No London experience can be complete without an afternoon tea. So London Study Ambassadors headed to Fortnum and Mason for just such quintessential British tea. At first I thought I was going to a tea/chocolate shop, but Fortnum and Mason was much more than that. We had tea and other delicious treats in the Drawing Room where we were given an interesting talk by Senior Archivist Dr. Tanner on how Fortnum and Mason started and evolved to where it is now.
Since I am studying business, what I found the most interesting was the way the business has lasted for 307 years! It has a timeless, traditional air to it, having been at the same site on Piccadilly since 1707, but has remained popular throughout the centuries by remaining innovative, unique, and adaptive. For example, they have products made specifically for the store, so you can find unique gifts that you would not find anywhere else. Besides tea, they sell a variety of products, including sweets,
cheeses, wines, hampers, and even chiles! (Chile makes my mouth water).
And even though the store maintains its elegant air, Fortnum and Mason does not take itself too seriously. The business often uses cartoon-like illustrations in its advertisements and has a range of affordable products to appeal to a broad class of people. Would I ever return? Definitely!