Mayfair Area Guide
Home to some of the world’s most rich and famous, Mayfair is one of the wealthiest and most prestigious boroughs in the heart of London. Thanks to its high-end retailers, lavish clientele and opulent selection of bars and restaurants, there’s little wonder Mayfair is the most expensive property square on the Monopoly board.
Since it first became a residential and commercial hotspot in the 1600s, many famous faces have called Mayfair home, including Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. So, whether browsing Gucci and Louis Vuitton on Bond Street or sipping an expensive cocktail in The Luggage Room Bar on Grosvenor Square, keep your eyes peeled and you’re bound to spot a famous face.
With some of the capital’s most expensive shopping districts within its confines and boasting a handful of Michelin starred restaurants with celebrity chefs, Mayfair has earned a global reputation for luxury. So, take a peek around what’s on offer in the neighbourhood with our Mayfair guide…
Where is Mayfair in London?
With Marylebone to the North and Soho to the East, Mayfair is nestled snugly between the green expanses of Hyde Park and Green Park in central London.
Just a short walk from Buckingham Palace and Westminster, Mayfair’s prime location makes it the perfect base for sampling the very best of London life. From the Royal Academy located just down the road in Piccadilly, to the abounding selection of theatres in the neighbouring district of Soho, Mayfair has much to offer those with cash to splash and a taste for the finer things in life.
How to get around Mayfair
Situated in Zone 1, you can travel to and from Mayfair via two underground stations; Bond Street and Green Park, with Oxford Circus and Hyde Park underground stations also close by. These stations collectively cover the Central, Jubilee, Victoria and Piccadilly lines, so Mayfair is easily accessible and well connected to wider London should you want to get out and about via public transport. Multiple buses also run throughout the day and evening which makes getting around Mayfair super-simple.
Alternatively, the London boroughs of Soho, Westminster and Covent Garden are all within walking distance if you fancy some exercise.
History of Mayfair London
Despite the neighbouring London boroughs bustling away before, Mayfair didn’t secure its residential and commercial status until the 1680s. Its historical roots actually date back to 1686, when each May the borough would hold a fifteen-day fair which gave rise to the name ‘Mayfair’.
During the 1760s, the May Fair moved to Bow in East London, leaving the empty land free for development. In its place, elegant houses, businesses and shopping districts were set up within the borough, some of which are still there today.
These luxurious and affluent shopping districts – such as Bond Street and Savile Row – are what Mayfair is famous for, with people travelling from all over the world to browse the many high-fashion brick and mortar stores located within the borough.
Things to do in Mayfair
While Mayfair may be a little pricey for some, there’s plenty to do and explore within this prestigious neighbourhood.
For a spot of artistic culture, the spectacular Royal Academy of Arts has been delighting both tourists and residents for over 250 years. Nestled inside Burlington house in the heart of Mayfair’s Piccadilly, the gallery is most famous for its Summer Exhibition – an open-submission showcasing pioneering work from contemporary artists around the world.
Alongside the temporary exhibitions, The Royal Academy of Arts also boasts an impressive selection of permanent fixtures, with famous pieces from artists such as Dame Laura Knight and Tracey Emin, to name a few.
If music is your thing, the Handel House Museum commemorates the lives and works of two of the buildings most famous musical residents, Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel. The 18th-century composer, Handel, lived at 25 Brook Street for 36 years starting in the 1720s, while Jimi Hendrix – one of the world’s most famous rock guitarists – moved into the building in 1968. So you can easily spend an afternoon taking a peek around the composer’s rehearsal room or experiencing the flat where Hendrix wrote some of his best-known tracks.
With London’s bustling West End theatre district just a few minutes walk away, a trip to the theatre is the perfect way to relax and unwind following a busy day in Mayfair. Indulge in a tantalisingly tasty pre-theatre dinner at one of the local restaurants before settling down in front of a well-known show, such as The Lion King or Phantom of the Opera, at one of London’s many famous theatres.
Shopping in Mayfair
Heading to Mayfair shopping? If you have money to splurge, then Mayfair is one of the best places to splurge it.
Home to some of the world’s most prestigious retailers such as Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo, the affluent London borough also boasts an impressive number of Royal Warrant Holders – so it’s officially got the royal seal of approval.
Browse the latest fashion collections at Balmain and Balenciaga on Mount Street, then admire the sparkles at Tiffany & Co’s and Cartier on Bond Street. Whether you’re window shopping or treating yourself to a payday blowout, Mayfair is the ideal location for adding a touch of luxury to your day – even if you don’t end up buying anything.
