Fortnum's Third Floor
Fortnum & Mason has been at the forefront of fine food since 1707 and is London’s oldest department store. The Piccadilly store is at the heart of the brand and is the launchpad for innovation and first-to-market products. Fortnum’s is now opening a ground-breaking Food & Drink Studio, distillery, and a new home for Fortnum’s iconic hampers on the third floor of its flagship, designed by long-term partner CADA Design.
The Food and Drink Studio
The Studio is designed to offer a new, irresistible reason to visit. It boasts broadcast-quality technology and a kitchen built to commercial standards. Flexibility is a core feature of the design, ensuring longevity, sustainability, and numerous uses to maximise the value of the investment. Two sets of acoustic glazed folding partitions can be opened entirely to incorporate the studio into the retail space, or closed for smaller, ticketed events such as cookery classes or private dining.
Screens will be used to broadcast the kitchen’s activities around the whole store. This will encourage curious shoppers to venture beyond the lower-ground floor food retail space. A number of the 100+ chefs working within the building at any one time will be deployed to the new studio space. This brings their expertise to the fore, showing shoppers how Fortnum’s world-renowned food is made.
The Cookshop and Distillery
At the far end of the 3rd floor, customers will see a striking, fully operational ‘Made in Piccadilly’ Gin Distillery. Here, customers will be able to interact with the distilling process, and watch first-hand as their bottles are being filled, and be encouraged to keep their bottle to refill with future batches.
There will also be the option to personalise the bottle – providing the perfect hand-crafted gift, straight out of 181 Piccadilly. The Cookshop will build on the activities of the studio, selling books and equipment for passionate cooks and discerning chefs, with signage packages able to be updated easily to accommodate changes in partnerships.
The Studio is sharing the space with the new hampers showcase and the distillery. Hampers are displayed with the hamper sitting under a table featuring the contents on a plinth under a glass dome. LED screens form the backdrop to the hampers, showing how the wickers are made emphasising the containers’ artisan quality. They also display the products chosen to go inside and showing the journey from raw material to finished item.
Retail experience is one two threads running through this concept; personalisation is another. Customers can have books signed by visiting chefs and artisan makers and have bespoke hampers or bottles from the distillery. Subsequently, all these custom additions will be carried out to order showcasing the special skills that are only available in-store.
Fortnum’s has ensured that sustainability is at the heart of the new third floor. This strikes a contrast between Fortnum’s historic charm and the use of future-focussed sustainable materials and construction, highlighting the very latest thinking in sustainable design and circular economies.
Our design team visited the store’s warehouse and re-purposed vintage furniture, which is juxtaposed against tables made from recycled yoghurt pots, fixtures constructed from oyster shells, and fabrics spun from both ocean and land plastic waste. Made from Foresso Timber Terrazzo, a wood waste product, the fixtures can be deconstructed and rearranged to create an ever-evolving modular space, designed to adapt to changing events and product offerings, and allowing for infinite re-use.
Everything is made on-site; Piccadilly has always been a hive of activity – most of the work happens behind the scenes. We are bringing production front of house.