Showstopper chocolate hive sculpture is the bee’s knees as Fortnum & Mason shows how to do Easter in style
Luxury and Easter aren’t words you often see in the same sentence, as many of the temptations on offer are as tacky as the eggs themselves if left in a warm room. But one place you can depend upon for good taste at Easter, in both senses of the word, is Fortnum & Mason – the double Royal Warrant-holding store in London’s ever-fashionable Piccadilly which has the rare and possibly unique distinction of being visited personally by the Queen of England in a very public show of endorsement in 2012.
Fortnum & Mason wicker hampers are recognised the world over as an icon, while the store itself, even on days when The Queen isn’t visiting, is usually as buzzing as the bee hives it famously keeps on its roof.
So it’s hardly surprising that Fortnum’s has excelled itself this Easter with some very stylish eggs and Easter presents that caught our eye here at Luxurious Magazine where, like Oscar Wilde, we have the simplest of tastes: we are always satisfied with the best.
As you’d expect from a store that was established in 1707, invented the scotch egg and introduced the baked bean to Britain, Fortnum’s knows a thing or two about Easter eggs.
Its most spectacular offering this year is the Chocolate Beehive Sculpture at £250, an extravagant, imaginative delight in chocolate created by a mother-and-daughter team of chocolatiers.
It’s made from Valrhona chocolate in a design inspired by the beehives on Fortnum’s roof, and is so special that it can only be collected from the store. Fortnum’s describes it as a showstopper, and it’s hard to argue with that.
The Colossal Egg, at £90, is clearly inspired by the five-bird roasts of Medieval times in which one game bird is stuffed inside another inside another, and so on, and it’s also reminiscent of those Russian Dolls that contain ever smaller versions.
Weighing a genuinely colossal 1.4kg, it consists of five different flavoured eggs: milk chocolate caramel, then chocolate orange, then chai, then Fortnum’s signature Rose & Violet, and finally the Mitcham Mint.
If you like the principle of the Kinder Surprise egg but don’t want to surprise your loved one with how little you’ve spent on them, Fortnum’s has the answer: the Jewellery Easter Egg with Alex Monroe Bunny Necklace, at £225.
The thick chocolate shell hand decorated with sugar pearls conceals a 22-carat gold Alex Monroe Bunny Necklace inside, which ought to have any recipient hopping with delight.
Only Fortnum & Mason would go to the trouble of combining real hen’s eggs and chocolate eggs, but it has, with its Six Golden Praline Eggs, at £25.
It has taken six real hen’s egg shells, hollowed them out, painted them a luxurious gold for fairytale appeal, then filled them to the brim with praline chocolate.
It seems almost a pity to do this, but Fortnum’s says you can crack them as you would a real egg and enjoy the chocolate hazelnut goodness hidden inside.
Not everything Eastery has to be chocolate, and Alex Monroe’s Sitting Bunny Stud Earrings, at £110, will be treasured for years after even the most elaborate chocolate eggs are but a memory. They are plated in 22ct gold.
The Personalised Champagne & Eggs Box, at £65, is a satin-lined gift box containing a bottle of Fortnum’s Blanc de Blancs Champagne, personalised with your own message printed on the label, and with 32 creamy solid milk chocolate eggs wrapped in gold foil.
Children are rather keen on Easter too, apparently, so Fortnum’s has created the Little One’s Easter Hamper, at £50, which contains a Walking Chick Milk Chocolate Lollipop, a miniature Fortnum & Mason Shopper filled with playful chocolate bunnies, three milk chocolate chickens nestled in a whimsical matchbox, and a huge selection of multi-coloured Easter eggs ranging from zesty orange & lemon chocolate eggs to light and elegant lilac. It all comes in a traditional wicker hamper that will last them a lifetime.
Same goes for the Personalised Easter Celebration Hamper, at £130, though aimed at adults. It has all the ingredients for a first-class feast, including an Easter Sponge Pudding, Amaretto Butter, a tin of Easter Spiced Biscuits, a Pink Marc de Champagne Truffle Egg, Six Goose Chocolate Eggs, three Chocolate Chickens nestled in a matchbox and a bottle of Blanc de Blanc Champagne with your own message printed on the label.
As biscuit tins go, no-one does them better than Fortnum & Mason. The Easter Egg Biscuit Tin, at £32, contains nine delicately iced vanilla biscuits in the style of exquisite imperial eggs. Now why didn’t Mr Fabergé think of that?
Avoiding the temptation to do anything too easy, Fortnum’s Speckled Goose Eggs In A Basket, at £25, are decorated by hand with speckled chocolate designs to resemble the birds’ eggs.
Sometimes the box can outshine even its contents, and the packaging of the Truffle Eggs In Cracked Egg Box Eau De Nil, at £19.50, is a work of art in itself. It’s filled with truffle eggs in a variety of flavours, from luxurious Marc de Champagne, milk, and dark to sea-salted caramel and decadent praline.
And even one of the simplest, the self-explanatory Bunny In A Box, at £14.95, is a thing of simple beauty. It nestles in a box of hay and is decorated by hand.
Whether you’re reading this in a palace and expect to have your Easter eggs presented to you on a purple velvet cushion, or simply want to take your Easter celebrations up a notch or ten, Fortnum & Mason seem to have it sussed.
Fortnum & Mason’s Easter eggs – Where and How
Fortnum & Mason is at 181 Piccadilly, a short stroll along from The Ritz, and backs on to Jermyn Street.
More details at www.fortnumandmason.com
See more of the Fortnum & Mason Easter treats in the gallery below