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Fortnum & Mason, London | Tourist Information

181 Piccadilly
London, United Kingdom W1A1ER

0845 300 1707

Fortnum & Mason is an upmarket department store in Piccadilly, London, with additional stores at St Pancras railway station and Heathrow Airport in London, as well as Dubai and various stockists worldwide. Its headquarters is located at 181 Piccadilly, where it was established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. Today it is privately owned by Wittington Investments Ltd.Founded as a grocery store, Fortnum's reputation was built on supplying quality food, and saw rapid growth throughout the Victorian era. Though Fortnum's developed into a department store, it continues to focus on stocking a variety of exotic, speciality and also 'basic' provisions.The store has since opened several other departments, such as the Gentlemen's department on the third floor. It is also the location of a celebrated tea shop and several restaurants.HistoryWilliam Fortnum was a footman in the royal household of Queen Anne. The Royal Family’s insistence on having new candles every night meant a lot of half-used wax which William Fortnum promptly resold for a tidy profit. The enterprising William Fortnum also had a sideline business as a grocer. He convinced his landlord, Hugh Mason, to be his associate, and they founded the first Fortnum & Mason store in Mason's small shop in St James's Market in 1707. In 1761, William Fortnum's grandson Charles went into the service of Queen Charlotte and the Royal Court affiliation led to an increase in business. Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738. The store began to stock speciality items, namely ready-to-eat luxury meals such as fresh poultry or game served in aspic jelly.

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