Visit London Blog » fortnum and mason http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 London Christmas Shopping News: Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Seven Dials & St Martin’s Courtyard http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/london-christmas-shopping-news-fortnum-mason-harrods-seven-dials-st-martins-courtyard/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/london-christmas-shopping-news-fortnum-mason-harrods-seven-dials-st-martins-courtyard/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 10:00:45 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=36428 The lead-up to Christmas is a fantastic time to go shopping in London, as all major streets are twinkling prettily with festive lights and decorations. From shopping events to fashion drive-throughs, London’s shops are pulling out all the stops to turn the city into a merry retail haven.

Fortnum & Mason Tree at St Pancras International Station

Fortnum & Mason Tree at St Pancras

Fortnum & Mason has provided a gorgeous Christmas tree to decorate St Pancras International Station. Standing 35ft high, the tree is adorned with 2,000 mini hampers, one of Fortnum’s most famous products. One of the latest shops to open at St Pancras, the centuries-old retailer stocks conserves, shortbreads, musical biscuit tins, sweets, chocolates and of course, hampers. Travellers can also feast on afternoon tea at the shop’s tea salon. This is the brand’s first new shop away from Piccadilly in more than 300 years.

World’s First Fashion Drive-through at Selfridges

Forget drive-through fast food, drive-through high fashion is the latest craze to hit London with Selfridges leading the way! Customers can order online at Selfridges.com and then collect their goods from the new Selfridges fashion and retail drive-through at the Oxford Street store. Without leaving the comfort of their cars, the free goods collection process can be completed in less than three minutes. This is the first time a fashion-led retailer has offered such a facility to customers.

Fairy Tale Boutique Opens at HarrodsBibbidi Bobbidi boutique at Harrods

A fairy tale boutique for children has opened at Harrods. Inspired by the scene in the Disney Cinderella movie where the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella for the ball, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is set within a magical castle inside the world-famous department store. The boutique offers children aged from three to 12 the chance to be transformed into their favourite character for the day.

Seven Dials Christmas Shopping Night OutSeven Dials

Neighbouring shopping destinations Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard are hosting a festive shopping night next week. The shopping streets will be closed to traffic for the merry event which will feature live music and festive street food stalls. More than 120 shops, bars and restaurants will be offering a 20% discount on the night. Shop for party season outfits at  Diesel, Urban Outfitters, Laura Lee Jewellery, Tatty Devine and Superga. For one-off Christmas presents, there’s a slew of independent boutiques to choose from: think erotic emporium Coco De Mer and homeware boutique Do Shop. Shoppers will also be treated to a host of in-store parties including DJs, makeovers and free goodie bags with purchases. Register for a free ticket here. 5 December from 5-9pm

Spreading Festive Cheer!

In the true spirit of Christmas, St Martin’s Courtyard will be spreading joy with Random Acts of Kindness over the festive season. Shops and restaurants will be rewarding shoppers, diners and visitors with fantastic gifts completely at random.You don’t even have to buy anything to be in with a chance. There are 100 prizes on offer ranging from a wine tasting evening for two at Dalla Terra to a Christmas hamper from Bill’s. 12-24 December

More shopping in London

 

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What’s On This Weekend: 9-10 November 2013 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/whats-on-this-weekend-9-10-november-2013/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/11/whats-on-this-weekend-9-10-november-2013/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:00:15 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35907

From The Lord Mayor’s Show to the Regent Street Christmas Lights Switch On, there are loads of exciting events taking place in London this weekend!

The Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks

Not only does the City of London have a new Lord Mayor (who will preside over the City for one year), but for only the second time in its long history, the Lord Mayor is a woman. Fiona Woolf will celebrate her election with the traditional Lord Mayor’s parade from Guildhall to the Royal Courts of Justice, where she will swear an oath of loyalty to The Queen before setting off on the return journey. The parade, which features colourful floats from a wide variety of City institutions, commences at 11am and starts its return journey at 1pm. For full details on the route and timings, visit the website. Early risers can also watch the Lord Mayor’s flotilla, which sets off in the QRB Gloriana from Westminster at 8.30am. The day’s events will culminate in a spectacular firework dsplay at 5pm – see our guide for tips on where to stand. 9 Nov

Fortnum and Mason St Pancras opens

For the first time in 307 years, a new Fortnum and Mason shop will be opening in London. Situated in St Pancras International station, the mini version of Piccadilly‘s most famous shop will feature a selection of their best-loved treats as well as a chance to relax in the tea salon. From 8 Nov

The Nordic Ja Ja Ja festival

Head to the Camden Roundhouse for a lively festival of Nordic culture. The first ever Ja Ja Ja Festival features the region’s music, film, art, and of course cuisine. There will even be a Nordic Fika! Day tickets are £25, or you can get a weekend pass for £40. 8-9 Nov

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War

It’s almost 100 years since the start of the First World War, and with Rememberance Sunday this weekend it’s a perfect time to see Stanley Spencer’s poignant depictions of war at Somerset House. The large-scale paintings are scenes from the artist’s own wartime experiences and evoke the sometimes surprising ordinariness of wartime life and the domestic tasks in which Spencer found solace. This is a rare chance to see the paintings outside of their usual home at the National Trust’s Sandham Memorial Chapel. Admission is free. Until 26 Jan

Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain at the British Library

Whether you believe they were decorous or riotous, you can’t deny that the Georgians left a significant mark on London and British culture. This new exhibition explores Georgian life through their everyday objects, and charts the rise of fashion, celebrity and conspicuous consumption, as well as the rise of the arts and information. You can see unique items from the Library’s archive, including rare books and maps, as well as loaned objects and artwork. Tickets are £9 for adults. Until 11 Mar

The Regent Street Christmas Lights

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, and you can get into the early festive spirit at the official switching on of the Regent Street Christmas lights. As well as the lights, which are themed around new animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, you can see performances by Leona Lewis, Passenger and Eliza Doolittle. The event is free. 9 Nov

More London events

 

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London Shopping News: Regent Street, Carnaby Street and Fortnum & Mason http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/09/london-shopping-news-regent-street-carnaby-street-and-fortnum-mason/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/09/london-shopping-news-regent-street-carnaby-street-and-fortnum-mason/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35496

London Fashion Week might have ended, but there are still plenty of hot shopping happenings in the city this month. Join us in the capital this September for Shop London, a celebration of London’s incredible and varied retail offering. For all special offers and events, click here.

NFL on Regent Street

Swing by Regent Street on 28 September as the traffic-free road will be buzzing with cheerleaders, music, team drum-lines and interactive games, as NFL showcases the best of American football. If you’re lucky, you may even spot players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings, who are playing at Wembley Stadium the following day.

Fortnum & Mason’s Honey Festival

Fortnum & Mason is creating a buzz on its ground floor this month as it’s hosting the London Honey Festival. For one month, Fortnum’s will be showcasing more than 20 of the finest honeys London has to offer. Visitors can sample honeys hailing from everywhere from Hyde Park to Dulwich. Bee experts will also be on-hand to advise on food pairings. Prices of jars of honey range from £10.50-£12.95. The festival ends on 20 October.

Pop-up Forest in Covent Garden

London’s first-ever pop-up forest is arriving in Seven Dials this Saturday (21 September) to celebrate walking and cycling as part of International Car Free Day. For one day only, the streets of Seven Dials will become a traffic-free haven to make way for 60 trees. Amongst the urban forest, there will also be live music, and free food and drink, including pizza slices and homemade lemonade. If your bicycle is in need of a little TLC, Dr Bike will be on hand from 11am to 5pm to offer free cycle maintenance and anti-theft bike marking.

