This summer The Royal Exchange welcomes one of the nine winning designs of the 2021 City Benches competition, which is open to architects and designers. Organised by the London Festival of Architecture, the annual competition looks for a fresh take on public seating in Cheapside and Aldgate.
For its winning design, multi-disciplinary collective Pebble Haus was inspired by coffee: like benches, the beverage has the power to connect people and generate impactful storytelling opportunities. Made from jesmonite and coffee, the bench by Pebble Haus is called Sobremesa, a Spanish word that describes the time spent relaxing around the table after a meal.
The collective chose to place the Sobremesa bench outside The Royal Exchange because of the location’s historical ties to coffee: Lloyd’s, which once had premises at The Royal Exchange, started out as a bustling coffee house and important meeting place in the City, and the first place to sell coffee in the UK was a stone’s throw away, off Cornhill.
Visit Sobremesa by Pebble Haus outside The Royal Exchange until 31 August.
Speaking of coffee, City favourites Grind have reopened their café-bar on Threadneedle Street, serving up freshly roasted brews from 7am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. Whether you’re after an iced latte, flat white, or espresso martini, you can be sure of mouth-watering aromas and a welcome caffeine boost to see you through the morning, afternoon or early evening. Juices and a selection of pastries and cakes are also available, alongside whole and ground beans and disposable coffee pods for purchase.
The Royal Exchange Grind, open from 7am – 4pm, Monday to Friday
TRAVEL THE WORLD
Let Boodles’ new Travel collection – which can be requested for viewing at the brand’s boutique at The Royal Exchange – take you on a journey around the world. The new high-jewellery collection is called Around the World in 16 Days in reference to a trip taken in 1962 by Anthony Wainwright, the then chairman of Boodles and grandfather of the four cousins currently at the helm of the heritage brand.
When creating the collection, head designer Rebecca Hawkins drew on Wainwright’s photo album of his 16-day world tour during which he sourced diamonds, pearls and gemstones. The collection’s 25 rings are inspired by the destinations he visited, including Tower Bridge, Sintra, Muscat, Honolulu and Jaipur, and interwoven with elements from Hawkins’ own travel memories. Each high-jewellery design captures the essence of the respective places and combines it with the exceptional craftsmanship for which the British fine jewellery brand is so well known.
Contact The Royal Exchange Boodles boutique to request a viewing of the Around the World in 16 Days collection.
Fortnum & Mason has everything you need in order to elevate outdoor dining and picnics this summertime, including a selection of flavoursome but fuss-free beverages. Perfect for the daytime, its cold brew infusions can simply be added to a water bottle or a jug. There are three refreshing flavour combinations to choose from: apple and blackberry, apricot and cherry, and orange and lemon.
For summer celebrations or an alfresco dinner, Fortnum’s pre-mixed cocktails need only be chilled before serving. There’s the rum-based Fortnum’s Espresso Daiquiri, which requires a quick shake, or the vodka and gin-based Fortnum’s Vesper Martini, which should be stirred and garnished with lemon peel. For those looking for an alcohol-free fizz, Fortnum’s Sparkling Tea is an exciting alternative that delivers a fine layering of flavours.
Visit The Royal Exchange Fortnum & Mason store to discover an array of picnic ware, hampers and individual food and drink items.
This July sees the launch of Aspinal of London’s Story 3, a colourful celebration of butterflies. The brand is working with the South Downs National Park Trust to fund a pollinator-friendly wildflower meadow at the Aspinal headquarters in the South Downs, so it is no coincidence that they decided to dedicate this collection to the butterfly.
Native butterflies such as the Painted Lady or Small Tortoiseshell inspired the colour scheme of Story 3, which includes bags crafted from metal-free, upcycled and carbon-offset leathers and silk scarves with vibrant motifs, butterfly keyrings and charms.
Discover the Story 3 collection at The Royal Exchange Aspinal of London boutique
THE SCENT OF LOVE
Jo Malone London is helping couples create olfactive memories of their wedding day. Brides- and grooms-to-be can book in for a wedding consultation service, during which one of Jo Malone’s expert stylists will help them discover a bespoke fragrance pairing designed for the special day. A unique fragrance can be achieved by layering colognes or by pairing a body crème with a cologne, for example. The combination can be based on the wedding theme, the season, or simply the couple’s personal preferences.
During the consultation, couples can also explore the option of scenting their wedding space with Jo Malone London candles and diffusers.
Contact The Royal Exchange Jo Malone London boutique to book a wedding scent consultation, or simply pop into the store and speak to one of the advisers.
MIX AND MATCH
Jewellery is highly personal, with individual pieces often linked to special people or meaningful moments. Vashi celebrates this aspect of jewellery by creating bespoke fine jewellery, offering the possibility for customers to design their very own wedding bands and engagement rings and to customise pieces of jewellery to imbue it with sentiment.
The designs from Vashi’s Connections, Lumina and Lovestrike collections can be curated together, layered and personalised with an engraving or a fingerprint. The Connections pieces are geometric and modern; the curving Lumina designs are inspired by a new day, while the zigzags of the Lovestrike collection draw on the shape of the sound waves of a beating heart. Whether you choose to layer pieces from your favourite collection, or mix and match pieces together to make your own unique combinations, Vashi designs are perfect for creating new, personal stories.
All of Vashi’s pieces are handmade to order using ethically sourced diamonds and 100 per cent recycled precious metals.
Visit The Royal Exchange Vashi boutique to personalise your favourite pieces from the Connections, Lumina and Lovestrike collections.
Since its beginnings, Tateossian has always sought to incorporate interesting materials and stones into its contemporary jewellery designs. This signature approach is evident in the vibrant new Octo collection. The pendants and cufflinks in the new Octo range are defined by clean, graphic lines thanks to simple octagonal-shaped gemstones set in a claw case. The blue lapis or the honey-coloured tiger eye add pops of colour, while the black onyx offers a more subtle option. Set into n black rhodium-plated sterling silver, the new Octo pieces create a look that is as minimal as it is bold. The Octo pieces can be paired with the matching Tateossian black ceramic signet rings for a full effect.
Shop the new Octo collection at the The Royal Exchange Tateossian boutique
OenoHouse is accepting bookings from 13 July onwards. Visit this new addition to The Royal Exchange family to discover some of the world’s finest wines from France, Spain, Australia and beyond. OenoHouse comprises a wine boutique, a terrace and a private tasting room, making it a must-visit for anyone wanting to discover premium wine, enjoy a drink alfresco in the City or organise a private event.
The knowledgeable staff are on hand to offer their expert advice and guide you through a list of some 700 wines. Thanks to OenoHouse’s strong relationships with wineries and importers, visitors will have the opportunity to access rare and exclusive wines, and to attend special events.
Those looking to enjoy a drink on the terrace will be able to receive the OenoHouse team’s seasonal recommendations for wines served by the glass.
Click here to learn more about the OenoHouse opening, as well as the team’s wine recommendations for July and details on how to book a table at the terrace.
The Royal Exchange celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. We look forward to welcoming you for a considered shopping and dining experience in spectacular and historic surroundings. Please visit our boutiques page for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about personal appointments and click and collect services.
Visit our heritage page to learn more about the history of The Royal Exchange, and keep an eye on our specially created 450 Years site, journal and Instagram for more fascinating facts and insights about The Royal Exchange’s past and present as we commemorate this special milestone throughout the year.