Friday, October 8, 2010

Royal Exchange - Paul Smith discount outlet and other luxury brands shops

When even self proclaimed Londoners who have spent a number of years in London mistook it for the Bank of England, who can blame the tourists for wanting to have their picture taken in front of it thinking that it's the famed institution? Besides, that's the first building that will catch your eye if you surface from the Bank Underground Station.


The Royal Exchange, which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571, occupies the intersection between Cornhill and Threadneedle Street. The original building was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham as a commercial centre in London just six years ago. Over four hundred years, it was burnt down twice (once in 1666 and 1838).


These days, The Royal Exchange has taken on a difference form of commerce - that of a luxurious retail nature. Tiffany, Hermes, Gucci, De Beers are among the names found along both the peripheral and interior of the grand building. Londoners working in the Square Mile would drop by The Royal Exchange Grand Cafe squeezing in a tea break under the vast skylight in the central plaza.

The Duke of Wellington's statue rides proudly on his stead featured prominently in front of the building. Notice that all four of the horse's limbs are rooted to the ground - a sign that its rider, The Duke lived a long life and died of natural causes (83 years old).


History and architectural grandeur aside, I would usually point visitors to The Royal Exchange for a different reason. Unknown to many, there's a Paul Smith sales outlet tucked in a corner of the building's interior. While the shop's selection isn't that extensive, it does offer a good discount off items found in full fledged store in London's West End. Interestingly, this store isn't even listed on Paul Smith's London website.

Fans of Paul Smith, here's another good reason to pop by The Royal Exchange. For more on shopping in London, refer to Suzy Gershman's Born to Shop London. That's written at the good o' times when a pound can get you two dollars but it's nevertheless a good one to start with.

Do you know of any brands' sales outlet stores in London?

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FĂ«anor said...

Shouldn't you mention Paul A Young's Fine Chocolates, if you mention the other Paul? C h o c o l a t e.... Y u m....

William K Wallace said...

I did wonder what that building was called when I walked past it not so long ago, when I was going on the Bank of England tour. Now I know...

C K said...

Didn't know that Paul A Young's has got a branch there as well. Is that on the peripheral? Ah-hah, didn't realise that you have a sweet tooth. Have you tried the macaroons at Pierre Herme? They just set up a shop over at West End.

Oh, was thinking of going for the Bank of England tour but just didn't get the chance to. They don't do it on weekends do they?