Edible pop-up in Kingly Court

As pop-ups go, this one really takes the biscuit! The UK’s finest food artists are creating a 100% edible pop-up in the form of a magical meadow in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street. The sweet-toothed public are invited to devour the Wonka-esque landscape, entitled Baketopia, over two days on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 October.  Everything is edible and everything must go! Book priority entry by visiting the Baketopia website or turn up on the day to nibble on the edible wonderland.

Scotch & Soda launch on Carnaby Street

Young Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda officially launched their UK flagship store on Carnaby Street last week. The brand is known for its heritage-inspired street, work and casual wear collections.

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Chill Out! 8 Places to Cool Off When it’s Hot in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/chill-out-8-places-to-cool-off-when-its-hot-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/chill-out-8-places-to-cool-off-when-its-hot-in-london/#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 10:00:14 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=34636 Yesterday, the Met Office issued a Level 3 heatwave warning in London as temperatures reach 30C (86F) in the capital. While that might seem normal for some of our overseas visitors, it’s a bit of a shock for others used to seeing more lukewarm sunshine-and-showers while they’re in town.

If you’re looking for somewhere to escape the heat, we’ve got the following suggestions for top places to chill out in London this weekend:

Icebar London

Drink in an Igloo
Made of Swedish ice and maintained at a constant -5C all year round, Icebar is literally the UK’s coolest bar. You’ll need to book ahead, but you’re sure to cool down pretty quickly with one of their chilled cocktails: the Bunga Spritz is this month’s tipple of choice: Aperol, Ruby Port Reduction, Grapefruit bitter and Prosecco

Ice Climbing
Forget sunbathing, this weather calls for ice climbing! Head to Ellis Brigham’s Covent Garden store where you can clamber all over their Vertical Chill Ice Wall for an hour’s seriously chilly fun.

Ice Skating
Slightly less daunting than climbing a wall of ice, why not try skating gracefully over it instead? The Lee Valley Ice Centre is an international sized (56m x 26m) rink with space for 800 skaters. They offer learn to skate courses for novices.

Ice Cream Fit for a Queen
The Parlour Restaurant situated on the First Floor of Fortnum & Mason offers top-quality gastronomic ice cream indulgence to children (and adults!) of all ages. If you’re after weird and wacky flavours, this is the place for you: many are unique to F&M.

Dive In
Many of London’s outdoor pools are unheated: particular favourites among the team here are Brockwell Lido in South East London, and Hampstead Heath’s bathing ponds to the North of the city.

Brockwell Lido

Cool Culture
Head into one of London’s free cultural institutions, and you’ll be greeted with a wave of cooling, cultured air. Galleries have to maintain strict temperatures to preserve their exhibits: inside the National Gallery, it’s usually 23C. We’re big fans of escaping the heat in the V&A’s ceramics gallery. Inside the British Library, it’s usually between a cool 18C and 21C, to keep all those glorious books in tip top condition. And quiet too. Bliss.

Hit the Water
There are plenty of boats offering cooling trips down the Thames. But none offer quite as effective rush of cold air as the speedboat tours. You might have white knuckles from holding on, but you’ll feel refreshed by the end!

Fun Fountains
It’s where the cool kids are: as the temperatures rise, the fountains on the Southbank, in More London near The Scoop, and in Granary Square are attracting scores of soaked children playing in the jets. If only the adults could get away with it too…

Do you have any more tips for beating the heat in London? Let us know in the comments below!

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Fancy a Cuppa? London’s Top 10 Tea Attractions http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/fancy-a-cuppa-londons-top-10-tea-attractions/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/fancy-a-cuppa-londons-top-10-tea-attractions/#comments Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:09:20 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=34104

Tea is a British institution – and obsession. For Londoners, a cup of ‘Rosie lea’ (as the cockney rhyming slang goes) is a social occasion, an icebreaker and a cure for everything. Explore the history, current trends and endless varieties of tea at these tea-lightful London attractions.

