Friday sees the launch of Fortnum & Mason’s new confectionery department – an immersive 220sq m space located on the ground floor of the iconic London department store, which will be filled with 500 varieties of sweet treats. Think Royal Blend dusted truffles, matcha chocolate bark, banoffee pie or yuzu and chilli ganache and gin-flavoured dragées. One might even indulge in a selection of Knickerbocker Glory truffles (from £9.50 per 100g) – inspired by the dessert that was introduced into the store’s Fountain restaurant in 1955.
“Fortnum’s has often been first to market with new foods and flavours – as when we launched naturally occurring ruby chocolate into our collection,” says Sophie Young, confectionery buyer at the store, “and a selection of handmade chocolates showcased in the new department are made from recipes that date back to the 1920s.” Other traditional favourites, such as caramels, are given a modern twist with flavours such as oud, rose, passionfruit and liquorice, all mixed with milk chocolate. There’s also the delightful-sounding Ling Heather honey and black truffle caramels, priced from £10.95 for six in a presentation box.
So what will be the next big confectionery trend in the UK? “Drinking chocolate,” says Young, “especially among the significant number of people looking for low- or no-alcohol refreshments.” In preparation for expected demand, the store has created a dedicated drinking-chocolate station where self-service machines can be filled with a choice of hot-chocolate callets or discs (priced £9.50 per 100g) – five rare origins and barrel-aged chocolate will be offered here on rotation. Visitors will also be able to sample the hot chocolates on display during their visit – the perfect excuse to indulge.