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Christmas at the Royal Exchange: Old-school Luxury

SEEN sometimes thinks that the glorious Royal Exchange is the best-kept secret in London. Right by Bank tube station it’s an iconic building that has reinvented itself over the years, most recently as a luxury shopping and dining destination. The interior is quite magical; a huge space with the Grand Café in the middle. This is surrounded by shops on the inside and outside of this dramatic building.

SEEN popped in on the fabulous Georg Jensen to admire the jewellery, the most amazing tech store Devialet where the tech looked like it had stepped out of Star Wars and of course, the divine Lulu Guinness, whose glorious windows were bedecked with Lip and Lipstick-shaped bags and accessories. We saw Halcyon Days watches with matching bracelets and luxuriated in Penhaligon scents. It’s a distinctly old-school style of shopping experience, very different from other shopping destinations in the capital. It’s worth a visit for that alone.

There are restaurants there too, the Sauterelle, almost hidden on the first floor but boasting marvellous views out onto the central courtyard. To reach it you pass several huge paintings that have been sensitively preserved, signifying that new development need not destroy everything that has gone before. There will be a Christmas tree lighting soon (by a celebrity – we are sworn to secrecy!) SEEN is looking forward to seeing this theatrical and historic space all lit up.

The Royal Exchange