Mad For Tea exhibition at Fortnum & Mason
Until 28 July, fancy London department store Fortum & Mason is hosting Mad For Tea, a free exhibition all about the cuppa. You can admire fine silver, teapots and tea cosies from the past, discover new styles from contemporary designers and learn about the importance of tea in Britain. Want to get more hands on? Book a place on one of Fortnum & Mason’s upcoming tea workshops or talks, including Tea Tasting: An Introduction on 27 June, Afternoon Tea Q&A on 11 July and the Tea Lecture on 25 July. Don’t forget to buy some of the store’s famous own brand tea on your way out.

twinings_smallTwinings Strand Shop & Museum
Twinings Strand Shop & Museum has a long and fascinating history. Bought in 1706 by Thomas Twining, the shop was originally one of London’s many coffee houses – but came to be known for its unique sideline in tea. As tea became more and more fashionable, business boomed – attracting the likes of Jane Austen and Charles II. Today the store boasts a Sampling Counter, Loose Tea Bar and a fascinating miniature museum – featuring old teapots and caddies, vintage advertising and packaging, and old Twining family photos.

The Way of Tea at the British Museum
Still quick-dunking your teabag in a cup of boiling water? Learn how it’s done properly at The Way of Tea, a free demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony at the British Museum’s Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries on 12 July and 26 July. As well as the demonstration, given by members of the Urasenke London Branch, there’ll be a short history of “tea drinking and gathering” in Japan.

Stock up at Tea Palace
Through its stores in Covent Garden and Chelsea, tea emporium Tea Palace does a roaring trade – selling a selection of more than 120 fairtrade teas and infusions, including flowering teas, herbal Tea Tonics and organic teas. You’ll also find tea-related gifts and accessories, from quirky teapots to swing infusers.

Tea Masterclasses at The Chesterfield Mayfair
How did tea first come to Britain? Are tea bags or loose leaves better? Why are teas different colours? These and more fundamental tea questions are answered by tea experts Jane Pettigrew and Tim Clifton in their comprehensive Tea Masterclasses at The Chesterfield Mayfair. As well as tasting teas and learning how to properly brew, the day course includes lunch and afternoon tea provided by the 4-star hotel.

A proper cuppa at Yumchaa cafés
You won’t find any tea bags on offer at Yumchaa, which firmly believes in the superiority of loose leaves. The typical teabag, they say, “contains mostly tea dust and broken leaf particles”. Oh dear. Thankfully Yumchaa is on hand to offer quality, blended teas – from Soho Spice to Chelsea Chai – brewed in the traditional way. You’ll find Yumcaa café/shops in Camden Lock, Soho, Camden Parkway and Tottenham Street.

Afternoon tea at The Goring
There are many places to enjoy afternoon tea in London, but The Goring has topped them all by winning The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea Award 2013. The five-star hotel has been serving afternoon tea since it opened in 1910 and currently offers three afternoon tea options: The Coronation Afternoon Tea to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation, Traditional Afternoon Tea and Bollinger Afternoon Tea. Enjoy yours on the sunny terrace overlooking The Goring’s private gardens or inside the cosy lounge.

Tea artefacts at the Museum of London
Keep an eye out at the Museum of London and you’re sure to spot fascinating relics from London’s tea trading and drinking past. Just a few items on display include a cup and saucer featuring suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst’s ‘angel of freedom’ logo, a 19th Century doll’s house tea service and a ‘chop book’ used to document tea dealings between London dock officials and Chinese sailors.

Seasonal Tea Library at Brown’s Hotel
Brown’s Hotel offers a delicious afternoon tea in its dedicated English Tea Room, but not many people know it also has a Seasonal Tea Library. Curated by tea traders Lalani & Company, the library consists of a carefully selected collection of teas, sourced from top family-owned tea gardens around the world. Pop in to sample varieties from the Summer 2013 Library collection, such as Himalayan 2nd Flush Grand reserve (Darjeeling 2011) and Jade Mountain Roasted Oolong (Taiwan 2012).

