London / Travel

The prettiest store I’ve ever visited: Fortnum and Mason

When your mom is an avid shopping enthusiast, making a statement this bold carries hefty weight. It’s no secret that if shopping was a professional sport, my mom would be the reigning champ. She has dragged my sister, dad, and me to countless stores for years, even if my dad was we were kicking and screaming. I’ll be the first to admit that I think the addiction is genetic, and it certainly didn’t skip a generation with me. If you’re questioning this, I invite you to take a look at my disaster zone of a closet. On second thought, please don’t. That said, the point I’m trying to make here is that I’ve been to a lot of stores in my day. But, none of them have been as pretty as Fortnum and Mason.

Behold its beauty.

Behold its beauty.

Founded in 1707, Fortnum and Mason is a grocer and accessory store in the Mayfair neighborhood of London, right on Picadilly. It is famous for its teas, specialty grocery items, and hampers – or, picnic baskets. I’m like a moth to a flame with anything tea related, so lucky for me (and unlucky for my wallet), it was right across the street from my hotel. I visited not once, but twice. Had time allowed, I probably would have gone a third time just to take pictures with a nicer camera.

Interior views

Interior views

I’m 99% sure I looked at and read the title of every item in that store. This was not a place to rush through with its beautifully designed tins of biscuits and countless teas. Plus, how dare I not give proper attention to the prettiest store I’ve ever visited? Everything in that store was meticulously placed and stood as if it had a purpose. It certainly required my undivided attention. This is not a place to snub. (Even though my boyfriend did by leaving me to fend for myself on our second visit but whatever. Turns out it was a smart move since I found a way to waste a full hour in there all alone, and could’ve easily wasted a second. I only hope he can sleep at night knowing he left the prettiest store he’s ever been to, as well – according to me, that is.)

Perfection

Perfection

The details in the design of the store were impeccable. And, to top it all off, the door men wore tuxedos. Tuxedos! Complete with robins egg blue accessories. The same color you’re surrounded by inside the store. Not a single thing went unnoticed in the planning of Fortnum and Mason and I soaked in every last bit of it.

Can you blame me?

There's that blue again.

There’s that blue again.

From the top down.

From the top down.

Google has just informed me that Fortnum and Mason tea is sold at Williams-Sonoma.  If you feel like living luxuriously for a lesser price, I suggest giving it a try. I’m going to try to forget this discovery so I have yet another excuse for a repeat visit.

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