Nestled amongst the high-end fashion retailers, you’ll find an array of sumptuous places to stop for food such as Fortnum & Mason, Paxton and Whitfield and the quirky restaurant favoured by the rich and famous, Sketch. Or why not break up an afternoon of shopping with a macaron and hot chocolate break at La Duree within Burlington Arcade? The perfect place to relax and recharge with a deliciously sweet treat.
Places to eat in Mayfair
If you’re looking for somewhere swanky to whet your appetite, in Mayfair you’ll be spoilt for choice. With everything ranging from Michelin starred restaurants to affordable takeaways that won’t break the bank, there’s something to suit every taste, palate and wallet.
Our favourites? For a posh, luxurious take on delicious Chinese food, China Tang is an expensive, but totally worth it, treat. With an art-deco feel from 1930s Shanghai and Peking duck ceremoniously carved at the table, this trendy restaurant on Park Lane is a celeb-spotting hotspot, so keep your eyes peeled as you tuck into the delicious 3-course dining menu.
If you’re on a budget, you might like to try Burger & Lobster on Clarges Street instead. For just £16, you can enjoy a delicious burger and fries, plus choose from an extensive menu of delicious cocktails to tastefully quench your thirst. Even better? You can let your food go down with a leisurely stroll around Green Park afterwards – it’s just a minutes walk away.
Alternatively, grab a coffee and sandwich-to-go from one of Mayfair’s many coffee shops – perfect for if you’re window shopping your way around the borough.
Mayfair bars and pubs
Whether celebrating a special occasion or looking for a swanky night out, Mayfair has a diverse range of bars and pubs that offer the perfect backdrop to an evening of fun with friends. Frequented by celebrity clientele, Mayfair’s bars are some of the most luxurious and impressive in London, so throw on your best jacket and enjoy a luxuriously extravagant tipple while brushing shoulders with the stars.
A firm favourite of those who live and work in Mayfair is Dirty Martini in Hanover Square. With a pleasantly affordable cocktail menu, this beloved happy hour location has dimmed lights, pop music playing well into the evening and an extensive cocktail list for those with a love of refreshingly tasty drinks, either shaken or stirred.
Alternatively, for warm summer evenings try Aviator at Hush. A swanky restaurant tucked away in a tranquil, hidden courtyard, this Instagram-ready location boasts an outdoor terrace where you can peacefully enjoy a carefully curated drink or two. With cocktails abounding and a delightful selection of tasty bites to eat, Hush is a sought-after spot with a buzzy atmosphere. They also regularly hosts events, so check your calendar and book yourself in for an evening of excitement at this award-winning cocktail lounge.
Hotels in Mayfair
With a great selection of luxury hotels, boutique hotels and budget hotels, finding somewhere to stay in Mayfair is simple, no matter what you’re looking to spend. Whether you’re looking for a classy place to kip following a night at the theatre or treating someone special to a night of drinks and dinner in a hotel bar, there’s plenty of options to choose from.
From the lavish and luxurious Brown’s Hotel and Claridges to the more budget-friendly Park Lane Mews Hotel, Mayfair’s diverse range of hotels has something to suit everyone. Each hotel has its own unique feel and interior decor so you’ll easily find something that suits your tastes for a relaxing evening in the capital.
What’s more, with the majority of Mayfair hotels offering highly-rated hotel bars and lounges, you don’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy a delicious tipple if you don’t want to.
Living in Mayfair
Well-known for it’s elegant, Georgian-terraced houses and with a huge selection of cuisine, shopping districts and culture, it’s no wonder that Mayfair is a hugely desirable borough to live in. However, with the cost of a one-bedroom apartment starting at around £1 million, it’s off limits to those without a hefty wallet.
That being said, if you do find yourself lucky enough to reside here, Mayfair has many great squares and parks within walking distance for you to enjoy. What’s more, with London’s famous West End theatre district on your doorstep, a night out at the theatre is always just around the corner.
Working in Mayfair
With its affluent clientele and firm reputation as a thriving business hotspot in the capital, it’s no surprise that office space in Mayfair is a highly sought after commodity.
Luckily, working in Mayfair is easier than you might think with WorkPad. Located in the heart of Mayfair, inside a pedestrianised precinct, is an exclusive and unique office location available to rent to anyone seeking a Mayfair business postcode.
Overlooking South Molton Street’s many unique boutiques, 54 South Molton Street offers five private office suites spread over three floors. Extensively refurbished and stylish, this modern office space provides the perfect base for your business in the heart of London.
Interested in helping your business thrive in Mayfair? Get in touch today to find out more about our highly sought-after Mayfair office location.