The Fortnum’s hamper is the world’s best-travelled tuck box. Over the course of nearly 300 years, it’s been dispatched to every possible location, from the slopes of Everest and the battlefields of Iraq to the more welcoming lawns of Glyndebourne, Twickenham, Henley and Epsom. It’s a by-word for portable pleasure.
The Fortnum’s initials, stamped boldly on to a sturdy wicker basket, has been a welcome sight all over the world for hundreds of years; so much so that we’ve often been asked to leave it off to discourage pilfering. This reputation is no accident. It is the result of centuries of hard work, unparalleled standards and a determination to deliver defiantly elaborate tucker to the most theoretically unreachable corners of the world.
These days we dispatch close to 120,000 packages around the world each year, which could be anything from a box of champagne and truffles right up to a hamper filled with everything for creating a Fortnum's feast at home. Our hampers find their way into every corner of our corner-free globe, from Bulgaria to Bangladesh, Taiwan to Tanzania, America to… you get the idea.
Fortnum’s first hampers were created in the late 1730s for well-heeled customers journeying to their country estates or to take the waters in Bath. Many began their journeys at the coaching inns placed along…
Piccadilly! The food at the inns en route could be quite poor, so people asked Fortnum’s to prepare travellers’ baskets for them. These proto-hampers held delicacies such as game pies, fresh bread, West Country butter, our own ‘scotched eggs’, cheese, hothouse fruit and rich fruit cake, with mineral water, small beer and hock to drink. No wonder they took off.