Lovers of the finer things in life will agree – sometimes only luxury will do. Where better to buy it than in the City, a place that has buzzed with the trade of fine goods and precious materials ever since Roman-era Londinium.
The City has supported artisanship and heritage skills for centuries through the ancient Livery Companies – trade associations supporting goldsmiths, clothworkers and vintners to name just a few. This expertise lives on in the City where you can buy direct from distinguished makers and retailers, including some who have been trading high-end goods for several generations.
This isn’t showy bling for bling’s sake – this is the real deal. Here are some of the best places in the City for luxury shopping.
The Royal Exchange
This regal destination is a luxury shopper’s paradise. Originally built for trading stocks in 1566, it was opened by Elizabeth I in 1571, effectively became Britain’s first shopping mall in 1660 with the arrival of retailers, and is now housed in its third building thanks to two fires (one ‘Great’, one simply the result of an overheated stove in Lloyd’s coffee house).
Nowadays, the only danger comes from keeping tabs on your spending as you stroll from one prestigious retailer to another. Lovers of sparkle should make a beeline for Tiffany & Co and browse the fine jewellery in Boodles with a glass of Champagne. Diamond experts Royal Exchange Jewellers stock antique jewellery and covetable watch brands including Rolex, Breitling and TAG Huer.
Exceptional gifts can be found at bespoke perfumier Jo Malone London, accessories brand Hermes and Aspinal of London who can personalise any of their luxury leather bags, cufflinks or journals in-store. Whiskey aficionados will be in heaven after stepping inside high-end spirit retailer.
Find out more about The Royal Exchange
Tomoka Fine & Rare
If all this gives you a taste (quite literally) for luxury, then sweet treats are in order from renowned Parisienne confectioner Ladurée (for macarons that are as pretty as a picture), or quintessentially English delights from Fortnum & Mason, whose tea blends and iconic hampers scream ‘class’.
(Note: The Royal Exchange is open daily Monday to Friday).
Find sweet treats at Tomoka
Savile Row may be globally known, but in the City the ‘suited and booted’ trot along to Bow Lane for expertly crafted suits and shoes. Fans of sharp tailoring with a contemporary edge should dash to the Paul Smith boutique for elegant suits by one of Britain’s most notable designers.
The well-heeled head to Loake shoemakers, a family business making handmade traditional men’s shoes since 1880, for their country brogues and formal classics. Joseph Cheaney & Sons, a traditional English shoe brand with over 130 years’ expertise in handmaking footwear, offer another fine choice for feet.
100 Liverpool Street at Broadgate
Conveniently slap bang next to one of the area’s biggest mainline stations, 100 Liverpool Street is the City’s newest luxury shopping destination featuring top brands in fashion, beauty, tech and lifestyle.
Those prepping their most beautiful selves can indulge at Space NK, Keihl’s, L’Occitane and the flagship store of Neom; while the wardrobe overhaul comes courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger, Reiss, Gant and Dune. Classy outfit touches can be found at British luxury jewellery brand Monica Vinader and Watches of Switzerland, who will usher you into their VIP lounge if you’re looking for something truly special.
Find out more about Broadgate
Prestigious clothing brands and precious gems vie for your credit card alongside the fine meat and poultry that this beautiful covered market (one of London’s oldest) was originally known for. As an official agent for Cartier, independent retailer Beau Gems is the place for exclusive watch brands, fine diamond jewellery and pre-loved gem sets.
Those with ‘Lord/Lady of the manor’ aspirations will have their dreams made at Royal Warrant-holder Barbour – maker of the famous wax jacket, outdoor clothing and accessories for over five generations.
(Note: Leadenhall Market retailers are open daily Monday to Friday).
Explore Leadenhall Market
One New Change
At the more accessible end of luxury, shoppers at One New Change can get their hands on classic London clothing brands Hackett and Hobbs, or indulge in gorgeous-smelling beauty treats at Molton Brown.
All of that luxurious shopping calls for a luxurious break on the terrace at Madison Rooftop Bar & Restaurant where a drink and the majestic view of St Paul’s Cathedral is fitting reward for a hard day’s shopping.
Find out more about One New Change