Mayfair

Believed to be an ancient haunt of the Romans, London’s most exclusive district has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Mayfair began life in the modern era as nothing more than a scattering of fields and farm land until the annual St. James’s fair arrived to shake things up.

Otherwise known as the May Fair, this vibrant festival centred on and around what is now Shepherd’s Market, just north of Piccadilly. Performers and merchants came from across London to entertain revellers, which satiated the masses from 1686 up until 1764, when upper class residents successfully petitioned an end to frivolities as they claimed the fair lowered the tone of their increasingly affluent neighbourhood.

That neighbourhood was primarily founded through the marriage of 12 year old Mary Davies and Sir Thomas Grosvenor. Davies came from a family of shrivners who owned 500 acres of land west of the city, with 100 acres lying south of Oxford Street and east of Park Lane being particularly valuable to potential developers. Whilst building had already begun in the late 17th century, it was not until the couple’s son, Sir Richard Grosvenor, joined forces with surveyor Thomas Marlowe that today’s Mayfair truly began to take shape.

The first of the district’s three major squares arose in 1717, named Hanover Square after King George I, Elector of Hannover. A decade later, Mayfair was absorbed into the new parish of St. George Hanover Square, which stretched as far east as Old Bond Street and continued into Hyde Park to the west, with Oxford Street and Piccadilly providing the borders to the north and south. The Grosvenor family, later claiming the Dukes of Westminster titles, still owned a substantial part of the area, developing opulent residential quarters for the aristocracy surrounding Mayfair’s glorious centrepiece, Grosvenor Square.

Whilst the Grosvenors held the monopoly on the district’s northern estates, the equally prosperous Berkeley family were busy developing in the south, with the foundation of Berkeley Square and its surrounding grandiose residences. Throughout the 18th century, wealthy Londoners continued to flood to this new and attractive neighbourhood, owing to Mayfair’s greater expansion. The district remained a hotspot for the rich and famous up until the 1920s, as the financial crisis forced many inhabitants to move to the suburbs or relocate to America.

The Second World War witnessed a further shift in occupants, as many businesses headed to the area to escape the Blitz. The district retained its corporate edge until very recently, with the past two decades embracing something of a revival, replacing offices with luxurious family homes, top notch restaurants and deluxe boutiques, returning Mayfair to its former glamorous glory.


Categories Within Mayfair

Albemarle Street Berkeley Square Berkeley Street Burlington Arcade Carlos Place Conduit Street Curzon Street Dover Street Hanover Street New Bond Street New Burlington Place Old Bond Street Old Burlington Street Oxford Street Park Lane Piccadilly Piccadilly Circus Regent Street Royal Arcade Savile Row

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28°-50°

17-19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2QH

Eating in Style Restaurants Mayfair Maddox Street

34 Mayfair

34 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HD

Eating in Style Restaurants Mayfair Grosvenor Square

45 Park Lane

45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN

Sleeping in Style Hotels Mayfair Park Lane

Home to CUT (at 45 Park Lane)

Al Hamra Restaurant

31-33 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London, W1J 7PT

Eating in Style Restaurants Mayfair Shepherd Market

American Bar (at the Beaumont)

The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London, W1K 6TF

Nights out in Style Bars Mayfair

Part of The Beaumont

Aqua Nueva

5th floor, 240 Regent Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 3BR

Eating in Style Restaurants Mayfair Spanish Restaurants Regent Street

Armour Winston Limited

43 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London, W1J 0QQ

Shopping in Style Mayfair Burlington Arcade

Asprey (New Bond Street)

167 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4AY

Shopping in Style Mayfair New Bond Street

Assunta Madre

8-10 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1LJ

Eating in Style Restaurants Mayfair Italian Restaurants Blenheim Street

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Mayfair in the News

Mandarin Oriental unveils plans for second London hotel near Oxford Street

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europ...

Published: Tue 19th Dec 2017 09:40 PM

Residents and business asked to say ‘no’ to Oxford Street plans

https://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2017/12/18/residents-a...

Published: Mon 18th Dec 2017 10:30 AM

Grace Dent reviews Pufferfish at Mahiki Kensington: The bouji brigade are all heading there

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/restaurants/gra...

Published: Thu 23rd Nov 2017 09:04 AM

Chanel to expand in London with new Mayfair office

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/chanel-to-expand...

Published: Wed 18th Jan 2017 12:17 PM

A-List Celebs Party at Drama Park Lane

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/young-thug-dj-...

Published: Tue 12th Jul 2016 12:40 PM

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