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There is a certain 'image' that the name Fortnum and Mason conjures - to me its posh, dusty and crusty, touristy with food hampers for shooting parties, deep carpets and hushed voices. Just my thing really! It is a 300 year old institution though that has often been at the forefront of innovation - the first company to import Heinz Baked Beans for example, but as food and wine 'destination' it has been eclipsed by the the other up-market department stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nics - which a huge monetary investment is designed to counter.

As part of a £25 million revamp both the food hall and the wine cellar have been expanded and improved. The website too has had a face-lift and now offers on-line ordering. Prices are never going to be 'cheap' of course, this being Fortnum's, but I have to wonder who the website is aimed at. Who, exactly, buys wine from Fortnum's?

You can pick up Louis Roederer NV for £37.50 (Oddbins £27.99) or Ladoucette Pouilly Fume for £19.90. Perhaps a case of Screaming Eagle 1996 is more your thing. It is listed at £2,100 a bottle.



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Tim French is the wine buyer at Fortnum & Mason and was presented with an award for the Best Wine List for 1707 at the Tatler Louis Roederer Restaurant Awards held at the Dorchester on the 22nd January. Definitely one to watch.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=ayTfh0u54BRE&refer=home

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