Bubble tea at Bubbleology
The latest trend in tea right now in London is bubble tea. A Taiwanese creation, bubble tea is fruit or milk tea served ice cold or hot with tapioca balls, which can be sucked up through a large straw. Bubbleology’s five stores (in Soho, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Westfield Stratford and South Kensington) offer seven milk tea and six fruit tea varieties, including Ginger Red Tea, Mocha Pearl Tea and Mango Green tea.

Fancy another cup? Try one of London’s best afternoon teas

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Pick Up a Pre-Made Picnic in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/06/pick-up-a-pre-made-picnic-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/06/pick-up-a-pre-made-picnic-in-london/#comments Sat, 01 Jun 2013 09:32:31 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=33241 Everyone loves a good picnic, but if you don’t fancy the advance preparation,  why not pick up a delicious pre-made picnic from one of the places below? You’ll find both budget and luxury options. Many of them require you to order in advance – check the shop websites for full information.

The Mount Street Deli, Mayfair

Foodie favourite the Mount Street Deli offers a variety of pre-made picnic options. Our favourite is the Scott’s Lunch Picnic (£55 for two, pictured), which includes asparagus, smoked salmon and lobster, as well as a bottle of white wine.

Albion, Shoreditch

Albion, the more casual sister to Terence Conran’s Boundary restaurant, can provide a cracking hamper that contains everything you need for a delightful afternoon. Priced at £140, the wicker hamper feeds between two and four people and contains everything from charcuterie, salads and sandwiches to strawberries and cream and a selection of drinks.

Carluccio’s, various locations

This popular chain of Italian restaurants offers a variety of picnic options, including a mini version for kids (£10). Adult picnics for two are £45 and feature a variety of Italian delights such as focaccia, goat’s cheese tarts and salads. At least one option is always available in stores, others can be ordered in advance.

Milestone Hotel, Kensington

Located conveniently close to Kensington Gardens, the Milestone Hotel has long been a popular place for afternoon tea. If the sun is shining, however, you can move your dining experience to the park – the hotel will provide a wicker basket full of goodies for you to take with you. Choose between their Afternoon Tea or Picnic Feast options, which start from £85 for two, including champagne.

Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly 

Fortnum and Mason has been providing the best quality provisions for the past 300 years, so your picnic is in safe hands. Their Coronation Picnic (£40 for two) contains salmon sandwiches, coronation chicken salad and Eton mess – perfect for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation this summer. Fortnum’s also have more lavish options if you’re looking for something more formal, or you can simply browse their downstairs foodhall and pick up a selection of tasty nibbles to suit you.

Marks and Spencer, various locations

Found throughout London, Marks and Spencer offer a range of pre-packed delicacies that are perfect for munching in your favourite park. Their classic picnic box (£12 for two) is a budget-friendly way to do an alfresco lunch, or you can choose your own selection of snacks from the range in store.

The Bull and Last, Highgate

If you’re planning a jaunt onto Hampstead Heath, the Bull and Last pub can provide a pre-packed picnic that will provide the perfect fuel for a day’s exploration. Their standard picnic costs £38 for two and includes sausage rolls, cheese, quiche, shortbread and lots of other traditional delicacies. Better still, you can upgrade with a range of extras – how about scotch eggs, mackerel pate or rare roast beef?

Yo Sushi, various locations

Fancy something  a bit different for your picnic? Grab a Yo Sushi bento bundle for your picnic, which will give you a sharing platter, two desserts and two soft drinks for £12. You can also upgrade to a package that includes a bottle of wine (£15 for two).

The Langham, Oxford Circus

Pick up a luxury afternoon tea picnic hamper from five star hotel The Langham, which provides everything you’ll need for an idylic afternoon in Regent’s Park. The hamper includes all the trappings of afternoon tea, such as finger sandwiches, scones and cakes, as well as a picnic rug to ensure you’re comfy while you eat.

Find a place to eat your picnic with our guide to the best picnic spots.

