The Fountain restaurant at Fortnum & Mason | a We Love Food & Zomato competition
*THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED*
We’ve teamed up with Zomato again to offer a lucky reader a £80 voucher for one of London’s most renowned establishments – The Fountain restaurant at Fortnum & Mason. All you have to do is head over to our Twitter page and retweet our pinned post that reads: ‘Win a meal for 2 worth £80 to @Fortnums The Fountain. Simply RT & follow @Zomato & @WeLoveFoodTweet http://bit.ly/zofortnum #ZoFortnums.’ The competition runs until 9pm on Friday 12th September and to whet your appetite read our review below.
We love Fortnum & Mason products, especially their preserves and specialty teas. My sister-in-law‘s Christmas gift of Morello Cherry jam and thick cut Blood Orange Marmalade are always a seasonal highlight. But we have never visited a Fortnum & Mason restaurant and didn’t realise that in fact they have five, including a bar.
Established in 1707 in Piccadilly, this grocery store to the Royals has become as much a hit with tourists as it has with foodies. Which was one reason that I had a few concerns about eating there. I had visions of tables bustling with long-lense camera wielding men whilst their wives tried to control the ‘brats’. I needn’t have worried (and I do worry a lot) this would never happen in a place as refined as Fortnum & Mason. Saying that, there was a family near us and our impeccable waiter was incredibly good with their sweet little girl, a very child-friendly restaurant with a far less formal dress code than we expected.
What also surprised me was the quality of the food, just because they have the very best ingredients it doesn’t mean they will produce a good meal. The Fountain Restaurant, in all its pastel coloured, crystal-sparkling beauty, provides a deluxe brasserie atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their eclectic all day dining menu brings together the finest food and drink, with favourites such as Fortnum’s Welsh rarebit and Oeufs drumkilbos £12.95 (HM The Queen Mother’s favourite midnight snack), apparently ‘It is like a posh prawn cocktail and egg mayonnaise all wrapped into one,’ says a certain Prince Charles.
According to Zomato a meal for two at The Fountain Restaurant should cost around £80 (hence the prize of the voucher), so that’s what we tried to stick to spending. We took an early decision to forfeit dessert so that we could try a couple of their amazing sounding cocktails from their very decadent looking bar (plus we wanted to nip to the Gail’s Bakery ice-cream sandwich pop-up).
I ordered an Old Fashion £8, from the Classic cocktails section – Elijah Bourbon, brown sugar, Angostura and orange bitters. This was the real deal, when an Old Fashioned is made correctly it’s a truly wonderful thing, and this WAS a wonderful thing. I encouraged Saff to go for the Konik’s Tail Strawberry and Basil Sorbeto Champagne £14 – Fortnum’s Reserve Brut, Konik’s Tail vodka, strawberry purée and basil leaves. We met the incredible Pleurat Shabani, the creator and owner of Konik’s Tail vodka, a few years back and his passion and drive for developing the perfect vodka is still imprinted in my memory.
The ‘all day’ menu was varied, a real crowd pleaser, even the bread selection was served in a mini trademark Fortnum & Mason wicker basket, an excellent touch. Saff’s Watercress and fennel salad with orange dressing £7.50 was light and delicate but maybe could have done with a touch more orange. Whist my Chicken liver parfait, cumberland jelly with melba toast £7.50, was great – soft, almost fluffy chicken with the perfect toast to parfait ratio – which the importance of should never be underestimated.
Saff’s Sea bass, yellow courgette with salsa verde £20, was lovely – perfectly cooked flaky white fish with a crispy skin. The gorgeous fresh courgette and salsa verde was big enough to have not bothered ordering sides of Triple cooked chips and Wilted spinach £4 each. That said the chips were probably the poshest we’ve ever had, served in a polished silver bucked lined with Fortnum & Mason branded grease-proof paper, they tasted as good as they looked. My Pork tenderloin, celeriac fondant with calvados cream £19, was outstanding, tender and packed with flavour. The calvados cream sauce was my star of the show, it was rich with a subtle hit from the French apple brandy. I mopped up every last drop using Saff’s chips, probably not a very Fortnum & Mason way to behave but sheer heaven nevertheless.
As mentioned before we had sacrificed dessert for our cocktails to keep within our budget. If we hadn’t, I would have convinced Saff to share a Fountain knickerbocker glory £12, a Fortnum’s Fountain favourite, first served up to the public in 1955. That’s the beauty of Fortnum & Mason, its history and tradition, just be careful that you don’t spend a fortune in the store on the way out!
If you don’t already know, Zomato is a fab way to search for and discover great places to eat. But it is so much more than just another online review website, it has a very strong social element to it too, kind of like a Facebook for foodies (click here to visit We Love Food’s Zomato homepage). Plus they run loads of great competitions too.
It’s easy to use, either on your computer or via the free App on your phone. They provide you with everything that you might want to know about your meal before you take that first bite. From a simple little snack pit-stop, to wallet-busting swanky restaurants, with all the info you need – menus, reviews, ratings and contact details.
For more info visit their website www.zomato.com or go to www.zomato.com/download on your phone to download the app so you can find restaurants on-the-go. Now don’t forget to go to our Twitter page to enter this fab competition!
181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER
Opening times: Monday to Friday 7am – 7.45pm
Saturday 8am – 7.45pm
Sunday 8am – 4.45pm
Bank holidays – 9am – 7.45pm
Book a table here
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (6 mins walk) or Green Park (8 mins walk)
*Terms and conditions: The winner will be picked at random from Twitter. Over 18-years only. Travel and accommodation costs not included.