Mayfair is one of the UK’s most famous neighbourhoods and lies in the borough of the City of Westminster, London. To have an address in Mayfair is a sign of serious wealth, as this district is associated with luxury shopping and features the most significant retail activity in the entire UK.
This fantastic district includes well-known streets such as Savile Row, which is renowned for the high-quality tailors there, and Bond Street, where you’ll find lots of art auctioneers and many boutiques. Mayfair also features one of the very most luxurious shopping districts, the Burlington Arcade, which is just alongside Burlington House. This post takes a look at the history of the affluent part of London that is Mayfair and focuses, in particular, on the district’s history and also its cultural significance.
Delving into the history of London’s most famous district
Archaeologists have found that Mayfair was a junction of Roman roads. This has led to the suggestion that the Romans settled here before they established Londinium, which is now “London”. The closeness of Mayfair to St James’s Palace, which became the main London residence of Henry VIII following the destruction of Whitehall Palace in 1698 and, today, serves government officials, saw Mayfair become fashionable.
A large number of family estates have helped Mayfair to become associated with luxury and to be the Mayfair we know today. None more so though than the Grosvenor family, who became the Dukes of Westminster in 1874. When the family acquired the land, which they did when Thomas Grosvenor married Ebury heiress Mary Davies, they undertook a series of extensive developments in 1677. This included the development of Hanover Square, Grosvenor Square, Berkely Square and the St George’s Square Hanover Church. These developments led to Mayfair becoming considered one of the most elite, most expensive residential areas in the city. This is still the case today.
Mayfair is unlike many of the affluent areas of London. When the aristocratic class began to decline, Mayfair experienced no decline in its status as an affluent area, so strong was the culture of the neighbourhood. In fact, the neighbourhood reinforced its image further by converting a lot of the grander houses into luxury hotels and international embassies.
Abandonment of homes in Mayfair by the wealthy during the First and Second World Wars has also been behind the district’s high status. Westminster Council temporarily allowed the conversion of them into offices, many of which were used by spies. As ‘new money’ flooded southern Mayfair, the district recuperated from a brief lull in its status and once again became a prime residential area.
Understanding the cultural value of Mayfair
Mayfair has become so culturally significant that it’s now the top square on the board game ‘Monopoly’! Land on it and you’d better get ready to spend a whole lot of money in the game. If you don’t fancy playing Monopoly itself but like the general theme of Monopoly, you can play casino games which feature the Monopoly theme at Monopoly Casino. If you’re looking to buy a home here, you should have a budget of at least £1 million. A one-bedroomed home flat can cost between £950,000 and £1.5 million. Two-bedroomed ones can start at around £1.8 million and cost up to £3 million. Most homes cost £5 million or more.
It’s not hard for Mayfair to have become so synonymous with luxury in the capital since it’s bounded by Oxford Street, Regent Street, Park Lane and Piccadilly. This places it right at the centre of everything which gives off a strong luxury vibe in London.
The expensive boutiques of Mayfair steal a lot of the show. Many of them hold a royal warrant, which is a recognition by the Royal Family that they have supplied goods to the family. If you think Bond Street is highbrow, you’ll find it somewhat downmarket if you happen to venture onto Curzon Street and see the retailers there, the casino clubs and the hedge fund offices.
You’ll also see the very best of brands while you’re in Mayfair. Selfridges, Liberty London and Fortnum and Mason’s are all brands you can expect to see on Mayfair’s streets. The district is just as classy when it comes to hospitality as well. If you’re visiting the city and want five-star accommodation and treatment to match, Connaught’s Hotel, Claridge’s and the JW Marriott Grosvenor can all take care of your requirements.
Mayfair is not only the most famous district in London but also in the entire UK. Whether you’re visiting or living in this part of the city, be prepared to spend large amounts of money. At the same time, however, be ready as well to experience luxury at its finest.