Home » Food & Drink » Must see (and taste) in London: Harrods and Fortnum & Mason Food Halls

Must see (and taste) in London: Harrods and Fortnum & Mason Food Halls

by Sandra Hutchinson

It might be a touristy thing to do, but when in London, many visitors feel compelled to make at least one visit to the Food Halls at both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

Harrods Food Halls are legendary. Located in a sprawling building on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is now owned by the state of Qatar, but the Food Halls are still quintessentially English. The space is not only a feast for the palate, but for the eye, too, with magnificent tiled walls and ceilings, gleaming glass cases filled with everything from meat pies to Scotch eggs to locally-sourced shellfish to exquisitely crafted tiny cakes, smartly outfitted and aproned staff wearing straw boaters, and a seemingly unlimited selection of teas and biscuits. There are dine-in options (like the Seafood Bar and the Fish & Chips counter), and a vast selection of prepared foods perfect for a picnic in nearby Hyde Park (or in your hotel room).


The fish fryer wasn’t yet fired up on the morning I was here. Note the pink marble.



Classic English meat pies.


I know. Sorry.


Many Asian-inspired dishes to go (“take away”).


Meticulously decorated pastries; these, tiny, perfect for a baby shower.


Are they real, or made of almond paste?

Then there’s Fortnum & Mason. Known not only as a food purveyor, but also for its dining options (including the must-reserve-ahead elegant afternoon tea served in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon), the main floor of the flagship Piccadilly store offers its own take on the Food Hall. More focused on tea, biscuits and sweets than Harrods, the designs and colors alone are enough to make your eyes pop. And like Tiffany’s signature blue, Fortum & Mason has its own color — called Eau de Nil— kind of a deep robin egg’s blue. And you’re more likely to find something affordable to bring home in a pretty blue bag from F & M than from Tiffany!

Cylindrical biscuit tins.


Sugared fruits. Literally.


A display of the famous F & M wicker hampers. You’re free to fill your own. (And yes, they happily ship internationally.)


Marzipan fruits.


Turkish delight candy.


Preserves, honey, jam — in almost any flavor you can conjure up.



Tea to last a lifetime.



Fortnum & Mason sells cute teapot/tea cup sets called “Tea for One.” The pot sets into the cup until you remove it to pour. This playful china motif is used in “The Parlour” café in the Piccadilly store.


These gentlemen greet you at one of the entrances to the Piccadilly store.



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