London is a large and vibrant city with many boroughs and distinct areas. Each is interesting in its own right, and there are many things to see and do all over the city. And while some parts of the city are more affordable and perfect for those travelling on a budget, some other spots are renowned for being quite expensive. Mayfair is arguably the most popular, not just in the UK but in the whole world. Located at the heart of Central London, it is a hub for those looking to dine in incredible restaurants, shop in designer boutiques and have a look at exquisite architecture.
Regarding living conditions, it is unrivalled not just in London but the entire UK. Since the 18th century, Mayfair has been known as an area which housed the upper classes, and unlike several other nearby areas, it retained that status. Towards the 20th century, the aristocracy entered a period of marked decline, leading to Mayfair becoming more commercial. Embassies and corporate headquarters became commonplace as well.
So, what spots should be on your itinerary if you travel to London and plan to visit Mayfair?
Hyde Park, established in 1536 during the infamous reign of Tudor monarch Henry VIII, is one of the most emblematic sights in London. It is also located quite close to Mayfair, bordering it to the west. If you feel like enjoying a nature retreat, it is the perfect spot. Hyde Park is also a popular venue for concerts, with artists and bands from all over the world coming to perform.
The Grosvenor Square, the centrepiece of the Mayfair property of the Duke of Westminster, is a garden square that houses several notable buildings featuring the Georgian architectural style. The Embassy of Italy, Macdonald House, the 5-start Biltmore Mayfair Hotel and the former residence of Raine, Countess Spencer, are all located here. The previous United States Navy building at No. 20 has been converted into upscale real estate property.
Brown Hart Gardens, situated at the top of an electricity substation, is the perfect place to relax and unwind for a while and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of London.
It’s impossible to visit Mayfair without going shopping. Flagship shops or world-renown and luxurious department stores are staples here, so it’s natural that most visitors will be interested to have a look. Whether you’re looking for classic items that’ll be fashionable forever, trendy clothes or quirky finds, there’s something for you in Mayfair.
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For this reason, many shoppers still prefer brick-and-mortar stores as a safer alternative. Zadig & Voltaire combines luxury with comfort, featuring streetwear-inspired designs made from luxurious, natural materials like silk and cashmere. Savile has been synonymous with bespoke tailoring since the mid-1800s when Henry Poole opened his shop at No. 32. Henry Poole & Co is still located in Mayfair, where it has been for 217 years. The company created the modern dinner jacket based on the specifications of Edward VII in the 1880s, and there were many customers throughout the years that belonged to the aristocracy and royalty.
There are several other luxury flagship locations in Mayfair. Louis Vuitton, one of the most iconic high fashion brands in the world, known for blending innovation with timeless elegance, offers a wide array of excellent quality ready-to-wear clothing, as well as accessories such as watches, scents, jewellery and the famous trademark monogrammed luggage and purses. The Versace store, situated at the corner of New Bond Street, occupies an area of roughly 300 square metres. You can also shop for home décor and other lifestyle goods besides garments and accessories.
Gucci, known among fashion aficionados for its attention to detail and eclectic designs, offers unparalleled craftsmanship, even in street-style clothing and activewear. Cartier’s distinct style is the best option for fine jewellery, eyewear and perfumes, while Prada is the ideal option for those looking to blend modernity with timelessness in their clothing.
If you’re looking to shop British, Burberry is the most classic option. Famous for footwear, leather goods and trench coats, you’ll easily recognise the brand because of its emblematic Burberry check. In 2017, Aspinal of London opened its second-largest flagship store in Regent Street, St James’s.
As an affluent place that was for a long time the residence of some of the wealthiest people in the United Kingdom, it goes without saying that Mayfair has several cultural landmarks to offer. The Royal Academy of Art is one of the world’s most important places when it comes to viewing exhibitions and promoting a deeper understanding of the visual arts through educational programs and debates. There are also numerous galleries in Mayfair, with works from artists from all time periods on display. Timothy Taylor, Waddington Custot, the Mayor Gallery and Halcyon Gallery are just a few locations.
Apsley House features over 3,000 artworks and is a trendy tourist spot due to its unique look. There are also several blue plaques in Mayfair, such as those of Jimi Hendrix on Brook Street and Harry Gordon Selfridge at Fitzmaurice Place. Their purpose is to offer information regarding the eminent personalities in the area.
Handel & Hendrix is a must-see for music lovers, as a museum dedicated to both baroque composer George Frideric Handel and guitarist and singer Jimi Hendrix. Both lived at no. 25 and 23 Brook Street. The Anglican Grosvenor Chapel is home to weekly choir concerts, while the Faraday Museum provides unique insights into the work environment of nearly 20 Nobel Prize laureates and houses over two centuries’ worth of science history and discoveries.
When visiting London, Mayfair is one of the places that you must see. As a centre of culture, arts and aesthetics, you’ll find it to be a unique experience.