450 Years

A CONVERSATION WITH: CARLO GARRAFFA

The Royal Exchange invites you to get to know our new concierge, Carlo, who is ready to welcome you and assist with any questions you may have on your visit

04 May, 2021

What does your role as concierge at The Royal Exchange encompass?

My role is all about engaging with the people who visit The Royal Exchange, be it to shop, dine or discover more about its incredible architecture and heritage. I want to help people to discover The Royal Exchange in a new way.

For any visitors wanting to know more about the history of The Royal Exchange and the City of London, I wish to immerse them in a building that they might walk past every day, or work a few minutes away from, but not know much about all the secrets this building holds and its relevance to the City. I would like to re-engage locals and tourists alike with the marvels contained within this building and the rich heritage of the City that surrounds it.

I am also here to help visitors to The Royal Exchange discover the amazing shopping and hospitality experiences we have to offer, from the incredible craftsmanship and services to be found inside our boutiques to the varied dining options we have – everything from coffees and pastries to cocktails and fine dining.

Every visit to The Royal Exchange is an experience and providing that personal point of connection, should people wish to ask a question or simply have a friendly chat, is very important. The Royal Exchange also welcomes a lot of local customers who work in the City. Due to the busy nature of their work, they are often limited on the amount of time they have to spend when they visit. Hopefully I can make a visit to The Royal Exchange more personal and help people find exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible.


What do you most like about working at The Royal Exchange

I love the fact that The Royal Exchange is full of history. This is a building with 450 years of heritage, but that still has relevance to the City of London today. As a living building, people still come here to meet and exchange ideas, just as they would have centuries ago. Today, The Royal Exchange is the place to come to experience a unique mix of ancient heritage and modern luxury in the City of London. I feel proud to be part of it.


How long have you lived and worked in London for?

I first moved to London in 2009, prior to joining The Royal Exchange I worked at Selfridges and the Waldorf Hilton hotel in Aldwych. I’ve always worked in customer service roles. Before coming to London I worked on MSC Cruise Ships as a tour guide, and when I was back home in Palermo I was a travel agent, as I love travel and new experiences.


What do you love about London and what do you think makes it special as a city?

I love the fact that London is a very cosmopolitan city, with lots of areas that each have their own style and heritage. I always enjoy talking to people and informing them about what London has to offer. The amazing thing about London is there is always something new to discover. Even though I have spent a lot of time in this city, there are still lots of places and activities that I have not yet experienced, and that is what has kept me here.


How does it feel to be working at such a historical site, surrounded by so much heritage?

It feels great to be a part of all this history and heritage. This particular part of London dates back to the Roman times, and because I’m from Italy it makes me proud that they founded this great city.


What have you learned from all the challenges of the past year?

I have learned that we shouldn’t take anything for granted in life. Even things like leaving home to go for a walk, or meeting friends, are important gifts that maybe we didn’t consider and value enough before.


What are you most excited about for the year ahead?

I’m excited to see life going back to normal, for all of us and for every country. For me in particular, I would love to be able to travel again.


If you’d like to find out more about our new concierge, or have a question ahead of your visit, please don’t hesitate to email rsvp@theroyalexchange.co.uk with your enquiry.

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 page for regular updates on our retailers’ opening information and hours, as well as details about virtual appointments and click and collect services.

Visit our heritage page to learn more about the history of The Royal Exchange, and keep an eye on our specially created 450 Years site, journal and Instagram for more fascinating facts and insights about The Royal Exchange’s past and present as we commemorate this special milestone throughout the year.