least, I was delighted to find copies of the book "Fortnum & Mason: The First Three Hundred Years." It's packed with great historic photos, including some of royalty, and discusses the history of the firm, including the Royal Warrants they hold as grocery and provisions suppliers to Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales. I hope you can see why I adore this lovely store. (I told my husband I want my ashes scattered here, and I'm only partly joking!) To thank you for humoring me by reading all these overly-long blog posts, I have a copy of this book and a small tin of Fortnum and Mason's Afternoon Blend tea to give away to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST May 27 and you'll be entered to win. (U.S. and Canada only, please.) Good luck!

66 comments:

  1. I think I would have been in heaven at Fortnum & Mason! Lovely post and thanks for the chance!

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  2. I enjoyed every bit of this post, it wasn't too long at all! I'd love to win this one, you got some wonderful souvenirs and you are so sweet to share. ( and I agree, frame the tea towel!)

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  3. Have loved traveling along vicariously on your trip to England. Thanks for writing it all up with such great photos, too!

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  4. I LOVED visiting London with you--particularly Fortnum and Mason. I am so glad you had such a great time! How do you prepare loose tea? Does the blend dictate which pot or tea ball you use? I have an antique "tea ball" that is a spoon with a little lid that snaps closed. I don't use it much because I don't really care for the tea leaves in my cup. Don't tell anyone, but I use a lot of tea BAGS.

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  5. The tea towel will look lovely framed or as a hanging. I have so enjoyed visiting England with you. Would love to win the tea!
    Thanks for sharing your birthday trip with all of us!

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing all your lovely pictures with us!

    Kimberly K

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  7. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us and bringing back a gift for one of us to enjoy!

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  8. I have not been to that shop in many years but remember the display of marzipan made in many shapes and colors. You must have been in Tea Heaven! The pictures and your comments are fabulous!

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  9. Angela, I've won recently, so I don't think I'm eligible for the give-away, but I wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed this series of posts. I've not been "across the pond" and your writing has transported me there. Thanks so much!

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  10. Love to win the book and tea- thanks for the chance!
    Shari Harniss
    Houston, TX

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  11. Thanks for the opportunity to win a wonderful memento from your trip - looks like you had a splendid time!

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  12. You did it again Angela! Just got into London and will be heading to F&M for the tote bag, book, and tea. You are global with your shopping tips!!! It is raining but that won't stop anything.

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  13. Wow what an awesome give away. Thanks and please enter me.

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  14. Angela,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. It is always so informative. What a wonderful birthday present! Thank you for such a great give away.
    Dawn R.

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  15. I love all your purchases at Fortnum & Mason - the tin of Celebration Tea, the lovely tote bag, and yes, the tea towel would be lovely framed. It was so fun seeing all your photos today and reading the accompanying comments. Please do enter me in the drawing for the Fortnum & Mason book and tea. You're so generous to your readers.
    ~ Phyllis

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  16. I actually really LOVE the glare. I think they're very interesting photos.

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  17. I don't think I could leave if I went there! Thank you so much for sharing all of your lovely photos!

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  18. I am absolutely in love with the Eau de Nil color and I never knew what to call it. I think I need to find it to paint my walls. Glad you had such a fabulous trip!

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing your joy of the adventure to England. Please, enter me for the Tea Giveaway.

    Irene Martin

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  20. Wonderful post,photos and lovely giveaway. Tea is my panacea for everything, physical and mental which I adore. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. A most delightful journey through England. Tea brings me pleasure and has always been my drink winter and summer. Especially so when I was going through chemo. This trip was an experience. Many best wishes.

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  22. I poured over each of those windows carefully, so much to see and they're gorgeous.
    I've seen the inside of Phyllis's home, and it is tea themed everywhere, very nice. Now I imagine your home must be similar with so many tea things to display.
    Please enter me in your draw please, it would be delightful to win the tea and book.

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  23. Your visit to Fortnum & Mason looks like a perfect afternoon! Such treasures!

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  24. You are on the trip I hope to take one day with my husband. Fortnum and Mason--oh my goodness-how wonderful! Enjoy the rest of your holiday! ♥

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  25. I've never heard of F&M before but I do believe that I would have enjoyed a visit! Such lovely displays.

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  26. I loved my visits to F and M. Shopping and tea, what could be better?!?

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  27. OH. MY. GOSH.

    I don't even know what to say - first of all, wow to the post, I "poured" over every single description and bit of info! Well done, ma'am!

    And then getting to the end seeing your tea towel, OH ANGELA it is amazing!

    And you are giving that amazing book and tea as a generous giveaway? Oh my word. I could cry.

    Please, yes ma'am, add me to the hopefuls - what an awesome package of WOW. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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  28. Ohhhhhh...all those lovely tea things!!!! I've been to London three times over the years and have not yet been able to get to Fortnums. :>(

    Yes, please add my name to the drawing!!!

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  29. Such lovely things...I hope to go someday. I was not able to go there when I visited London. Thank you for the opportunity.
    Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  30. Angela, a belated happy birthday! Your posts this week have meant the world to me, wonderful reading & photos! I haven't been to London in some time now but it's my favorite place, & Fortnum's is so wonderful. Getting your inside look at it this week has been what's gotten me thru ;-) . Thanks, and fingers crossed!

