Fortnum & Mason

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the first film I ever called my favourite) Holly Golightly describes Tiffany’s as her cure for ‘The Mean Reds’ and a place where ‘nothing very bad could happen to you’. My own Tiffany’s is Fortnum & Mason’s – a store that, thanks to Orinoco Womble, I have known about since long before I actually went there.

Orinoco Womble holding a Fortnum & Mason hamperAs a child I was a Wombles geek. I collected Womble figures. I had a Wombles pillowcase and a Wombles lampshade. I had all their albums and books. At the age of seven or so I probably could have won Mastermind if I’d picked the Wombles as my subject. I even had a Wombles vest (which I confess I still wore for many years after the lampshade got replaced).

My introduction to Fortnum and Mason’s came when Orinoco Womble got upset and ran away from Wimbledon Common to the shop (or Fortune & Bason, as he called it). As he described the luxury of all the things he found that they’d thrown away, I was hooked. Not that I’m even remotely into bin-diving – when it comes to Fortnum’s I’m a front entrance only kind of girl – I just loved the idea of a store that sold food for pure luxury. Growing up in the sticks in the 1970’s, my only experience of food luxury was spending ages picking out ‘one of those and one of those’ from the penny sweets section at the village shop.

Now I live in London and can pop in to Fortnum’s whenever I’m passing, or even just feast my eyes at their sparkling window displays from the top of a bus, and it always gives me that great ‘Tiffany’ feeling. A feeling that all is right with the world and so long as Fortnum & Mason’s is there, it always will be.

Fortnum & Mason


Fortnum and Mason


2 responses to “Fortnum & Mason

  1. What a great visual of Fortnum and Mason and your writing is so descriptive I feel like am there. Of course I have no clue what a Wombles is but it doesn’t matter you make it sound fun and delightful. I have never been out of the US and my husband doesn’t really like to travel so I don’t know that I ever will. As for my favorite movie, the 6 hour mini series of Pride & Prejudice BBC ( I think it was 6 hours) 1996. I watch it every year at least once in the fall. I don’t know why I watch it in the fall. But every time I watch it I get the same feelings. Never get tired of it. Best part, when Darcy has just taken a dip in his pond and out he comes in full view of Elizabeth. An amazing scene. Well, as you can hear, I have a tendency toward babbling. Just one more thing. I am not an expert in computers, just a beginner with a crazy hobby. But somehow I have managed to help a few people. Ok, now I am done : )

  2. That P&P series was the best version. I don’t know why they even bothered making a new film after that. Colin Firth was undoubtedly the best Mr Darcy.

    I can’t believe you’ve not heard of The Wombles. They are little creatures who live on Wimbledon Common and they pick up all the rubbish humans leave and recycle it into other things. They were so ahead of their time as no-one was even thinking of green issues back when they were invented.

    Apparently the books by Elisabeth Beresford are being re-release later this year so you should treat yourself. You won’t be disappointed. My mum used to love reading mine.

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