Text by Kerry Vincent • Photography Courtesy of Fortnum & Mason
Rock your fancy glad rags and say, “Hello!” to the Christmas wonderland of Fortnum & Mason, the best of all things British and surely one of life’s ultimate afternoon-tea destinations.
William Fortnum was footman to Queen Anne (the last Stuart monarch), and nightly, the royals insisted that fresh candles be lit. This left residual wax that the enterprising Fortnum recycled for profit. He convinced his landlord, Hugh Mason, to partner with him, and together they founded Fortnum & Mason in 1707, which has flourished ever since. This enviable royal court connection has endured throughout the centuries as the company created specialty goods for the palace, military, and aristocratic nobles.