In the shadow of Buckingham Palace lies Fortnum & Mason, the department store with a royal warrant famed for its loose-leaf tea, luxury picnic hampers and sweet treats, including an excellent selection of macarons. You can buy all of these inside the store, as well as browse the gentlemen’s department, and cast your eyes up to the spectacular atrium, but the real highlight of a trip here is the afternoon tea, served in a gilded Diamond Jubileee Tea Salon, opened in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. An accompanying piano player sets the tone: at high tea, you can expect a charming display of finger sandwiches, individual pastries and cakes from the cake carriage, and scones served with Somerset clotted cream and Fortnum’s lemon curd. The extensive champagne list is also not to be ignored.

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The Queen's Grocers

The building may not have the grandeur of Harrod’s, but Fortnum and Mason is a British institution in that this is where the Queen ‘buys her groceries’. Ok, perhaps Her Majesty doesn’t physically come over but apparently Buckingham Palace does order stuff from here to be sent over. Located in the heart of London, you may be forgiven for missing the entrance as it looks just like another store along Piccadilly Road. If you’re walking from Piccadilly Circus, look out for the clock high above the main doors to guide you. Once inside you’ll be greeted by a vast selection of beautifully packaged foodstuff, from jams to teas to chocolates to meats. There are also several restaurants (one of them famous for its afternoon tea) for you to indulge in.

London's Fortnum & Mason: Royal Food Supplier

Fortnum & Mason is a magnificent store, or rather, food purveyors that has been supplying the royal household since 1707! Inside is a foodie’s fantasy with little departments dedicated to sweets, pastries, teas, biscuits, coffees and fresh food staples like cheeses, deli items and meats. And since Fortnum and Mason started the concept of hamper it is a requirement that they sell all the supplies you would need for a lovely picnic in any one of London’s parks. There is so much history around this one store that you could spend an entire morning or afternoon just here!

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