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Eggs-traordinary Easter Eggs in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/03/eggstraordinary-easter-eggs-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/03/eggstraordinary-easter-eggs-in-london/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 12:03:46 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=32162 Whether you’re egg-cited about Easter or sick of all the terrible egg puns, London’s dazzling array of special Easter Eggs is sure to put a smile on your face. We’ve picked out a selection of the most unique, from the utterly eggs-travagant to those raising money for charity.

One great place to admire beautful Easter eggs is restaurant and nightspot Shaka Zulu, whose pastry chef will be making a gorgeous display (similar to the one pictured above) out of giant ostrich eggs. It’s bound to make you peckish, so fortunately the South African restaurant will be serving a special three-course feast from 12pm-5pm on Easter Sunday to satisfy your appetite.

London’s top hotels are also getting into the Easter spirit. Claridge’s is selling distinctive art deco eggs that are inspired by the hotel’s black and white marble lobby. Created with three types of fine Valrhona chocolate, the limited-edition eggs are filled with chocolate quail eggs and covered in art deco foil wrapped with a satin bow. They’d make great gifts, but you’d better be quick – there are only 100 of the £45 eggs available. If you’re planning to spend the Easter weekend in London, the Landmark Hotel’s Easter Delight package could be a great option. Not only will you get a large Easter egg – specially prepared by the hotel’s chef – delivered to your bedroom, but inside you might find a golden ticket that grants you one of several special treats provided by the hotel.

One of London’s most unusual Easter eggs can be found at tongue-in-cheek bar and pizzeria Bunga Bunga, where you can sip specially-created cocktails out of large chocolate Easter eggs. Two indulgent ice-cream based drinks are available during the Easter Weekend: a seasonal twist on the espresso martini and a chocaholic’s dream combination of chocolate ice cream, strawberry puree, white chocolate liqeur, vodka and chocolate bitters. If you’re looking for something more savoury, Cinnamon Soho is doing  a special Easter Egg Flip cocktail and an egg-inspired menu, which turns the traditional Easter Egg idea upside down through a series of Indian ball-shaped dishes.

London’s department stores have a reputation for doing everything with panache and this Easter, their eggs don’t disappoint.  At Harrods in Knightsbridge you can marvel at their behemoth of an egg, which is several feet high and – if you’re feeling flush – can be yours for £795. Fortnum and Mason have created ‘the ultimate Easter egg‘ (£90), a Russian-doll-like structure comprised of five different Easter eggs that range from white to very dark chocolate.  Selfridges has solved the age-old chicken and egg problem with a cute dark chocolate easter egg (£59.99), which has been decorated to look like a chick. For truly quirky eggs, head to branches of Artisan du Chocolat for their ‘egg and soldiers‘ masterpiece (£45), which is a cross between delicious chocolate egg and salted caramel fondue kit, or pick up a macabre Rococo ‘day of the dead’ egg from Harvey Nichols (£64.95).

If reading about all that chocolate is making you queasy, fear not: some of London’s most dramatic eggs are inedible. Head to Covent Garden from 22 March – 1 April for the Lindt Big Egg Hunt, which raises money for Action for Children. Giant fibreglass Easter eggs, which have been designed by leading artists, fashion designers and architects, will be hidden around the area for visitors to find – simply pick up a Hunt Book and get cracking!

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Visiting the Past: London’s Sweet Tooth http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/02/visiting-the-past-londons-sweet-tooth/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/02/visiting-the-past-londons-sweet-tooth/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 10:30:58 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=31870 Sixty years ago this month, official rationing of sweets and confectionery came to an end. Sweet-loving Londoners (adults as well as children) raised a big cheer!

Rationing of sweets was imposed in 1942 during the Second World War. People were allowed six ounces (170 grams) of sweets per week. Regulations remained in place until 1953 as sugar was in such short supply.

