Last night began the countdown to Christmas at London’s famous Fortnum & Mason store on Piccadilly. On Monday 3rd November, Fortnum & Mason, possibly the country’s grandest and finest food and drink shop, got the festive season under way with a seasonal store-wide celebration and its Christmas Window Unveiling.
The unveiling was planed for 5.30pm and shortly before animal welfare protesters from PETA set up outside to demonstrate against the sale of Foie Gras. This is a battle that has been going on for a number of years, PETA would like Fortnum & Mason to stop selling Foie Gras because they believe the force feeding of animals is cruel, but Fortnum & Mason acknowledge that there are producers with poor animal welfare but insist that their suppliers have the highest standards and while there is strong public demand for the product they will continue to supply it.
There seemed to be a mixed reaction to the protests, no one was letting the protesters get in the way of Christmas even though they quite literal did by blocking views of the central windows. And the evenings festivities went ahead regardless and the store was full and buzzing with festive spirit. But both customers and passers by were interested in what the protesters had to say and were taking away the information on Foie Gras production being handed out by PETA.
In store this year’s event was a true Christmas extravaganza. Customers and enjoyed everything from succulent mini hot turkey rolls to delectable Christmas pudding ice cream, mince pies, Florentines and shortbread. And in the drinks department those seeking some festive spirit could sip Absinthe, Hendricks’s gin, Grey Goose vodka and mulled wine.
And for anyone doing a little Christmas shopping there were personalised gifting services with a number of Fortnum’s experts in jewellery, fine china and accessories on hand. Hands-on activities included a candy cane workshop and lessons in building gingerbread houses.
The Fortnum & Mason Christmas shop is open from now until Christmas so you should definitely pay them a visit for some festive food & drink either in one of there many restaurants or bars or to take home. And the store has a dedicated Christmas shop for all your decorations and every floor is filled with Christmas gift inspiration.