F – Fortnum and Mason

Welcome to letter F and to this year’s Theme:

 The Glories of Tea With Stepheny


The Mechanical Clock on the front of Fortnum & Mason

If you drink tea then you recognize the name Fortnum and Mason. I have stood on Piccadilly Street in London waiting for the mechanical clock to strike the hour when Fortnum and Mason come out their two doors, bow to one another, then return indoors.  If you are unfamiliar with this name,  there is always time for a story, don’t you think?


Once upon a time, William Fortnum was a footman in the household of Queen Anne. The royal family’s insistence on having new candles every night resulted in large amounts of half-used wax, which Fortnum resold for a tidy profit. The enterprising 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 affiliation with the royal court led to an increase in business.

In 1902, Fortnum’s tea came to boast a Royal pedigree thanks to a blend specially created for King Edward VII. Whether single-origin teas, rare varieties, home-grown blends or contemporary infusions, Fortnum’s tea is still poured today. Today, 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 various stockists worldwide.  Today, it is privately owned by Wittington Investments.

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.”
― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book



About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge -2020 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to F – Fortnum and Mason

  1. noelleg44 says:

    Sorry I haven;t been able to pop by every day, but it seems that Fortnum and Mason’s also makes really good marmalade and jams, if I recall correctly!

  2. scr4pl80 says:

    I want those teas just for the colorful containers!

  3. jazzfeathers says:

    I would buy those teas just for the tins!

    The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

  4. One of the highlights of our visit to London a few years ago was afternoon tea at Fortnum’s! ❤ Thank you for bringing back that memory.

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