In many ways – world-class restaurants, international class galleries, luxury goods temples sorts of ways – Mayfair is London’s jewel in the crown. Indeed, for many of London’s wealthiest visitors, super-funded new residents and a fair few locals, Mayfair is London. All they could possibly need is here.
Bond Street is here, London’s glittering run of grand designer emporia. But there’s more going on than that. Mount Street and Dover Street have a slightly edgier, or at least more eclectic retail range. Savile Row, a strip of bespoke tailors that includes the venerable Gieves & Hawkes and Huntsman and upstarts such as Richard James.
Many of the art world’s super-dealers – Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Sprüth Magers and Haunch of Venison – have galleries here while Cork Street is the traditional home of the smaller gallery (though these too seem to be under threat from villainous moustache twiddling developers). Hedge fund dealers meanwhile cluster around Berkeley Square and test-drive Bentleys from Jack Barclay in their lunch hours.
The odd thing is that Mayfair is also sort of cool again. It’s shaken off its Seventies playboy associations, its reputation as a naff playground for Joan Collins sorts and Omar Shariff look-alikes, and found its mojo. Londoners love it again for what it is – ground zero for a particular type of London glamour.
Our hosts recommend
Best known for
The posher sort of gambling den
Crockford’s, The Clermont Club, and the relaunched Playboy Club are all in the area.
The huge US Embassy on Grosvenor Square, gilded bald eagle and all
In 2017 the Embassy is set to relocate to new quarters, surrounded by a moat, in Battersea. The existing embassy, designed by Finish architect Eero Saarinen and completed in 1960, is grade II listed.