Fortnum and Mason's -- words for the foodie to conjure by surely. What's not to love about a place that has half a floor devoted to different kinds of tea?
The bottom floor has wines, cheeses, meats, and various other items. They also have samples out, which my children always enjoy whether they are in Sam's Club or Fortnum and Mason's. We checked out some of the interesting merchandise and when I was pointing out the various kinds of jerky at the meat counter to the children and remarking that they called in Billabong, the clerk offered the kids a sample of whichever Billabong they wished to try. My children are sometimes more adventurous than their mother. They all wish for a taste of the ostrich jerky, which they inform me was delicious. Some things I can't quite bring myself to put in my mouth.
Later on, we noticed the shelves where they kept lollipops with worms in them, toasted ants and chocolate covered ants and scorpions. Big meanie that I am, I wouldn't buy any for the children, which the eight year old regrets and reminds me of still. He's hoping to get back to the store again, so he can spend his own money on a sample. If he gets there, I'll try not to be sick while he snarfs up scorpion.
What I did buy was far more tame. A local spicy ginger beer, which we still haven't tried, and a couple of boxes of tea -- Rose Pouchong, an aromatic tea with a distinct rose flavor, and Keemun, a light tea that goes quite well with a spot of milk.
I was going to take the kids out for a shared ice cream sundae at one of the restaurants, but my grumpy child objected to the idea of sharing, and while I hated to deprive the rest of us of the treat, I also didn't want to spend large sums of money on ice cream that was causing a grouch fest from the small set. We did without and are none the worse for it, I expect.
Next door to Fortnum and Mason's is Hatchard's. One of those very old bookstores one reads about frequently in Regency romance novels. Sadly, it was just a bookstore like any other bookstore. Lots of books, but nothing terribly different from any other bookstore any where else -- just a lot more expensive, given the state of the dollar compared to the pound. I'd already bought books elsewhere, so this was mostly a looking tour, though I did cave and buy a comic book called Lucky Luke that is written by one of the authors of Asterix.
Home again! Home again! The next day it was time to see the place where the Brits store all the souvenirs they've picked up on their various Continental and African tours.
5 years ago