Browse upmarket boutiques and dine in upscale restaurants in this grandiose building, which once functioned as a center of trade.
The Royal Exchange is a majestic 19th-century building that served as the city’s center of commerce. Offices, boutiques and restaurants now occupy the imposing neoclassical structure, which has a portico of eight Corinthian columns and a pediment. Consider the historical importance of this site to the country’s economy as you peruse the luxury shops.
The current building is the Royal Exchange’s third incarnation since it was first opened in 1571. Wealthy merchant Sir Thomas Gresham initially founded the institution as a center for trading stocks. Hear how the first two buildings burned down, before the current one was built in the 1840s. In 2001, the site was transformed into the upscale restaurant and retail center.
Take photos of the elegant façade, with the equestrian statue of the first Duke of Wellington outside it. Inspect the intriguing sculpture of Paul Julius Reuter, the founder of his namesake news agency.
Enjoy a meal at the Grand Café, a restaurant located in the center of an attractive internal courtyard. Overlooking it from the balcony is the Sauterelle restaurant. Consider dining at the Gallery or the Threadneedle Bar, which line the arched flanks of the courtyard. Descend to the stunning arched-vault basement for the Imperial City restaurant.
Buy beauty products, jewelry and art in the many boutiques here. High-end brands such as Bvlgari, Hermés, Montblanc and Tiffany & Co. occupy this extravagant shopping center.
Get a hand massage and other pampering services. Purchase personalized gifts with your name or corporation embossed on the material. Attend an event, such as the launch of a brand’s latest fragrance, etiquette and décor workshops and pop-up shops.
Note that the opening hours of the restaurants and shops vary. Most boutiques open from Monday to Friday between morning and early evening.
Ride the Tube to Bank, Cannon Street or Liverpool Street stations to reach the Royal Exchange. This shopping and dining destination is adjacent to the Bank of England and Mansion House in the City of London, the capital’s financial hub.