    Kim M

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  31. Oh my goodness! Who doesn't love your postings from London? Just remove their comments & let the rest of the Anglophiles dream!! ;)

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  32. What a lovely birthday trip...Thank you so much for taking us along!! Your choices of unbreakable souvenirs are wonderful and thank you for this opportunity to win a couple of them...So very sweet of you! ~ Donna =)

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  33. I'd love to take the same trip! Thanks for the contest!!

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  34. Your post brought back wonderful memories of me and my mother having tea at F&M. I'm glad you had a great experience too.

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  35. I love all the souvenirs, especially the tea towel--it is definitely frameworthy!

    Thank you for thinking of us during your amazing trip!

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  36. Did you have tea at Fortnums? When I went in 1998 with my husband he humored me not once, but twice in the same week. It was wonderful.

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  37. Hello Angela, another fabulous post! Your photos are especially nice, so many details and I love how close up you get.

    Your idea to frame the tea towel is a good one. *
    * and once framed, a row of teacups (on cup hooks) underneath might look neat. Thanks for all the tea news from England, Joanie

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  38. Angela, I've enjoyed your London posts so much! It's been way too long since I've been there, sigh. The tea sounds wonderful. Thanks for the opportunity to win a bit of your trip.

    Donna Kohler
    Fresno, CA

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  39. I love your birthday tea party and enjoyed every word - never too much! I too love that color a/k/a tiffany blue? Am I seeing it right? England Teatime does sound heavenly! Thank you and yes please add me to your names for the charming giveaway! You are so kind!

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  40. I really like the tote bag-so pretty. I have always liked pretty cups and saucers (and teapots) so really enjoy your blog posts. Thanks.

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  41. Erin Seipke-BrownMay 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Thanks for sharing all the pictures of your trip...looks like you had a marvelous time!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  42. Oh I would enjoy this give away.

    Fortnum & Mason is one place I hope to visit one day. How clever that reflect ware is, I like it alot. Thanks for sharing your visit to this marvelous store.

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  43. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us! I'm glad you had such a lovely and memorable 50th.

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  44. Wow! I would love to have a few hours to roam around there! I could do some serious damage to my pocketbook at this place.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  45. I fell in in love with this store las August....their packaging is incredible! I could spend hours in there! The book looks interesting...I will have to check into that. Donna

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  46. Please include me in your give away. Thank you for the lovely pictures and story of your trip.

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  47. Thank you for sharing your lovely trip journal and photos - and for the chance to win your give-away!

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  48. My visit to Fortnum and Mason was one of my favorites when I visited London years ago. That and the tiny Twinings shop. Please tell us lots more about your adventures in Britain!

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  49. I would love to visit sometime.

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  50. Thank you for sharing such lovely birthday memories with us...what a wonderful trip that must have been. It's on my bucket list to go there some day. Please enter me in the giveaway...thanks!

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  51. Oh my! I love the reflected tea ware. They are so beautiful & I would love to have so many of them.

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  52. Someday I'll get to England for tea. Enjoying your posts.
    Luanne

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  53. Someday I'll get to England for tea. Enjoying your posts.
    Luanne

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  54. Overly-long posts?! Never!!! Loved reading and "visiting" England through all you've shared. Not as good as being there in person but better than not getting to see all these lovely things at all were it not for your posts. Thank you!

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  55. I think I could live at Fortnum and Mason! They have everything there I could possibly ever need.

    Fabulous post, Angela. I felt like I was back there shopping again and it looks like you found just the perfect things to add to your gift bag to take home.
    Since it was my birthday this month too, perhaps I will be the lucky one to win the amazing gifts from your travels. Thanks for thinking of us while you were enjoying your Birthday Extravaganza. I'm still celebrating - hope you are too!

    Cheers,

    Mary Jane

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  56. I'm paying close attention to the places you're writing about because my sisters and I are planning a trip to England next summer. We lived there back in the late 60's when our father was transferred there.
    I would love to visit Fortnum & Mason. And thanks for the giveaway!
    kellam.susan@yahoo.com

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  57. I've spent a lot of time in the UK and I've been missing it like mad so this prize would be absolutely brilliant!

    beautiful dot dreamer@ gmail dot com

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  58. It's been so much fun reading about your trip. I miss England so much.

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  59. Dear Angela,
    You enjoyed my favorite shop as much as I do. Ah, what a lovely trip you had and shared with us. I love everything about that store. Did you get to Liberty too?
    I love what that gentleman did with the orphan saucers. Brilliant!
    I wish you a very happy birthday, indeed and thank you for entering me.
    Ruthie

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  60. What an awesome birthday for you! thanks for sharing

    slmartin at vtc dot net

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  61. What a fabulous trip and of course I'd love the tea and book. I'm charmed and jealous of your trip! Someday I'll follow your example....

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  62. What an awesome trip! I have not tried Fortnum and Mason, but I certainly plan on it one day!

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  63. It looks like you had a wonderful birthday and thanks so much for letting us share it with you!

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  64. Wow, I would have loved shopping at Fortnum & Mason. However did you manage to fit all your purchases in the suitcases on the way home. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing all the great photos.

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