Fortnum & Mason’s cold-weather classics
Winter classics from Fortnum & Mason
SINCE TOM PARKER BOWLES wrote the first Fortnum & Mason cookbook, in 2016 (through which he wove tales of Britain’s finest grocer alongside recipes for Battenberg cake, fish pie and Scotch eggs), he admits he has become something of a ‘coffee bore’. I mean, you would, wouldn’t you – what with the Piccadilly store’s vast range of beans and blends to taste. Many of us would happily swot up, too, on the food hall’s florentines and fondant fancies, or squirrel through one of its myriad hampers (92 listed online, at the last count) in the name of ‘research’.
It’s likely that you have an F&M pudding bowl somewhere in a cupboard, or a ceramic jar kept after the last scrap of Stilton had been excavated; a visit to Fortnum’s, even if only once a year to ogle the Christmas windows, usually lasts beyond the final nibble. And so a second cookbook has just been published – Christmas & Other Winter Feasts (4th Estate, £30) – in which Parker Bowles traces the store’s festive feasts through the ages, with recipes for lavish pies and roasts. Those hampers originated as travellers’ baskets, not picnic holders, we learn; Fortnum’s winter ice rink and food arcade at Somerset House hark back to its sports department in the 1930s – complete with a ski simulator and ice skates made bespoke. The book’s is a rich menu to pick through, and I’m starting with a chocolate fondue fit for a cold spell. Research, you see?
A pie from the new Fortnum & Mason book; Tom Parker Bowles at the store