Mayfair, as many Londoners will be able to tell you, is one of the snazziest areas in London, and in fact, the world. Sitting inside the City of Westminster, Mayfair includes some of London’s most popular tourist hotspots including Piccadilly, Oxford Street, Regent’s Street and Park Lane and boasts world-class shops, restaurants, perfectly quaffed parks and equally quaffed people.
Its roots of vast wealth can be traced back to the 18th century, when most of the housing was built for the upper classes. Mayfair has not lost this affluent status to this day. But there are no gates keeping people out – it’s only a tube ride away. Intrigued to step into a world of wealth and affluence? Read our Mayfair highlights and explore one of the most iconic and aesthetically pleasing areas of London.
The C&TH Guide to Mayfair
Peter Harrington Rare Books, the UK’s largest rare bookseller, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Peruse around the shop which holds over 7,000 rare books spread over two floors.
From home accessories and elegant crystal additions to jewellery and clothing, William & Son is a refined department store sitting on Bruton Street. Head here for quality craftsmanship and to shop the needs of the UK’s Country & Town double-lifers.
The Royal Arcade runs between Old Bond Street and Albemarle Street, in the heart of Mayfair’s most extravagant shopping district. It’s London’s oldest shopping arcade, built in 1879, and makes for a wonderful little stroll with window shopping (and real shopping of course). Shops in the The Royal Arcade include Ormonde Jayne, Paul Smith, Erskine, Hall & Coe, Charbonnel et Walker and The Watch Club.
EAT & DRINK
Decadant, lively, and with a 1920s theme, Quaglino’s is the place to be for a night out in Mayfair. Dine whilst live music sweeps the room up in cheer and good vibes ensue. Order oysters and caviar, steaks and fresh fish.
You needn’t be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the foodie delights of Theo Randall’s restaurant here. Hailed as one of the best Italian restaurants in London, the menu changes each day, uses locally-sourced fresh ingredients, and is deeply inspired by the chef’s regular trips to Italy. Plus, they’ve got an impressive vegan offering as well as a tasting and ‘prosecco picnic’ menu.
Does what it says on the tin – Sexy Fish is a buzzing and romantic restaurant boasting delectably fresh Asian food and the world’s biggest Japanese whiskey collection. Perched on the edge of Berkeley Square, Sexy Fish is open late and is all about glamour and opulence, with walls adorned with art by Damien Hirst, Frank Gehry and Michael Roberts.
After all that eating, drinking and shopping, one must make time for relaxing when in Mayfair, and what better place to do it than The Dorchester, one of Mayfair’s most iconic luxury 5 star institutions? Find treatment recommendations here.
An art institution, The Royal Academy of Arts is the best place in Mayfair to see world-class exhibitions by talented artists. Many are free, so pop in for your culture fix after a day of relaxing and dining in Mayfair. On now: Félix Vallotton, ‘Painter of Disquiet’ and Tracy Emin’s ‘I Want My Time With You’.
Music fans should visit this museum in Mayfair celebrating two of the most influential musicians, Jimi Hendrix and Handel. Walk through Italian opera legend Handel’s house exploring his art collection and walking where he would’ve walked. Then, explore Jimi Hendrix’s flat where he lived from 1968 – 1969. The flat is an inspiring look at the late great artist’s creative tastes.