London & South East

Fortnum & Mason on the move

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

For more than 300 years, Fortnum & Mason has been providing customers with exceptional quality and services, from its legendary hampers through to its wines, groceries and gift selection.

Fortnum & Mason has built up a prestigious reputation, through attention to detail and initiative, and this has made it a leading name and fixture in Piccadilly.

Continuing to expand the Fortnum & Mason brand to new areas, the latest site, a new Fortnum & Mason store and tea room, has opened at St Pancras Station, London. Architectural practice and interior designers Universal Design Studio has been behind the new store, which opened in November 2013.

Universal Design Studio has been involved in many prestigious projects, from the latest outpost from Ace hotels in Shoreditch through to Torvehallerne market in Copenhagen. Speaking to Premier Hospitality about this new venture for Fortnum & Mason, Universal Design Studio Director, Hannah Carter Owers, said:

“Fortnum & Mason saw St Pancras as an ideal site with which to launch itself forward in the 21st Century and marks the first shop and tea room for Fortnum’s to open outside of Piccadilly. It is a big step for the brand.”

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

Hannah added:

“Fortnum & Mason St Pancras is a condensed retail offer with lots of gifts, ideal for customers travelling abroad as well as for new customers that may not have previously engaged with the Fortnum’s name before.

“Fortnum & Mason has always had a strong association with travel and this is the reason why St Pancras Station was chosen for this first venture. The company invented the spork and the Scotch egg and of course they are associated with the hamper, so all of these things that people associate with eating on the go has become part of their heritage.”

The hamper has become synonymous with the name Fortnum & Mason and today are available in a vast array of styles, sizes and contents. From the traditional Christmas Hamper and the far too tempting wine hamper, through to special occasion hampers, Fortnum & Mason have something for everyone.

Fortnum & Mason’s first hamper was created to meet the requirements of the well travelled and soon became a vital lifeline for soldiers abroad who were missing their home comforts. Fortnum & Mason continued its military deliveries throughout the Second World War and even today troops in Afghanistan and Iraq receive consignments packed with biscuits, jam, marmalade and tea!

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

Hannah said:

“This new offering gives Fortnum & Mason a platform to modernise and innovate and includes retail and all-day dining. From cups of tea to a full meal, it does not matter how long diners have to spare, Fortnum’s will give them the perfect experience. It is a unique counterpoint to what is already available at the station through other vendors and retailers.”

Universal Design Studio won the pitch for the site in May 2013, with work beginning in June. A notable feature of Fortnum & Mason St Pancras is the large feature clock, which was expertly created by Smith of Derby.

Hannah said:

“The iconic clock at Piccadilly has become synonymous with Fortnum and Mason – we wanted to create a new icon for the St Pancras site that felt relevant to both the brand and the travel location so we worked with British clockmakers Smith of Derby to create a modern interpretation of a traditional cage clock. Smith of Derby are one of the oldest makers of public clocks in the country. They were involved in the original St Pancras station clock and helped us to craft the 3 metre long steel and brass clock installation which has three separate faces and hangs within one of the brick arches leading customers from the entrance to the tea salon within.

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

Hannah added:

“The palette is deliberately warm and traditional. We have used oak, figured marble – with its associations to traditional foodhalls and emporiums, vitreous enamel – as a reference to traditional transport design with accents of brass and copper. Everything is in keeping with the existing Fortnum’s character but the space has a more contemporary, fresh approach.”

Despite the quick turnaround on the project the work ran relatively smoothly, with some aspects of the project completed off-site, as explained by Hannah.

“As the building is Listed there were quite a few restrictions on fixing elements into the existing architecture, so a great deal of the features were made off site. Most of the challenges were working with the constraints of a Listed building, within the set timeframes.”

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

Hannah added:

“Working on this project was wonderful. Fortnum & Mason has been on our radar for quite some time so we were completely overjoyed when this opportunity came along. There are a handful of Great British brands that you want to work with, especially in the food and retail industries, so to work with Fortnum & Mason is just fantastic.”

For more information about Fortnum & Mason, please visit:

Smith of Derby Ltd 

Smith of Derby Ltd specialises in the design and manufacture of public clocks. The family-run business has been in operation since 1856, specifically manufacturing tower/Turret clocks. Smith of Derby is also well known for clock restoration, repair and maintenance of all types of public clocks.

Smith of Derby Ltd has been responsible for the design and build of many prestigious clocks over the past 157 years, including St Paul’s Cathedral the Glockenspiel Clock at Leicester Square, the Emirates Clock at Arsenal Football Club, and many iconic clocks across the globe including the Middle East. Most recently, Smith of Derby Ltd designed, manufactured and installed a new clock for Fortnum & Mason within the St Pancras concourse.

Smith of Derby Ltd Technical Sales Engineer, Martin Butchers, said:

“We are clock designers and manufacturers of bespoke clocks; we carry out almost all work in-house. We offer bespoke designs and do not mass manufacture the same design, ensuring that every clock is truly unique. At Smith of Derby Ltd we are very proud of our heritage.”

Fortnum & Mason St Pancras Station, London.

Martin added:

“Fortnum & Mason like clocks and wanted to keep this theme in their new store. We were approached by Universal Design Studios about designing a clock and between us we produced a design to present to Fortnum & Mason. A design concept was agreed, and this formed the basis of two cage style clocks emulating a 1750s to 1850s design, with large brass dials, that are visible from the dining area and the main entrance. The two clocks are separated by a brick-built vaulted arch inside the restaurant, but joined by a four metre length of stainless drive shaft. This would take the drive of the electric movement from one clock with a single dial through the arch to the lobby clock with two dials.”

The challenge for Smith of Derby was the time in which to design and manufacture all the components, build and test and have installed ready for the evening opening on November 7th.

Martin said:

We are very proud of what we have achieved on this project. Now the clock is installed and working, Smith of Derby will be concentrating once again on its other projects being installed in the Middle East and others that are currently on the design table.”

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Roma Publications

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