Paul A Young, Bank
1 London’s most delectable chocolatier has shops in Islington and Soho, but our favourite is the outpost on Threadneedle Street. Just a stone’s throw from Bank, the store is a beacon of temptation, with its opulent display window and signature purple exterior. Paul, who has flame-red hair, oversees an operation in which all chocolate is made in-store and by hand. He and his team make the delectable treats in small batches using the very best of ingredients and the simplest equipment. Concentrates, essences, preservatives or any other additives are not used – and the choccies taste purely delicious to match. paulayoung.co.uk
One New Change, Cheapside
2 The construction of One New Change has restored Cheapside to its position as a central thoroughfare for tradespeople, shoppers and coffee-drinkers – with a modern twist. ONC is an architecturally splendid place in which to shop, eat and talk. Already iconic, and certainly unforgettable whatever your tastes, the building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel and sports 6,500 floor-to-ceiling glass panes in varying shades of red, grey and beige, flooding the floors with natural light. Shops include H&M, Swatch, Banana Republic and Phase Eight. onenew change.com
The Royal Exchange, Bank
3 Bulgari, Boodles, Smythson, Tiffany, Lulu Guinness…the Royal Exchange is the City’s luxury shopping outpost. Founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham as a centre of commerce and trade, the Royal Exchange was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571. It has always been a place of discernment – in the 17th century, stockbrokers were banned due to their poor manners, and were made to go about their business elsewhere. The original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1669, and its replacement – designed by Edward Jarman – was also destroyed by fire in 1828. The third building is what we have today: designed by Sir William Tite, it harks back to the original structure of a four-sided building around a central courtyard where merchants and tradesmen could do business. theroyalexchange.com
Cad and the Dandy, Cornhill
4 Nestled in a maze-like enclave between Lombard Street and Cornhill sits Cad and the Dandy, a bastion of contemporary City style, run by a former Barclays private equity employee and an ex sales-side man at BNP Paribas. Mixing old-fashioned charm – an antique mahogany cutting table, an old leather sofa – with a modern sensibility, it’s where the City’s sartorial elite go to get dressed.
The business, which has outposts in Canary Wharf and Savile Row, offers fully bespoke suits starting at £750 – Savile Row style but not at Savile Row prices. So how does it work? Cad offers three grades of tailored suit: machine stitched, half hand-stitched and fully hand-stitched. All suits start with pattern creation, done by hand and retained for all future orders. The website features a snazzy interactive design tool to help you choose your perfect suit, but your measurements are done in person. cadandthedandy.co.uk
Onadeko, Spitalfields Market
5 A Spitalfields stalwart since 2001, this is one of the City’s funkiest interiors shops, with designs manufactured by Calligaris, Miniforms, Bontempi and Westminster. With a window-walled corner spot in Spitalfields Market, Onedeko has something for everyone – so long as you like creative pieces. An alarm clock on wheels that runs away from you in the mornings; a bible that holds a flask inside; a foldaway colander and a chain wine holder are among the quirkiest. The furniture, of which there is a full complement, is sleek and modern – from exotic and elegant lamps and chandeliers to elegant outdoor furniture and ingenious space-saving solutions. 7 Horner Square, onedeko.co.uk
6 A stunning piece of architecture, Leadenhall was originally built in the 14th century market on what was once the centre of Roman London. Originally a meat, game and poultry market, Leadenhall is now home to a handful of the City’s favourite pubs, as well as high street fashion shops, barbers, quirky little businesses and lunch spots, from a cheese and wine café to iconic fish restaurant Chamberlains.
Most striking about Leadenhall Market is the beautiful roof – an ornate structure painted green, maroon and cream, designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones, the architect behind Billingsate and Smithfield. Cobbled floors add a sense of atmosphere to the arcade, which appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as Leakey Cauldron and Diagon Alley. Filming for the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Hereafter and other films also took place here. Whether you’re after a pint in a vibrant atmosphere, a fine fish dinner with champagne or a new cashmere jumper from Reiss, Billingsgate is a fantastic place to go to soak up the atmosphere of the Square Mile. leadenhallmarket.co.uk
7 This traditional City tailor is a gem beloved by the established financial crowd for its high quality, solid and well-made bespoke suits. It’s the sort of operation the word “gentleman” seems to fit perfectly. The head cutter is Russell Howarth, who has had 23 years’ tailoring experience, while Graham Browne himself, the Savile Row tailor who started the firm over 40 years ago, is still involved in the business. Expect 20 measurements and figuration details taken before your personal pattern can be hand- drafted and cut from scratch. Sound knowledge, a history in the trade and very high quality fabrics – such as Dugdale Brothers’ Huddersfield cloth – make this the perfect place to buy your City suit. grahambrowne.co.uk
8 ...And breathe. Stepping into Jo Malone is stepping out of the world of stress and deadlines into a paradise of soft scents, candle-lit tranquility and gift paradise. For this reason, JM’s City outpost is particularly special. Surrounded by skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of Bank, the shop’s geometrically arranged array of bottles and candles is enough to soothe and inspire even the most stressed of office workers.
Many of the scents are iconic: Pomegranate Noir, for example, is one of the most sensual and distinct. Limited edition scents such as velvet Rose and Oud and Plum Blossom are divine, but there’s a vast array to choose from whatever your nose. You can also make your own scents. For the ultimate gift, splurge on a giant Jo Malone candle – your home will smell like a spa for months. jomalone.co.uk
Searle & Co
9 Located in the Royal Exchange, Searle and Co has been selling silver and jewellery to the City for 100 years and has one of the most interesting selections in London. The vintage collection contains the likes of goblets from Dublin aristocrats circa 1804, art deco rings from 1928 in synthetic sapphire and diamond, and a silver four-piece tea set in the style of Hester Bateman from 1969. Jewellery for ladies and gentlemen ranges from the contemporary and chic to the more traditional. Quite literally a City gem among the army of high street shops now found in the Square Mile. It’s the perfect place to find a special anniversary gift. searleandco.ltd.uk
Gladwell & Company
10 On Queen Victoria Street near a Snappy Snaps, a newsagent and a juice shop sits this unusual gallerist. Gladwell’s art establishment first arrived in the Cheapside area in 1752 and now offers one of London’s best selections of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, etchings and mezzotints with traditional subjects. This is not the place to go for abstract work. But for traditional paintings, Gladwell is a London favourite and has a loyal, intergenerational customer base. The gallery also restores pictures and makes frames using locally carved mouldings – some of which are over two centuries old. The current exhibition features works from Joan Miro, Claude Monet and Charles Perron. gladwells.org.uk