In partnership with: Royal Exchange
Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571 on the initiative of financier and merchant Thomas Gresham, the Royal Exchange was built as a centre of commerce, where British wools could be found alongside silks from exotic lands. Intriguingly, stockbrokers were banned from doing business as they were considered too disagreeable; rather they were encouraged to wreak havoc in the coffee houses around the corner.
Fortnum & Mason's courtyard residence
Modelled on Antwerp’s Bourse (stock exchange) the original building was a very different affair to the current Neo-Palladian design by Sir William Tite, with a large open courtyard surrounded by shops, businesses and a trading floor not dissimilar to a Parisienne square. Unfortunately, The Royal Exchange suffered two catastrophic fires (The Great Fire of London in 1666 and another in 1838) which led to Tite's current design.
2018 welcomed the addition of another London icon, Fortnum & Mason, which occupies the central courtyard with a restaurant and 90-cover bar. A seasonal, contemporary menu, with plates such as braised ox cheek and citrus marinated hand-dived scallops, makes for perfect shopping sustenance. With boutiques such as Leica, Hermès, Montblanc, Boodles and Watches of Switzerland located under the glass skylight, it just goes to prove that the most fertile blooms spring from ashes.
Monogrammed iPhone Case, £70, Aspinal of London, aspinaloflondon.com
Patek Philippe Men’s Annual Calendar Ref. 5205G-013 in white gold, £38,110, Patek Philippe, boodles.com
Archer Sunglasses, £295, Tom Davies Eyewear, tomdavies.com
Cigar Print Fine Bone China Ashtray, £225, Halcyon Days, halcyondays.com
Leica C-Lux Midnight Blue, £875, Leica, leica.com
Compact Coin Purse, £55, Sage Brown, sagebrown.co.uk
Bremont S300 White, £2995, Bremont, bremont.com
Article created in partnership with Royal Exchange