Having re-opened its doors this week, the Royal Exchange was first inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571 on the initiative of financier and merchant Thomas Gresham. The 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.
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.
In 2018, Fortnum & Mason moved into The Royal Exchnage, occuping 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 one glass skylight, The Royal Exchange is the perfect place to grab a gift this Father’s Day. Here’s our pick of the accessories every dad will adore.
Men’s Chronomate watch, £6,695, Watches of Switzerland
Aragon Coffee Pot, £130, Halcyon Days
Evil Eye Cufflinks, £95, Halcyon Days
Rockstar sunglasses, £395, Tom Davies
Ludlow briefcase, £1,095, Smythson
Build your own MB watch, POA, Bremont
Sartorial for Men, £110, Penhaligon’s
Accessory Box, £85, SageBrown
Royal Exchange, Cornhill (opposite Bank station), London EC3V 3LR, royalexchange.co.uk
Article created in partnership with The Royal Exchange