Lindsey was in charge of our London itinerary, and she told me that we had to go to Fortnum and Mason. That I would love it. She was right!
Fortnum and Mason is a specialty foods and department store with a history that goes back 300 years. Originally the store was a grocery store; today it includes departments for foods, teas & coffee, wines, housewares, beauty, and gifts. It also includes several restaurants and tea rooms.
We visited the flagship store on Piccadilly, where a doorman greets you as you enter.
I got exactly one decent picture of the inside of the store, but this display will give you an idea of what it’s like.
In addition to the departments listed above, Fortnum and Mason is especially known for their wicker picnic hampers, complete with buckled straps and the letters F & M on the top of each one.
I knew before we went to the store that I wanted to buy a hamper and have it shipped home, which is exactly what I did. The number of hamper options was overwhelming, so I asked the salesman which was the most popular, and he said The Piccadilly Hamper, which includes several things that Fortnum & Mason is famous for: loose tea, chocolate and jam. Sold.
So last week a little bit of London was delivered to my doorstep.
It was such a treat to have this arrive after we came back home.
As far as other souvenirs, I like to buy things on trips that I’ll use when I get home, so tea towels are often on my list. In addition to being practical, they’re affordable, easy to find, and easy to pack. I loved the color of this F & M tea towel.
And I loved this towel with scenes of London I found in the St. Paul’s Cathedral gift shop.
My other London souvenirs came from the day we spent shopping Portobello Road.
This Highland Store was full of Scottish plaids: scarves, kilts, and blankets. Wool, plaid blankets are one of those classic items that I find hard to resist. I passed this display and looked through that stack of blankets you see there several times before I decided to choose one to bring home with me.
And another thing I find hard to resist: silverplate flatware.
One of the weekend vendors was selling this Sheffield King’s pattern. I chose some knives and some more of the soup spoons with round bowls, like the ones I previously bought on Etsy.
I especially love the shell design on the back of the spoons.
I hope to have all of these souvenirs a long time, and to think of our London trip every time I use them.
What are your favorite things to bring back from vacations?