The venerable purveyor of luxury groceries and gift items, Fortnum and Mason, is a Christmas tradition in London and, via the Internet, worldwide. Their delicately decorated windows, often featuring ballet scenes, are unmissable.
Always crowded at Christmas, especially on Boxing Day when the sales begin, Fortnum's, though thronged during the holidays, seemed somewhat less so this year, doubtless a symptom of the ongoing economic recession. Many foreign languages can be heard among the well-dressed patrons as they single-mindedly zero in on their favorite now-marked-down biscuits and sweets.
I also wasn't that impressed with this year's decorations which, in past years, have been spectacular. Perhaps another symptom of toning it all down. Nevertheless, dropping in at Fortnum's at Christmas is a tradition that should not be tampered with. Family members bought, among other things, mini mince pies. It's not a British Christmas without them.