It took the Great Fire to bring a Fortnum family member to London. In 1705 his cousin William arrived, and he quickly fell in with a man called Hugh Mason.
Mr Mason had a small shop in St James's Market and he provided lodging for William. In 1707 William became a footman in the Royal Household of Queen Anne, thereby establishing a connection with the Royal Family which has continued without a break to the present day.
In the 1970's Fortnums was the first to stock Zandra Rhodes and Salvatore Ferragamo and continues to anticipate new trends with a wide range of goods from contemporary designers.
Almost every method of pleasing the mind and body is now proffered, from aromatherapy treatments to monogrammed bed linen to expertly wrapped gifts. What better way to refresh a pampered appetite than wild salmon, Beluga caviar and the finest Champagne from the new Salmon & Champagne Bar?
For many years, hungry passengers had turned to Fortnum & Mason to protect them from unpredictable airline and railway catering with a hamper or two. By the 1990's the opening of the Channel Tunnel presented a new opportunity. Eurostar travellers could now purchase hampers prior to their journey and tuck in en route. Airline passengers can now purchase many of Fortnum's most popular delicacies from tea to biscuits from Heathrow and provincial airports. Christmas hampers became available to order on line via the website, one of the first e-commerce sites for a London store.