F&M popping up at Somerset House for Christmas: blades, fondue and mince pies.


If only the reality of moi avec ice-skates were not the stuff of jarring thoughts, I too would be gliding across the ice like an extra from ‘Frozen.’

You have seen the ilk of me before.  Pained (fibreglass boots that never fit), terrified (look down), sadistic (the edge for holding on is all mine, all mine) and rigid attempters who vow every year we shall never do it again – but as you all know, the allure of slooching over ice with pretty lights and the allowed hot chocolate often produces the cruelest of momentary lapses.

Somerset House is one of my very favourite places along the Strand.  It’s grand.  It’s filled with Art and lovely restaurants.  Now, in the Christmas season, it has an ice -rink, slap in the middle of 17th Century architecture.  Place of history, tales of executions, renamed Denmark House and once a palace – as I said it is a grand place.  But I am getting carried away with the rest – and here to talk about – Fortnum and Mason is at Somerset House for the winter!

Returning to reside in the West Wing, it’s like having your own personal tour of the home shop in Piccadilly Street.  Hope the hoards that frequent the Piccadilly store don’t discover it.  Let’s just say, in my dream home, I want this wing – just this wing – adorned by F&M for Christmas.  Where Tea smells of hearth and candle echoes tea scent.  Where picnic hampers and tartan are the seasonal must have.  Like Prestat, and Laduree, the colours of F&M and in particular her trademark hue, is lifted to a new level in luxury packaging (and seriously, I am mostly buying for the pretty boxes and ribbons.) 


If I were to attempt the ice skating thinny again, it would be for the package of ‘Blades of Glory’ meets ‘Swiss fondue.’  Mulled wine.  Totter off the ice into the warmth of wooden floors, crackling fire, dipping into cheese and smelling that Christmas Spice – I get hot just thinking about it. The mince pie thing has been going on for a few weeks now so for me it will be the entire diving into 70’s style Swiss Chalet Fondue. Enough to tempt even the most hesitant.



London transforms herself in this season time – compensation I think for the early darkness, the multitude of sparkly, sparkly, lights and Christmas decorations are a fairyland to delight all ages.

Images: Fortnum and Mason