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    From championing independent designers at our Makers’ Market to new boutique openings and the Fortnum’s Food & Drink Awards, The Royal Exchange is a hive of activity this autumn



    As part of the 2021 London Design Festival, The Royal Exchange will be hosting a Makers’ Market showcasing eight independent brands with a focus on design and craftsmanship. Each has been selected for their innovative interpretation of traditional crafts and materials to create unique and distinctive pieces. From glassware, furniture and fabrics to woven jewellery, leather goods and bags created from repurposed plastic, come and explore the unique range of products, and meet the makers and designers behind them. The Makers’ Market will be in residence on The Royal Exchange mezzanine from Monday 20 to Friday 24 September. Read more about the event and the brands that will be showcased here.


    An ambitious new initiative to get people back into central London and boost the economy following the effects of Covid-19, the City will be transformed into a giant outdoor art gallery later this year. Part of London mayor Sadiq Khan’s £7m campaign to bolster the hospitality industry, in what he describes as the ‘biggest domestic tourism campaign London has ever seen’, award-winning artist Yinka Ilori will be leading a major new streetscape commission called Asphalt Art. The initiative, which is is in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the aforementioned London Design Festival, will see Ilori work in collaboration with students from UAL – University of the Arts London – to install joy-evoking artworks in public spaces in central London and the City. They will launch during London Design Festival, which runs from 18-26 September, so keep those eyes peeled as you are out and about.

    London-born artist Yinka Ilori has seen his profile explode in recent years with his colourful graphic style, inspired by his Nigerian heritage, plastered on everything from homewear to billboards. This month The Royal Exchange caught up with the artist to talk about his love of London and how he stays positive during challenging times. Check out our very special My City Life interview with the artist here.


    The Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant at The Royal Exchange

    The Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards 2021 will be held at The Royal Exchange on Thursday 9 September. This annual event celebrates food and drink authors, editors, publishers, journalists, broadcasters and personalities, acknowledging the role these individuals play in upholding the culture and vibrancy of the UK food and drink industry. Follow the awards to see who this year’s winners and ones to watch will be on Instagram @Fortnums and #FandMawards

    Hear what one of this year’s judges, chef and restaurateur Asma Khan, has to say about being a part of the awards, what makes London’s food and drink scene so special and the socio-cultural impact of food in this month’s A conversation with… interview.


    This month, The Royal Exchange is delighted to welcome a brand-new boutique. Ron Dorff is where Swedish functionality meets French sartorial flair. The brand, which was founded by Swede Claus Lindorff and Frenchman Jérôme Touron (the name being a portmanteau of their surnames), specialises in contemporary lounge and athleisure wear for men. Expect sharp, elegant and timeless wardrobe essentials as well as fun slogan T-shirts, including the playful City Boy tee, which is exclusive to The Royal Exchange Ron Dorff boutique. Read our interview with Ron Dorff co-founder Claus Lindorff on the philosophy behind the brand and why opening a boutique in the City feels like coming full circle.


    Burgundy Croc Leather Trinity 13” Laptop Briefcase, £295, SageBrown; Solo Lady K Tahiti Watch, £5,495, Bremont; MB 01 Over-Ear Headphones x Montblanc UltraBlack Edition, £535, Montblanc; 2021/22 Mid-Year Panama Diary with Pocket, £55, Smythson

    Smarten up your style as the City reopens for business this month. Treat yourself to some new work accessories to ease the transition back to the office, and to give you that ‘start of term’ sense of September being about new beginnings and belongings. From the blank pages of a new Smythson mid-year diary to the sleek style of Montblanc’s new UltraBlack wireless headphones for the commute, a subtly stylish wristwatch from Bremont to keep you punctual or a colourful new carrier for your laptop from SageBrown, choose something that will put a spring in your step as you re-enter the workplace.


    The City of London is feeling philanthropic this month with the return of City Giving Day on 21 September. This charitable initiative encourages local businesses to give back and invites people to take part to raise money for The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. We will be promoting the event all week on our website, starting from 14 September, and The Royal Exchange will host a fundraising rowing event on the day, organised by London Youth Rowing and sponsored by Elston, an investment consulting firm based in the Square Mile.

    Rowing machines will be set up on the iconic steps of The Royal Exchange and visitors and locals are invited to join in. Olympic rowing champions Ed Coode and Andrew Triggs-Hodge will be there to offer advice and help participants to reach the target, so bring your sports kit along and enjoy an alfresco workout getting sweaty for a good cause. You can find out more about The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and how to donate money by  clicking here, or on the icon at the top of this page.


    In celebration of its charming The Secret Garden collection, British jewellery house Boodles is hosting a garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which takes place from 21 to 26 September. The garden will feature the delicate, jewel-like flowers that inspired the pieces, and a special-edition bracelet – featuring a snowdrop motif crafted from pink and white diamonds – has been created to commemorate the occasion. Select pieces from The Secret Garden collection will be available at The Royal Exchange Boodles boutique from 1 September.

    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, dining and services pages for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about reservations, personal appointments and click and collect services.

    Visit our 450 Years and heritage pages to discover fascinating facts and insights about The Royal Exchange’s past and present as we commemorate this special milestone.