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Oh No! Fortnum & Mason to be "modernized". Fountain restaurant to close!

Oh No! Fortnum & Mason to be "modernized". Fountain restaurant to close!

Nov 13th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,606
Oh No! Fortnum & Mason to be "modernized". Fountain restaurant to close!

Read in Monday's Telegraph that F&M is going to be totally "refurbished" and brought into the 21st century. Some depts are already closed and others will close at the first of the year.

The saddest bit is "The Fountain Restaurant will be turned into a brasserie. Its famous murals depicting the Fortnum's buyers' journeys through foreign countries will go"

Looks like no more fab ice cream Sundaes or afternoon teas. Too sad! . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Nov 13th, 2005, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34,663
Are they getting rid of the tea room all together? So they won't have tea ever again? I loved their afternoon tea. That's so sad.
crefloors is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 02:03 AM
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I can't see them ever getting rid of afternoon tea. That's like MacDonalds giving up hamburgers.
Kate is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I love F+M and will certainly visit while I'm in London next April but somehow I suspect the changes are being driven by revenue, or lack thereof, despite everyone's saying how much they "love" the restaurant, including myself.
Voyager2006 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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The first day I am in London on a visit, I go straight to the Fountain for one of their marvelous ice cream creations. How sad to see it go. As Voyager notes it is without doubt a decision driven by revenue.
cmcfong is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 03:52 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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I hope they don't change the ground floor too much, but the rest of the store could certainly do with an update. Maybe they are just trying to attract more locals. I lived in London for 9 years, and never had tea or icecream there.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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me too Tulips. Was talking only yesterday with some friends, and we all agreed we hadn't stepped foot in the place for years and years. Don't really know why. 'Overpriced' seemed the common conclusion.
Kate is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Guess I'm out of step, but I like it the way it is. I buy my Christmas cards there. The washrooms on the ladies floor are much nicer than the "luxury" washrooms at Harrods. And I have bought several things there...children's clothes, a pair of shoes, a wallet, some gifts. It's so serene and calm, probably not good for the bottom line so I can understand why the management would want a change, but it's a pleasant respite from the madhouse atmosphere of HN, Harrod's, Liberty, Selfridge's, etc. And I love their window displays at Christmas!
Raisinette is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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Was just reading about the revamp in Design Week, my industry rag. Sounds like they're revamping all 5 restaurants, and putting in a wine bar and, wait for it, an ice cream cafe, so looks like you sundaeholics are in luck!

I can understand why they're doing it - apparently over 28% of customers make it past the ground floor.

More good news - they're doubling the size of the food section to cover 2 floors, including a fresh food section.
Kate is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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Did I say over 28%??

Only Only 28%.
Kate is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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So Kate, you're saying there are additional floors of merchandise at F&M?! There's more to it than what is visible from the front entrance?!

I can barely even make it past the candy counter.

I do hope the candy counter gentlemen will continue to dress themselves in a manner appropriate for waiting upon moi - in their customary tuxes. Makes the chocolate seem even chocolatier.

Nov 14th, 2005, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,323
I think it is about time it is redesigned. If Michael Winner is against it, then it must be a good thing.

I find it charming, but the upper floors are out of date, and that isn't where most of their revenue comes from. It's main claim to fame is the ground floor. The atrium will bring in some much needed feeling of space.

One must remember that the current store is really a sixties relic inside, it's certainly not as original as Harrods used to be.

One must progress, otherwise everything would simply fade away. A refurbishment of Fortnums is far better than it being sold altogether.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 112
The Fountain is constantly packed. Can't imagine wanting it any busier!
I used to go there ages ago when it was one of the few places you could get ice cream in London that wasn't vanilla! (And I'm not THAT old!)

I always love the ladies hat department. And their Christmas cracker department is the best I've ever seen. Tartan paper with whisky nips!

I hope they don't "improve' it too much!
Bluehour is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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Calm down everyone.

F+M is stuffed with restaurants, and there's precious little you can do with a restaurant between 1430 and 1900 EXCEPT serve tea.

F+M is never going to be the boozer of choice among the all-afternoon-lunch journo set. And the Westons didn't get rich by letting some of the world's priciest real estate sit there without paying punters.

When the dust is all settled, there's bound to be even more opportunities to pay even more through the nose for an afternoon cup of tea and a cucumber sarnie.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Best value cup of tea in London in my opinion. The rest of the grub was good and astonishingly good value considering the location! Hope they decide not to change the formula.
Grahamh49 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I hope when they reopen the food halls they will stock a wonderful candy topped cake they used to sell. It had a white topping with chocolate "drawings" of historical sites. Made the most delightful souvenir ever.
cmcfong is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I get stuck at the teas. *lol*

I used to haunt The Fountain way back in the early 70s. I'd have a prawn sandwich and a lemon rickey at the counter ...
sfowler is offline  
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