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July 2019 / Area Guides / by Sophie Hampton

Mayfair

Exquisite dining, glamorous hotels and high-end fashion define our area this month, plus stunning architecture dating back to the 17th century. It’s no wonder that Mayfair has claimed the esteemed top spot on the Monopoly board, making it not only a household name nationally, but also globally.

Words by Miranda Bird | Photography by Georgia Watson

Meet the neighbours

Sarah Ho – Jeweller

21 Woodstock Street, W1C (shojewellery.com)

I’ve just opened my first showroom in Mayfair and I’m still exploring everything the area has to offer. As a treat, I’ll start my morning with a chai latte from Feya, on James Street, on my way to the showroom. I spend the day designing
and meeting my clients; it is an appointment-only showroom, which makes it easy to plan my day. I tend to design at home, in my studio on the top floor – a quiet and calm space where I can gather my thoughts and focus.

I normally have lunch with my husband: one of my favourite spots is Deliciously Ella, which is just around the corner from the showroom. The day can get very busy, so from time to time I like to take ten minutes out to meditate – walking around Mount Street Gardens when the weather is good is the perfect way to find a bit of headspace.

When it comes to dinner, I’m so excited that IT has opened in London, I went to their opening night and it was fabulous – I’ve frequented the Ibiza location many times over the years and love it. I am discovering more things about my new area every day and look forward to finding more hidden gems this year!

Street-hearts

Berkeley Square

Tranquil and green, yet set in the bustling heart of Mayfair, Berkeley Square boasts magnificent buildings, and the garden itself is Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks & Gardens.

Bond Street

One of the most famous addresses in London, Bond Street links Oxford Street in the north with Piccadilly in the south. It has played host to some of London’s most prestigious and expensive shopping since the 18th century.

Savile Row

Known for its traditional bespoke tailoring, it is no surprise that Savile Row exhibits an undeniable sense of class and sophistication.

Market comments

1. Simon Burgoyne – Knight Frank

“The last decade has seen Mayfair become one of London’s most fashionable districts. With some of the finest restaurants and boutiques in Europe, it is nearly impossible to pick a favourite. Mount Street Gardens provides a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle.”

2. Mathew Walters – Dexters

“With the average price per sq ft in prime Mayfair eclipsing Manhattan, demand continues to outpace supply from ultra- high net worth individuals with a desire to reside in this glamorous location. Exclusivity is ensured by there being less than 5,000 residential addresses here.

Local heroes

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, W1B

From the buzzy open spaces to the elegant private dining rooms – and not forgetting the heated terrace that’s perfect for chilly evenings – Bentley’s has so much to offer.

A pescatarian’s paradise, you’ll find some of the best seafood in the Capital here, alongside a variety of meat and seasonal game favourites. But for Hamptons International’s Gaby Tang, this Mayfair eatery is not just about the fine fare: “It’s a personal favourite. The fish platters and oysters are off the scale! Even better, Bentley’s is one of the few restaurants in the area that are dog friendly, so you’ll never have to dine alone.”

11-15 Swallow Street, W1B (020 7734 4756; bentleys.org)

Mercato Mayfair, W1K

Set within the beautiful St. Mark’s, a deconsecrated Grade I listed church, this is a cultural hub and sustainable community market just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Oxford Street. Pick up a delicious stone-baked pizza along with an undiscovered craft beer whilst taking in a free performance of contemporary jazz, or opera.
It’s a family-focused space, too, so don’t forget the little ones. Danish Arif from Chestertons says: “it’s an amazing food hall. It’s Italian based, offering a range of food counters, delis and cocktail bars. It’s a great space. Really cool.”

St. Mark’s, North Audley Street, W1K (mercatometropolitano.com)

Say what?

The Egyptian effigy of the lion-goddess Sekhmet displayed over Sotheby’s door dates to around 1320 BC, making it the oldest private sculpture on display outdoors in London. It was part of a collection of artefacts auctioned in the late 1800s. The lot was sold for £40, but the buyer never collected the statue, and it has since remained in the care of the auction house.

Education

Children (and their parents) are spoilt for choice, with some excellent schools in and around Mayfair. Here’s our shortlist:

1. Eaton Square Mayfair
Independent co-ed day school for pupils aged 11 to 16 (020 7491 7393; eatonsquareschool.com/mayfair)

2. Eaton Square Sixth Form College Independent sixth form for pupils aged 16 to 18 (020 7491 7393; eatonsquareschool.com/sixth-form-college)

3. Albemarle Independent College Independent co-ed day school for pupils aged 15 to 19 (020 7409 7273; albemarle.org.uk)

4. St George’s Hanover Square CE Primary School State co-ed day school for pupils aged 4 to 11 (020 7629 1196; sghsprimary.co.uk)

5. Simply Learning Tuition – Private tuition agency for pupils aged 4 to 18 (020 7350 1981; simplylearningtuition.co.uk)

6. The British School of Etiquette – Short courses to instil confidence, respect and independence (020 7692 4032; thebritishschoolofetiquette.com)

Travel

You’re spoilt for choice. Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly and Green Park underground stations to the south, Marble Arch, Bond Street and Oxford Street to the north. Plus some of London’s best bus routes.

Trivia

Mayfair takes its name from the once fortnight-long May Fair, which took place here between 1684 and 1764.