17 March

The Royal Arcade – London’s historic shopping arcade

London is highly regarded as a cosmopolitan city. The unique allure of this city is hard to define, almost impossible. Not only does every neighbourhood has its specific character, but you have a wealth of markets to explore and a virtually endless list of shopping options. London’s arcades date back to the nineteenth century and for several generations they have been the most exclusive shops in town. Unfortunately, shopping complexes have been forgotten owing to the fact that the vast majority of people prefer the bigger, more populated shopping street. Although it seems highly unlikely, you will definitely spend most of the time in shopping arcade London. The sights, the sounds and the smell are worth the walk. If you want to experience as many brands as possible, then you should shop from the iconic Royal Arcade.

History of the Royal Arcade

The shopping complex wad constructed in 1879 is was originally called the “The Arcade”. This centre connects 28 Old Bond Street with 12 Albemarle Street and it is actually the smallest of the Mayfair buildings. In the year 1880. The centre was home to James Smith and Sons and Queen Victoria’s shirtmaker, namely May & Brettell. Since the shirtmaker was patronised by Queen Victoria, the building was renamed as the Royal Arcade. Additionally, the complex housed Charbonnel et Walker, one of the original tenants. The complex was originally built in order to connect Browns hotel to the well-known shopping of Bond Street and at present it still serves as a nice corridor between East and West Mayfair.

The finest shops in Mayfair

It is no secret that the Royal Arcade now houses some of the finest shops in Mayfair, if not the finest. The commercial space houses retail outlets that sell fine silverware, art, bespoke shoes and excellent chocolate. A stroll along the exclusive High Street is all that you need in order to be able to appreciate the quality and the exclusivity of the shopping complex. The complex unfolds as a series of boutiques, each of them showcasing celebrated names in British luxury. If you want a full list of the shops that are in the centre, here it is: Charbonnel et Walker, Simon Griffin Antiques, Royal Arcade Watches, Angela Hale, BM Meyrowits, William Weston, Camper Shoes, Ormonde Jayne, George Cleverly Bespoke Shoemakers, Shah Newsagents, Galerie Besson and Petley Fine Art. As you can see there is a handful of fantastic shops.

Modelled after Burlington Arcade

The shopping complex was modelled after Burlington Arcade. It features a dramatic staircase with intricate iron detailing. The building is an elegant, Victorian space that features shades of deep green, cream and gold. If you do not lose track of time by admiring the construction, you will discover the focal point, namely the freestanding clock which was designed by Dent & Co, the famous maker of the Big Ben. What is more, parts of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode The Theft of the Royal Ruby was filmed in this location.