Indulge In Easter Sweets From Fortnum & Mason

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INDULGE IN EASTER SWEETS FROM FORTNUM & MASON

WORDS BY TOMOÉ HILL

There are gold-foil wrapped eggs filled with violet and rose creams, and others with sea-salted caramel truffles.

There are many variations on the chocolate Easter egg: the ubiquitous Cadbury Crème, mini pastel sugar shelled, the endless parade of those produced by other branded confectionary: Maltesers, Lindt, Smarties, and if you’re in the market for something, well, unique … there’s the very limited Buckfast egg with mini bottle of said beverage. And a lighter. You just need to order it from an off-license in Northern Ireland.

But if you’re looking for something elegant and edible, come to Fortnum & Mason. At any time of year, when you walk through the polished brass doors off Piccadilly, there are numerous piles of Marc de Champagne and gin and tonic truffles, mixed fruit and nut chocolates, violet and rose fondants, and the most intense high cocoa content bars—the latter, in some mysterious packaging brainstorm, all seemingly named by a goth philosophy major with a penchant for horror movies: Into the Shadows, The Descent To Darkness, and Beyond The Abyss (100 per cent—so presumably Nietzsche was an 80 per cent kind of guy).

Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason Decorated Milk Chocolate Egg £65.00

But back to Easter: the first thing you see on adjusting to the mass of shoppers is a giant rabbit. Not the one from Harvey (unless you’ve been drinking at lunch), but a smiling chocolate one, two feet tall, maybe more. Several of them line a curved display shelf, next to dark, milk, and white chocolate eggs, framed in Fortnum’s green-tinged blue boxes bound with pale gold ribbon—the most famous blue next to Tiffany’s. There are small, medium, and large versions, the smallest packaged three to a box, each one decorated with coloured sugar flowers. The medium-sized are identical to the small, but each filled with chocolates matching their shells. There are gold-foil wrapped eggs filled with violet and rose creams, and others with sea-salted caramel truffles.

If you’re looking for a family-sized egg (we won’t ask if it’s for one person or five), there is still something for you: a 1.2kg egg, filled with almost every kind of chocolate Fortnum’s sell, plus mini rabbits and chicks. There are speckled hollow “goose” eggs, six to an open tray, like you’d get from a farmer’s market, and a “Splendid” egg, the inside covered in edible gold leaf and filled with strawberry and champagne truffles. If you didn’t want goose eggs, there are six praline-filled ones in an authentic egg box, or fruity coulis eggs, arranged in a larger shape, each filled with raspberry, strawberry, lychee, and passion fruit. There are even plain chocolate eggs that come in real white china and gilt cups.

fortnum and mason
Fortnum & Mason Marzipan Hot Cross Buns £7.50

But for variation, there are other, equally delightful sweets: marzipan shaped and decorated to look like mini hot cross buns, homemade marshmallow pops covered in brightly coloured candy sprinkles, fruit rock candy in the shape of eggs, instead of the usual stick. In the cakes and biscuits section, highly polished wooden shelves are full of cylindrical mustard-yellow tins holding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg spiced biscuits with currant and almond, round and rectangular boxes showing others in the shape of rabbits, flowers, eggs, sheep, and carrots, beautifully hand decorated and iced. Each shelf is stacked and arranged to overflowing, and even though all around you shoppers are filling their baskets, amounts appear never to grow less, being constantly and discreetly restocked in the blink of an eye.

fortnum and mason
Fortnum & Mason Easter Tea £9.95

For the Fortnum purist, there is of course a special edition Easter tea: in a pale blue patterned tin, it holds a Ceylon blend with marigold and cornflower, scented with orange blossom. On the high jam and preserve shelves, alongside the regular offerings of numerous marmalades, there are peach and mint preserve, Amaretto butter, and cherry and almond curd, for eating on toast, with roast meats, or simply with a spoon, on one’s own. There are even, for the very luxury-minded, a Champagne and chocolate box, holding a customised bottle reading “Happy Easter”, hidden drawers pulling out to reveal 32 gold-foil wrapped solid chocolate eggs, and an “F&M” stamped wicker hamper, full of alcohol, an Amaretto sponge pudding—and naturally, lots of chocolate. You could, of course, being creative, create your own Easter gift: purchase one of the teapot-printed blue Bags for Life and go round to each counter, choosing bars and eggs, truffles and enormous rabbits, not stopping until the bag is full to bursting. Don’t forget a chilled bottle of Champagne from the wine section downstairs, then take a walk to nearby Green Park, find the shade of a tree and proceed to spend a very delightful afternoon of indulgence.

Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER. Phone: 020 7734 8040

 
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