15 Dec2016

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Holiday snapshots from Fortnum & Mason, London. There’s something about a wintery Christmas that seems so nice… I think the fact that fresh Christmas trees last longer and smell better, wreaths hang happily in the near freezing temperatures, the lights really twinkle with the 4pm or earlier sunsets, the tinsel just looks more festive…

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The English just seem to have the Christmas holidays down pat. So much more ebullient than say a North American Christmas in terms of the “things”… but of course, nothing beats the feel of a Pinoy Christmas, in my book. But for those of you that just smile at the images that follow, these snapshots are for you, others can just skip the post if they are grinches. :)

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Candied fruit in the windows. Candied fruit. :)

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A close-up of that tableau.

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All kinds of puddings. I wonder how they keep the mice away. Or you think they are artificial?! They didn’t look artificial.

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A window filled with silver doodads. Tradition still holds strong in these parts.

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Crystal candlesticks.

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The atrium in the wonderful store. With hanging Christmas trees!

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Fabulous gingerbread homes for sale. This is the one city I could stop making our own gingerbread and just buy a village ready made. The prices were astronomical, but the convenience offered is much appreciated.

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The gingerbread people were cute and incredibly intricately iced.

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And I still can’t get over the ready made homes. And no styrofoam structural forms either. It’s that dry during the winter…

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More gingerbread.

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The candied fruit counters stopped me in my tracks. Again, just pure wonder on my part. They were beautiful to behold.

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Candied chestnuts sold by the piece if you desired…

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…or you could buy the chestnuts fresh, and make your own roasted or candied chestnuts.

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The colorful tins of biscuits and teas in the shop where enough to delight even jaded holiday shoppers.

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I just wanted to take several of these carousel tins filled with cookies home, but we don’t have any young kids or nephews or nieces anymore!

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Hampers on display in one corner of the store. With the options to choose from to fill these traditional hampers, I could see gift giving being a very easy and convenient thing to do, but watch the dent to your checkbooks!

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One of the snazziest advent calendars Mrs. MM and I have seen recently. You choose what treats to put inside the little compartments.

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Another advent calendar.

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A wall of the most stunning Christmas wrappers and cards.

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Christmas crackers.

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I gather the store is owned by Middle Eastern investors, but Christmas is still it’s biggest season.

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The tea, the tea!!!

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Wow. In the tea section.

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The insider tip? Buy your teas loose from these counters and place them in little packages. Not tins. That’s the cheapest way to get their tea without the bells and whistles.

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It’s such a treat to make our selection, first sampling the aromas of different teas, vacillating between this and that, chatting with the expert behind the counter…

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…and then deciding to buy nearly everything we smelled anyway!

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For friends and family, we splurged not these utterly stunning tins. If you’ve never been to F&M during the run-up to the Christmas holidays, put in on your foodie bucket list. Trust me. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. millet says:

    another one of those places where I’d say “Leave me here and come back for me next year.”

    Dec 15, 2016 | 9:10 pm

     
  2. sister says:

    Love the pictures!

    London here we come for Christmas! Packed and ready to go, one suitcase for clothes and one for homemade cakes and cookies. Like bringing coals to Newcastle.

    Fortnum and Mason first stop to deliver Dalemain entries 2017. In return you get F and M marmalade gratis for every entry, for they are one of the sponsors. Wish me luck.

    Happy Christmas to you all!

    Dec 16, 2016 | 6:37 am

     
  3. Natie says:

    I just gasped at the sight! Jaw-dropping, especially the silver trees with tinsels. It may not be but I have to ask– is the pagoda made of gingerbread too?

    Good luck, Sister, and have an equally wonderful trip!

    Dec 16, 2016 | 11:09 am

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Natie, if I am not mistaken, the pagoda was a ceramic one I think… Sister, good luck at Dalmain!

    Dec 16, 2016 | 2:44 pm

     
  5. Khew says:

    I think the Moorish ‘building’ was there simply to evoke “Orientalism” the way the pagoda was. It’s to impress the fact that their teas are exotic commodities from far flung shores. People must be made to forget that the tea in all likelihood came in typical thin wooden crates by the container load before being blended and re-packaged into precious treasures.

    Sorry for sounding grinchy!

    Dec 16, 2016 | 8:55 pm

     
  6. Thel from Florida says:

    Great stuffs MM. Just looking at your pics makes me happy and really feeling the holidays.

    By the way, most stocks here in USA are going up to the roof. Maybe your imaginary stock picks went up big time also. My Berkshire-Hathaway went up an average of $1k/day for 25 trading days – – so for us we are having a truly Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year, I am sooooo grateful!

    Have a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year to your family and all your fans on this site.

    Dec 17, 2016 | 6:39 am

     
  7. Jovita says:

    Good luck, sister!

    Dec 17, 2016 | 8:47 am

     
  8. Ellen says:

    Great pics!! Planning my holiday to London for June next year and Fortnum and Mason is one of the places I can’t wait to see!

    Dec 17, 2016 | 1:41 pm

     
  9. Footloose says:

    Perhaps not too farfetched, BBC’s radio broadcast of Babette’s Feast in impeccable English English in five parts. https://goo.gl/vZyzMC

    Dec 17, 2016 | 9:35 pm

     
  10. farida says:

    Wonderful pictures. That crystal candle holder brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of the one my grandfather had. It used to come out only on fiestas. I never saw it again. Haven’t seen one like that since I was in grade school.
    Good luck, Sister.

    Dec 18, 2016 | 12:46 pm

     
  11. Anne says:

    Wow, thanks for posting breathtaking photos.. for now, at least on Marketmanila I get to “visit” these places. But who knows? someday, soon I can go there myself. Happy Christmas!

    Dec 19, 2016 | 12:52 pm

     
  12. Kasseopeia says:

    Good luck, Sister! :)

    Dec 21, 2016 | 4:24 pm

     
  13. Betchay says:

    Best of luck sister!

    Dec 23, 2016 | 9:02 pm

     

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