The Royal Exchange, Threadneadle Street, London, EC3V 3LR, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7618 2480
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm
Door: Go early
Style: Cafe bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Plates & dishes
The Royal Exchange is a landmark Grade I-listed building situated in the heart of the City of London's financial district, adjacent to the Bank of England, the former Stock Exchange and Mansion House. Originally built in 1566 as a bourse for the city merchants, it has survived destruction by fire twice since it was named by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571.
The Grand Café sits smack in the centre of the building's splendid covered courtyard, surrounded by luxury boutiques. It's rare to find a spare seat at the curvaceous, polished pewter island bar, but well worth sitting (this area has a restaurant licence, so standing at the bar is not permitted) and appreciating the architecture over a Martini. Alternatively, head upstairs to the more intimate twin lounges above the Colonnade shops.
Whether you pick bar or lounge, you'll find the same attentive service and fine Champagnes. The impressive cocktail list features some amazing contemporary creations as well as the classics.