450 Years

WHAT’S NEW THIS MAY

From fruity fragrances to a new book celebrating the joy of tea, spring is certainly in the air at The Royal Exchange this May

04 May, 2021

TIME FOR TEA

Fortnum’s Time for Tea book, £20, Fortnum & Mason

It may be a cliché but we Brits love nothing more than a cup of tea (a mind-boggling 100,000,000 cups are drunk in the UK every single day), and Fortnum & Mason has been supplying us with our favourite beverage almost as long as we’ve been drinking it — more than 300 years, in fact. Celebrating all things tea is a new book by Fortnum & Mason, written by award-winning food critic Tom Parker Bowles. The beautifully illustrated tome takes a deep dive into the origins of Britain’s quintessential beverage, alongside suggested food pairings, recipes and the art of making the perfect brew.

As well as burying your head in this delightful book, tea connoisseurs can enjoy the beverage in a variety of forms – from a special Royal Exchange blend to a glass of chilled Rosé Sparkling Tea – by partaking in the ritual of Fortnum’s iconic afternoon tea experience; currently being served alfresco on The Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant terrace, from 11am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Click here to view the menu and make a reservation.


DESERT STORM

1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858, £5,400, Montblanc

Named after one of Europe’s highest peaks, Montblanc is famously associated with all things mountainous. However, a limited-edition new timepiece from the luxury brand takes inspiration from the extreme landscapes of the desert. The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 pays tribute to the arduous 2004 solo trek across the Gobi Desert made by legendary Italian adventurer Reinhold Messner. The ‘1858’ collection is a modern reinterpretation of Montblanc’s Minerva timepieces, created in the 1920s and 1930s for military use and exploration.

The sleek design of the latest edition reflects the natural palette of the 2,000km desert — which spans Mongolia and China — with a bronze case, smoked brown and beige lacquered dial and vintage-brown strap. The back of the watch has a unique engraving of the Gobi Desert’s famous ‘Flaming Cliffs’, the site of many important fossil discoveries.

Visit The Royal Exchange Montblanc boutique to appreciate the detail of these new 1858 Geosphere timepieces in all their glory.


NEW HEIGHTS

Pre-owned Rolex Explorer II 216570, £9,450, Royal Exchange Jewellers

Montblanc isn’t the only brand celebrating the spirit of adventure this month. Luxury jewellery and watch specialist Royal Exchange Jewellers is putting an exquisite, pre-owned Rolex Explorer II in the spotlight. This pristine timepiece, with its striking white dial and orange GMT hand (for tracking the time in two time zones), was manufactured in 2016 in a line now discontinued by Rolex, meaning interest is sure to sky-rocket. This particular timepiece comes complete with full box and paperwork, and one year of warranty remaining with Rolex.

The Rolex Explorer range has been worn by some of the world’s most intrepid explorers, mountaineers and scientists, attesting to the endurance and reliability of these timepieces. Even if far-flung adventures aren’t exactly on your radar, this sporty, stainless steel Rolex watch would be a fantastic addition to your collection.


TIE THE KNOT AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE

Say I do in the spectacular surrounds of The Royal Exchange central courtyard, followed by a lavish Fortnum & Mason wedding breakfast

The wedding industry has been hit hard over the past year, but with restrictions on the number of attendees gradually easing comes the welcome news that Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange has just been granted its wedding licence. Britain’s iconic greengrocer has been hosting lavish wedding receptions since the 1920s, so you know you’re in good hands when it comes to planning your big day. And with the backdrop of the iconic architecture of The Royal Exchange and one of London’s ‘most Instagrammable restaurants’ (according to the Evening Standard), you and your guests will enjoy an unforgettable day. Couples can tie the knot in the heart of The Royal Exchange, followed by a drinks reception and tailored wedding breakfast in The Courtyard that was deemed fit for royalty.

For further information, contact the Fortnum & Mason wedding team on weddings@fortnumandmason.co.uk


DIAMONDS ARE A BOY’S BEST FRIEND

The Charles Tiffany Setting collection of men’s engagement rings, POA, Tiffany & Co.

Speaking of weddings, iconic New York jeweller Tiffany & Co. has just unveiled its first-ever range of men’s engagement rings. The new Charles Tiffany Setting, named in honour of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, is a ‘modern and bold departure from the traditional wedding band’, according to the luxury jewellery house.

The rings are available in pure platinum and black or grey titanium-platinum mix and finished with a striking solitaire diamond in either round brilliant-cut, square-emerald, or emerald-cut set on its side. Introduced to Tiffany in early May, this ground-breaking collection is inspired by the iconic women’s Tiffany Setting Ring, as a stylish alternative for men who appreciate a little sparkle. Discover this exciting new range at The Royal Exchange Tiffany & Co. boutique.


PAINT BY NUMBERS

L-R: Colorama Book pin, £129; Colorama Book necklace, £179; Colorama Book cufflinks, £245, all at Tateossian

On the subject of statement jewellery for men, Tateossian’s new Colorama collection embodies the playful and striking designs the brand is renowned for. The collection was inspired by colour swatch cards and features intricately crafted wearable colour cards that actually swivel to reveal individual panels. Available as cufflinks, a necklace and stylish pins, these clever accessories feature a gunmetal finish with vibrant enamel detailing. A fun must-have for the interior designer or DIY enthusiast in your life.


ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR

Marmalade Collection colognes, £55 each, Jo Malone London

British fragrance house Jo Malone London is famous for using unusual and quintessentially British ingredients in its award-winning scents, and its latest collection takes its cue from the beloved British preserve, marmalade. New for May, the limited-edition Marmalade Collection is inspired by traditional summer fêtes and homemade jams and preserves. Available in five fruity varieties, the 30ml colognes include intriguing fragrances such as Tangy Rhubarb, Orange Peel, Rose Blush and Elderflower Cordial.

Global head of fragrance, Celine Roux, partnered with Fortnum & Mason to help create the range — which largely involved testing and tasting various Fortnum’s jams and preserves. As a result, the fragrance team were able to pioneer a new technique of incorporating real fruit extracts in the scents. ‘We felt like kids in a toy store when we discovered we had this new material to play with,’ Roux commented, ‘which is a really rare feeling in perfumery.’

Discover the collection for yourself in-store at The Royal Exchange Jo Malone London boutique, and why not pop into Fortnum & Mason while you’re there, and pick up a pot of marmalade to take home with you.


STATEMENT SPARKLER

3.16 carat pear-cut Cullinan Diamond Ring set in platinum and rose gold, POA, Boodles at The Royal Exchange

Luxury British jeweller Boodles has a long-standing relationship with the legendary Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa, the discovery site of the world-famous Cullinan Diamond, which is still the world’s largest diamond ever found at an incredible 3,106 carats.

Boodles’ fine jewellery pieces featuring diamonds sourced from the Cullinan Mine (engraved with a ‘Boodles C’) are miniature masterpieces and this month the Boodles boutique at The Royal Exchange is showcasing an extra-special ring in its window display. The stunning 18 carat rose gold and platinum ring features a flawless pear-cut Cullinan diamond in the centre. This stunning sparkler is available to buy from The Royal Exchange boutique – or at least to gaze at adoringly through the shop window.


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 personal 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.