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Mayfair Guide

Mayfair History

Mayfair was named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair which took place on the site that is now Shepherds Bush Market from 1686 until it was banned from this location in 1764. The fair was then moved to Fair Field in Bow because the residents in Mayfair thought the fair lowered the tone of the neighbourhood! Before the Second World War Mayfair was London's premier residental address. During the War however, heavy bombing in the City forced a large number of businesses to relocate to Mayfair. and in the mid 1990's these bulldings began reverting back to residental houses and turning Mayfair once again into one of the most exclusive areas of London.

Mayfair Today

Mayfair was named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair which took place on the site that is now Shepherd Market from 1686 until it was banned from this location in 1764. The fair then moved to Fair Field in Bow because the well-to-do residents of Mayfair felt that the fair lowered the tone of the neighbourhood! - See more at: http://www.manors.co.uk/about-us/area-guide/mayfair?start=1/a-potted-history-of-Mayfair#sthash.bV2yTwNq.dpuf

Mayfair in the heart of Westminster, is one of the city's finest residential areas and one of London's most attractive...and expensive...villages.  

Class, sophistication and finery are all synonymous with Mayfair, which is bordered by Hyde Park to the west, Oxford Street to the north, Piccadilly to the south and Regent Street to the east. Rents are among the highest in London even though the district has many offices in converted houses and new buildings, including major corporate headquarters, a concentration of hedge funds, real estate businesses and many different embassy offices, including the United States embassy, which takes up the entire west side of Grosvenor Square.

There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some of the world's most exclusive shopping and London's largest concentration of luxury hotels and a plethora of excellent restaurants and clubs. Buildings in Mayfair include the Royal Academy of Arts, The Handel House Museum, the Grosvenor House Hotel, Claridge's and The Dorchester. Just alongside another lovely building, Burlington House, is one of London's most luxurious shopping areas, the Burlington Arcade, which has housed shops under its glass-roofed promenade since 1819. Selfridge's iconic department store is perhaps best accessed from the luxury studio and one bedroom serviced apartments available at Flemings Mayfair Apartments- just remember to bring that credit card.

The renown and prestige of Mayfair has very possibly been enhanced in the popular perception by its designation as the most expensive property on the British Monopoly set!  Experience high end living for yourself at the prestigious Ascott Mayfair which offers luxury studio, one, two and even three bedroom serviced apartments for short stays from one night.

Mayfair Leisure

Mount Street in London’s Mayfair has become one of London’s most fashionable destinations. An inspiring mix of niche, luxury fashion and beauty brands, art and antiques dealers and exclusive restaurants, it is not to be missed when visiting London. Have a look at the exclusive designer stores, Bentleys lined up in the streets, Victoria's Secret uber-store, or why not have a stroll out in St James or Hyde Park? 

Mayfair Top 5 Restaurants

Fera at Claridge's
Inspired by the constant changing of the seasons, Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge's is a creative and natural take on modern British cuisine. Renowned chef Simon Rogan's ever-changing à la carte and tasting menus capture the true essence of nature through its textures, tastes and sense of perpetual evolution. 

Nobu
Nobu Berkeley ST houses a glamorous restaurant and stylish lounge bar. Nobu Matsuhisa and executive chef Mark Edwards have created a menu which includes Nobu's classic dishes as well as many new items, some of which are cooked in a Japanese wood-burning oven. Perfect for a celebration, there is also a Hibachi table which seats 8 to 12 and incorporates three grills upon which the table’s specially trained staff orchestrate your Hibachi experience, a spectacle that is both entertaining and delicious.

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught
An unforgettable experience awaits you at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, as you're reacquainted with the joys and pleasures of eating well. Already proud of two Michelin stars, Hélène Darroze was recently named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef 2015. Hélène's culinary philosophy is inspired by the famously generous hospitality of her native South West France, and her cooking is steeped in the belief that exceptional food is a route to happiness.
Her network of exclusive suppliers delivers exquisite ingredients from field, farmyard and ocean, and Hélène combines them with uncompromising passion and skill. This is true cuisine d'auteur; individual and original, the product of the singular creative vision of a supremely talented chef.

Benares
A staple within the London fine dining scene, Benares, a Michelin starred restaurant led by Chef Patron, Atul Kochhar, specialises in modern Indian cuisine with a distinct British twist. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the sophisticated ambiance and detailed service compliment the flavour infused dishes, inspired by Atul’s extensive travels within India and enhanced by locally sourced ingredients. 

