10 Things to Experience in London’s MayfairMarch 18, 2019
Mayfair is the most exclusive area in London. In this neighborhood we find London at its best — exquisite architecture, upscale restaurants, fine-tailored suits, and expensive cars. It is the place where people with money want to live. That is the address you want to have: SW1.
Very few can actually afford to live in Mayfair, but here is the good news — WE CAN ALL VISIT MAYFAIR and there is so much to see and do! Here are TEN ideas to get you started with your plans:
- Activities and Parks
- Art Galleries
- Blue Plaques
- Five Star Hotels
- People Watching
- Streets and Mews Houses
Mayfair is in the heart of London. Hyde Park and Marble Arch are to the west; St James’s, Green Park, Wellington Arch, and Buckingham Palace to the south; Piccadilly Circus, Carnaby, Soho, and Covent Garden are to the east — you can easily access the best of the best. However, you could see and do everything you need, and would never need to leave Mayfair.
The English love to spend time outdoors, and as their guest in the Royal City, you can use all the facilities that they do. In Hyde Park, you can ride horses, go for a run, rent a bike, ice skate in the winter, or sunbathe in the summer — you can even rent a deck chair! There are also areas for tennis, lawn bowling, boating, swimming, football pitches, playgrounds for children and seniors, and a 9-hole putting green. Other parks and gardens in the Mayfair area are: Berkeley Square, Brown Hart Gardens, Grosvenor Square, Green Park, and Mount Street Gardens. Each has a unique charm and each is filled with history.
Visit 23 and 25 Brooks Street which houses the Handel and Hendrix Museum. Learn more about Jimi Hendrix and George Frideric Handel. Though they were born 200 years apart, these two musicians each resided on this street during their time in London. It is fun to imagine if they had lived at the same time, what kind of musical collaborations there could have been!
The Royal Institution has a mission to raise awareness of the importance of SCIENCE. They have speakers, exhibits, and programs that explore the newest thoughts and discoveries. The RI is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Watch an art film at one of the most attractive cinemas, the Curzon Mayfair. Built in 1934, it has one of the largest screens in London and also has a bar.
Royal Academy of Arts is a fine arts school that accepts up to 17 students each year for their three year program. Their galleries are free and are open daily from 10am to 6pm. Some exhibitions may have a fee. Open tours of the Academy, the adjoining gardens, and Burlington House are also available.
There are many fine art galleries in Mayfair, and you will notice them as you stroll through the neighborhood. Watch for Hauser and Wirth, Michael Werner, Sadie Coles, Stephen Friedman, and Gagosian. If you enjoy modern and contemporary art, be sure to visit the Waddington Custot Gallery.
When Thomas Moore III, founder of London Connection has acquired a new piece of art and wants to know its value, he takes the short walk to nearby Philip Mould Gallery for their expertise. You can also view fine art in their three-story gallery.
As you walk through Mayfair and other areas in London, watch for Blue Plaques on the outside of the building. Some you will notice in this neighborhood are:
- John Lennon: Beatles co-founder, singer, songwriter, activist
- Florence Nightingale: English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing
- George Frideric Handel: Baroque Composer of “Messiah” and many other operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos
- Jimi Hendrix: “the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Strolling down the sidewalk, you will view some of the most expensive cars on the planet! See a beautiful blue Rolls Royce parked on the street; watch a Bugatti, Ferrari, and a Maserati drive down South Audley Street on Saturday evening. You will find showrooms for Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, MINI, Cadillac, and JD Classics Cars. You might have fun going for a test drive, but remember to stay on the correct side of the street!
It can be a sacred experience to step inside a sanctuary and see the stained glass and feel the history of all that have worshipped there. You will find that Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. Georges, Christ Church, Jesuit Centre, Grosvenor Chapel, Third Church of Christ Scientist, Frisch Church, The Salvation Army, Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile/Ukrainian Church — all in Mayfair.
Walk past the 18 Embassies: Japan, Mexico, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Panama, Argentina, Bahamas, Qatar, Monaco, Malta, Nehru, Cayman Islands, Egypt, Thailand, and Costa Rica. That tells you something about the area, that so many countries have chosen to be represented there!
Five Star Hotels
A favorite activity in any city is to walk through hotel lobbies; London’s Mayfair is a jackpot for this hobby. Five Star Hotels include: The Ritz, The Dorchester, Hilton on Park Lane, JW Marriott Grosvenor, The Connaught, Claridge’s, The May Fair, Marriott at Grosvenor Square, Four Seasons, and The Westbury. Rooms can average $700 to $1000 per night, and it is an experience to look at the fresh flowers, the art work, the fine furniture, and the people. Take time to glance at the in-house restaurant menu: it could be the perfect meal for a special occasion.
Wandering around London allows you to PEOPLE WATCH. Sometimes you can just sit at a cafe and “check out the scene.” But the best fun is watching people you meet while wandering. Thomas Moore III shared this favorite photograph he took of a young couple while strolling down the streets of London.
Mayfair is the Beverly Hills of London, and your eyes will dazzle just looking in the shop windows. The most famous fashion designers and high end clothiers are in this neighborhood. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it is an experience to walk through these beautiful spaces and select what you would purchase if you had room in your luggage and in your budget.
Walk down New Bond Street and find Flagship Stores for: Smythson (high end stationery), Jimmy Choo (fabulous shoes), Hugo Boss (German brand clothing and accessories), Delvaux (Belgian luxury leather good), Bally, Ralph Lauren, and Louis Vuitton (luxury fashion and accessories). Oxford Street has Swarovski, Sara, and Marks & Spencer. On Mount Street you can shop at Oscar de la Renta, Nicholas Kirkwood, LOEWE, Roksanda, Jenny Packham, and Goyard.
Shepherd Market is also an area that is fun to visit. Filled with unique shops, pubs, and cafes — you will notice this is where the locals hang out. You will want to try the Sunday roast beef dinner at No. 7 Market Tavern, with the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. If you are in the mood for Italian food, Da Corradi is some of the finest pasta and pizza you will find.
Streets and Mews Houses
Watch for little side streets that you can wander down and look and the architecture and imagine the history. Some of the streets have names like Brooks Mews or Reeves Mews. Often, these little lanes are surrounded or filled with cafes, shops, and restaurants.
Mews houses originally had the horses and carriages below, and their drivers living above. Now these charming buildings have become very expensive flats. London Connection watches for opportunities to snatch those that become available, so their guests can enjoy one of these properties in exclusive Mayfair. Look at the one bedroom penthouse of Reeves Mews as an example by clicking here: 1-66 Reeves Mews
You will LOVE your time in London’s Mayfair — the shops, the restaurants, the people, the sights, your walks, the green spaces, the activities, and the flowers. If you need help before you visit or want to share your memories and suggestions, find London Connection on Facebook and share you experience, or send an email to Sheila@LDNCXN.com. ENJOY!