In the thirteenth-century, the first international company in the world began trading just a stone’s throw from where Vintry & Mercer now stands. This history has been memorialised by the cobbled bazaars and colourful markets that continue to weave a mercantile spirit through the City today. One of the most famous is Leadenhall — a striking, Victorian covered market home to artisanal cafes and English food stores. There’s also the vintage fashion market of Petticoat Lane which twists through the narrow streets, not far from Old Spitalfields. Borough Market, across the Thames, has been selling food for a millennium, from mead in the Middle Ages to the English cheeses of today.
Alongside these classic London markets, the City has seen a retail revolution, turning sixteenth-century structures into first-class shopping destinations. Royal Exchange, one of Britain’s best-known malls, is now filled with bespoke jewellers and designer labels. Cheapside, which sold the garlic brought up from the port on the Thames, now bustles with big-name restaurants and high street boutiques. One New Change, built on the spot where bread and milk were traded in the thirteenth century, is one of the City’s newest and largest retail hotspots, offering three floors of shops and restaurants.
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