Fortnum & Mason, the popular British grocer (and supplier to the royal household), made waves earlier this year when it announced it would be opening its first solely owned and operated store outside of the UK in its more than 300-year history. First opened in London’s Piccadilly in 1707, Fortnum & Mason has grown into a British institution: It currently sells its teas, food products and homewares through hundreds of partner stores and stockists in 11 countries around the world.
The upmarket London brand previously opened an overseas store in Dubai in 2014, only to shutter it after a few years. Here in Hong Kong, however, with Fortnum & Mason’s products flying off the shelves at Lane Crawford, the outlook is exceedingly positive for growth in the SAR. After tracking the soaring demand over the years, the company is betting on local Hong Kongers and the influx of Chinese mainland tourists, having signed an 8-year lease at the new retail and culture hub K11 Musea.
Located smack-dab in the middle of Kowloon’s new redevelopment project on Victoria Harbour, the 7,000-sq.-ft. Fortnum & Mason store is slated to open this November, just in time for the holiday season. It will offer a retail store and restaurant, all coinciding with quintessential British experiences associated with the heritage brand. Here are 5 reasons to get excited about the brand’s flagship store in Kowloon.
A retail heaven for British goods
With one floor of the 7,000-sq.-ft. space dedicated entirely to retail goods, Fortnum & Mason’s ground floor is sure to be a buzzing hive of activity come this November and December, filled with hordes of holiday shoppers. Customers can expect a selection of F&M’s signature food products, in addition to Hong Kong-exclusive items in the bold and colourful displays. The perennially popular biscuits are a must-try, sold in F&M’s iconic keepsake tins; shoppers can also munch on the freshly baked in-store biscuits. Peruse the condiments shelves stocked with marmalades, preserves and honey; or meander down the savoury food aisles with household products from smoked salmon to artisanal cheeses, premium caviar and more. Don’t miss the overflowing F&M hampers — perfect for gifting this holiday season.
Exclusives for curious tea lovers
From specialty teas to a full line of tea accessories, Fortnum & Mason has played a crucial role in making tea the quintessential British tradition it is today. Renowned for generations, F&M teas go hand-in-hand with the brand’s buttery biscuits and preserves. You can expect to find the full range of their custom-blended, beautifully packaged teas at K11 Musea, in addition to an exclusive Musea Blend specially created for Hong Kong — a fragrant black tea blend of Yunnan Golden Buds, Anhui Keemun and herbaceous dried safflower petals.
Afternoon tea with sweeping views
It doesn’t get more British than Fortnum & Mason’s afternoon tea, a bucket-list experience for anyone visiting the flagship store in London. In Hong Kong, afternoon tea goers can look forward to the sweeping views of the harbour as they sip tea out of elegant china cups and nibble on dainty sandwiches and scones. With the K11 store comprising a full restaurant and kitchen, we have high hopes that the quality of the afternoon tea offering will be on par with that of London’s — with comfy sofas, live music and an elegant atmosphere capping off the daily ritual.
British dining at its best
Settle down for a full meal at Fortnum’s 181, slated to be a beautiful new harbour-side dining room serving quality British fare. Whether for a casual lunch or a date night against the backdrop of the city skyline, the epicurean experience here goes far beyond your typical tea room. Dishes such as beef Wellington and lobster spaghetti promise to be hearty and satisfying, while a number of Fortnum classics are also on the menu, including Welsh rarebit, Scotch eggs and of course, the iconic Knickerbocker Glory. First served in 1955, the latter is still the brand’s most popular dessert with strawberry sauce, strawberry ice cream and fresh strawberries under a cloud of vanilla whipped cream and Italian meringue.
Those seeking something a little stronger with their afternoon tea can look towards the curated list of wines, spirits and Champagnes. One of the highlights is Fortnum & Mason’s own Blanc de Blancs Champagne, a highly quaffable 100% Chardonnay cuvée produced from premiere Grand Cru vineyards in the village of Chouilly, located in northeastern France. Down on the retail level, shop the full selection of Champagnes and sparkling wines, spanning the affordable to the extravagant. As with the teas, those purchasing Champagne as a gift can also opt to add their own personalised messages on the labels for a special touch.
Fortnum & Mason’s flagship Hong Kong store opens this November in K11 Musea. For more information visit here.