Tast­ing notes

Fort­num & Ma­son’s cold-weather clas­sics

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - News - Amy Bryant

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

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