The end of sweets rationing in February 1953 produced a frenzy of sugar-fuelled celebrations in the capital: children gorged on lollipops and toffee apples, office workers sucked boiled sweets with abandon. By June, sweet consumption was up to eight ounces (227 grams) a week and newspapers noted that chocolate-loving men were partly behind the rise!

Londoners have always had a sweet tooth. By the time rationing was imposed, London had hundreds of confectionery firms. Among them were Handysides, a small family-run confectioners on Holloway Road in Islington.

The sweets in the suitcase date from the 1930s and are samples carried by Mr Alfred Handyside, who acted as the firm’s travelling salesman. During the 1920s the firm expanded into the export trade and Mr Handyside travelled, with his sweet samples, throughout the Middle and Far East, always sailing first-class on ocean liners. The samples include chocolate allsorts, lavender cachous, black and white mints and fruit jubes. These retro sweets are fast coming back into fashion today.

Museum of London

Guest post by the Museum of London as part of our Visiting the Past series. More about London’s history next week.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth visit Fortnum & Mason, which has a delicious display of confectionery and chocolate on the ground floor!

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London Restaurant News: Fortnum & Mason Bakery, The Wheatsheaf, The Malt House and Cactus Kitchen http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/london-restaurant-news-fortnum-mason-bakery-the-wheatsheaf-the-malt-house-and-cactus-kitchen/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/01/london-restaurant-news-fortnum-mason-bakery-the-wheatsheaf-the-malt-house-and-cactus-kitchen/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:25:33 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=31451

From a posh pop-up bakery to Michelin-Star-standard food in a London pub, London’s food and drink scene never stands still. Here are some of this week’s most exciting new openings.

Fortnum & Mason’s Pop-Up Bakery

A pop-up bakery opens today at Fortnum & Mason, selling bread, cakes and pies from some of Britain’s best-known bakers, including chef/restaurateur Mark Hix and Edd Kimber, the first winner of The Great British Bake-Off. As well as delicious treats to take away, there’s a dedicated café, a cookware shop and a series of baking demonstrations and classes. The pop-up bakery is open until 7 April 2013.

The Wheatsheaf in Borough Market

The Wheatsheaf in Borough Market has reopened following a three-year closure. Originally built in 1772, the pub has been given some modern touches, including a campervan kitchen outside on the new heated terrace, where you can buy hearty, street food-inspired dishes.  On the drinks front there’s a wide range of craft beers and ales, including local Meantime Pale Ale and Camden Hills Lager.

The Malt House in Fulham

The Malt House in Fulham has been taken over by Claude Bosi of two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus and his brother Cedric. On the menu you’ll find a range of seasonal British food such as Welsh rarebit, rib-eye steaks and Sunday roasts, courtesy of former Hibiscus head chef Marcus McGuinness. This is the Bosi brothers’ second South West London pub – Cedric has managed the Fox & Grapes in Wimbledon since it reopened in 2011.

Cactus Kitchens: Michel Roux Jr’s New Cookery School

Top chef Michel Roux Jr has teamed up with Cactus Studios – where TV show Saturday Kitchen is made – to launch a new cookery school. You can take cooking lessons with Michel Roux Jr and Masterchef: The Professionals star Monica Galetti, learn about food and wine with Saturday Kitchen experts Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, or celebrate Chinese New Year with Ken Hom.

Look out for more restaurant news soon.

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London Video of the Week: A Perfect Winter’s Day in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/12/london-video-of-the-week-a-perfect-winters-day-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2012/12/london-video-of-the-week-a-perfect-winters-day-in-london/#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:01:00 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=30556

Here’s a lovely video from British Airways, showing two of their cabin crew, Mark and Lucy, enjoying a perfect day in London. 

From London Heathrow Terminal 5, to the Houses of Parliament, Primrose Hill, Camden Passage, The Langham, Hamleys, Fortnum & Mason, Natural History Museum Ice Rink, and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, they certainly enjoy a busy day. (I’m just not sure about that picnic, considering today’s temperatures are hovering around the 3°C mark.)

For more London videos, check out our YouTube channel.

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