Galvin at Windows
Located high up on the 28th floor of the London Hilton at 22 Park Lane, Galvin at Windows restaurant and bar has become one of the capital’s most talked-about destination dining venues since its opening in 2006. Head Chef Joo Won and Chef Patron Chris Galvin have created seasonally inspired menus based around modern French haute cuisine that have now earned the restaurant its first Michelin Star. Renowned for its peerless views over the capital, including iconic sites like Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, Galvin at Windows is a restaurant where honest food and genuine hospitality are already a tradition after just a few short years. Because of the elegance of the room and the jaw-dropping 360-degree views, Galvin at Windows is a destination restaurant with fine service and all the trimmings.  

Transport

  • By plane

    The nearest airport is Heathrow Airport from which there are good transport links into the city by tube. The Heathrow Express is quick and frequent and a great option if you're happy to pay a little more to get into town. Other important London Airports such as Gatwick and Stansted are also just an Express train ride away.
  • By train

    The nearest stations are Charing Cross and Victoria stations from where you can get to southern parts of the UK such as Brighton and Kent.
  • By car

    Parking might be tricky in a busy area such as Mayfair. There is an NCP at Grosvenor Hill, but also check Parkopedia for options on where to park your vehicle.
  • By bike

    Londons cycling netwrok has greatly developed in the last couple of years after the entry of the Boris Bikes. Have a look at TFL to find out where your nearest docking station is in Mayfair as well as how may bikes are left up for grabs!
  • By bus

    Not many bus routes go in to the heart of Mayfair but rather they pass by the outskirts of the area so as not to disturb the residents! Take a look at TFL to get the lowdown on where you'll need to get on to get where you need to go!

What to do in Mayfair

Listed below are some of the great places to visit in Mayfair. Click one to find out more.

Grosvenor Square and the American Embassy

Leafy Grosvenor Square is at the heart of Mayfair and is home to the American Embassy in London.  The Embassy moved to the square in 1938 but the present Embassy, occupying the whole west side of the square, was designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1960.  The American link is continued with statues or memorials to three of America's presidents to be found in Grosvenor Square.  The Eisenhower Statue, dedicated January 23, 1989, stands just across the road from the buildings that General Eisenhower occupied as Commander in Chief of the Allied Force during the second world war.  The Roosevelt Memorial was unveiled on April 12, 1948, by Eleanor Roosevelt and dedicated by U.S. Ambassador Lewis W. Douglas in front of an audience including the Royal Family, the Prime Minister Clement Attlee and the Leader of the Opposition Sir Winston Churchill.  The most recent addition was on July 4th, 2011, when a ten foot tall bronze statue of President Ronald Reagan was erected at the south-west corner of Grosvenor Square, outside the U.S. Embassy.

The September 11 Memorial Garden: Within the square is a permanent memorial garden to those who lost their lives in the United States on September 11, 2001. It was built by the British government in Grosvenor Square Garden and was opened on September 11, 2003. The garden is planted with white roses which have a special significance for the U.K. families of those who died on September 11. The white Bianca Rose formed part of HM The Queen's bouquet at the Westminster Abbey service, and each of the families laid one white rose outside the Abbey, in an Act of Remembrance for their loved ones.

For more information visit: http://london.usembassy.gov/rcgrsvnr.html

Burlington Arcade shopping in Mayfair

Mayfair is known as a luxury shopping desitination with designer shops, luxury car show rooms, art galleries and jewellers all in abundance, but to get a taste of real old fashioned elegance you should go to Burlington Arcade.

Burlington Arcade is a truly timeless destination in the heart of Mayfair, an iconic runway uniting Piccadilly and Bond Street.  The longest and most beautiful covered shopping street in Britain, the Burlington Arcade has been heralded as an historic and architectural masterpiece and a true luxury landmark in London ever since it was first unveiled to great acclaim in 1819. As Britain's first shopping arcade, it has led the way in retail trends and remains a pioneer to this day. 

Lord George Cavendish, who lived in Burlington House (now the Royal Academy) commissioned his architect, Samuel Ware, to design a covered promenade of shops - unofficially to stop ruffians from throwing quantities of rubbish, in particular oyster shells, onto his property - and the result was the very first shopping Arcade, nearly 200 yards in length, which was opened on the 20th March 1819.

You'll find this little gem right next to the Royal Academy and only a short walk away from both Green Park and Piccadilly Circus underground stations.

For more information visit: www.burlington-arcade.co.uk

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