If you hadn’t noticed already, the festive season is looming large. The signs are everywhere; the streets are awash with autumn colours and every crunch of a leaf underfoot is a step closer to winter; the season of mulling everything, blustery walks, knitwear… and Christmas.
Yes that’s right, Christmas means Christmas and to make a success of it, a concerted effort to buy the right gifts is something of a necessity. For some, the festive shop is about as appealing than a second helping of Brussels sprouts, but that is to forget the charm of the festive scenes of a London street in the twilight months of the year?
A trip to The Royal Exchange could be all it takes to change your perceptions. A stone’s throw from Bank in the heart of the city, this architectural marvel is steeped in nearly five centuries of history and houses some of the most iconic luxury brands in the world. There are few more inviting environments in which to do your Christmas shop, and with the time-pressed shopper in mind we’ve picked out the must-have gifts of the season for the discerning gent in your life, all of which can be found at The Royal Exchange.
Crocket and Jones Cavendish Tan Loafer – £550 – crocketandjones.com
This anniversary design by Crockett and Jones harks back to the firm’s archives and blends classic styling with outstanding craftsmanship. The polishing process is carried out by hand, creating a unique colour and patina.
Orlebar Brown Bulldog Le Saint Geran Mid-Length Swim Shorts – £225 Orlebar Brown
If the thought of darker nights has you, or the gentleman in your life, dreaming of sunny skies, Orlebar Brown has the answer. These tailored swim shorts feature a print from the azure North-Eastern coast of Mauritius. Don’t head for the winter sun without them.
Tateossian Montecarlo Bracelet – £165 – tatossian.com
Taking inspiration from the cars of the famous racing event in Monaco’s capital, translucent enamel on the carbonfibre effect clasp meets sterling silver and black Italian leather for a neat and elegant accessory.
Georg Jensen Koppel – 41mm Quartz, Dark Grey Dial/Leather Strap Watch – £895 – georgjensen.com
If another Christmas and New Year means a new timepiece is in order, then Georg Jensen’s Koppel watch should be on your list. Uncluttered design and sharp colours make this an investment that is sure to stave off the test of time.
L’Occitane Cedrat Shaving Duo – £41 – uk.loccitane.com
Don’t let the grooming routine slip before the holiday season starts; L’Occitane’s Cedrat shaving duo is here to keep things trim. This shaving gel and after-shave cream gel has a zingy citrus fragrance to revive and refresh every day.
Smythson 2018 Soho Diary – £155 – smythson.com
There can be few pleasures greater than making one’s first appointment in a fresh diary, not least when it’s a gilt-edged, leather-bound affair from Smythson. A spectrum of coloured leather covers and pale blue pages make this essential companion a true design statement.
Bremont ALT1-C Cream Watch – £4,595 – bremont.com
If you’re looking for a timepiece slightly further up the echelons, then this Bremont is something to behold. The ever-so-slightly retro cream deal and contrasting brown leather strap evokes the aeronautical inspiration behind the Bremond brand, and gives it a distinctly British feel.
Mont Blanc Meisterstück UNICEF Resin Classique Ballpoint Pen – £415 –montblanc.com
Of course, the right diary needs to be partnered with the right pen. The Mont Blanc Meisterstück UNICEF Resin Classique Ballpoint Pen is every inch as exquisite as you’d expect, but a small detail marks this one out as a unique piece. As the name suggests, this pen is produced in partnership with UNICEF with design inspiration taken from an ancient Egyptian artifact used to decipher hieroglyphs.
Leica Sofort Camera – £250 – uk.leica-camera.com
There is nothing sentimental about cloud storage, so don’t let those magical Christmas moments disappear by depending on never-seen-again smartphone photography this December. Leica’s Sofort Camera is a quirky, compact instant camera with all of the benefits of digital. Nominate yourself (or someone else) as the designated photographer and remember the best bits of Christmas this year.
All of the above items can be bought at The Royal Exchange. www.theroyalexchange.co.uk