Sloann – Luxury Living


A Brief History of Mayfair, Belgravia & Knightsbridge

Mayfair – A district of Exclusive Luxury

Mayfair is an elite residential and commercial area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent StreetPiccadilly  and  Park Lane. Mayfair has long been synonymous with exclusivity. With architecture that reflects the Georgian style and streets that exude culture and refinement, Mayfair is the heart of traditional London with a regal air.

It is one of the most expensive and exclusive districts in the world. An address in Mayfair sets you apart.


A Brief History of Mayfair

The district was the playground of wealthy aristocrats in the 17th century, going on to become the home of luxury hotels and foreign embassies. Mayfair retains a substantial quantity of high-end residential property, upmarket shops and restaurants, and luxury hotels along Piccadilly and Park Lane.

Mayfair London was originally a rural village and was part of Eia, a medieval manor, until the 18th century. It became well known for the annual “May Fair”. In 1686 a two-week May fair transferred from Haymarket to Great Brook Field, where Curzon Street and Shepherd Market now stand.

The area started developing its fashionable residential district by a number of landlords, mainly the Grosvenor family.  The Grosvenor family (who became Dukes of Westminster) acquired the land through marriage and began to develop it under the direction of Thomas Barlow.

The work included the handsome Hanover SquareBerkeley Square and Grosvenor Square, which were surrounded by high-quality house, and St George’s Hanover Square Church while Bond Street had filled with fashionable shops.

At the end of the same century most of Mayfair’s prestigious houses were built to suit the upper rich class and it kept carrying on to the years that followed. The area is also historically linked to aristocracy and royalty with the Crown still owning a portion of the land.

Three great squares, Hanover Square, Grosvenor Square and Berkeley Square form the heart of Mayfair. Hanover Square, named after King George I, the Elector of Hanover, was the first of three great squares to be constructed soon after his ascension to the throne in 1714. A large statue of William Pitt the Younger, who became the youngest prime minister of Great Britain in 1783 at the age of 24 and the first prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland as of January 1801, is sited at the southern end of the square. His father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who had previously served as prime minister, is referred to as “William Pitt the Elder”.

The Hanover Square Rooms became a popular place for classical music concerts, including Johann Sebastian BachJoseph HaydnNiccolò Paganini and Franz Liszt.

By the end of the 18th century, most of Mayfair’s prestigious houses were built to suit the upper rich class and never lost its affluent status since. The decline of the British aristocracy in the early 20th century led to the area becoming more commercial, with many houses converted into offices for corporate headquarters and various embassies.

Mayfair has had a long association with the United States. Pocahontas is believed to have visited in the early 17th century. In 1786, John Adams established the US Embassy on Grosvenor Square. 

Theodore Roosevelt was married in Hanover Square and Franklin D. Roosevelt honeymooned in Berkeley Square. A small memorial park in Mount Street Gardens has benches engraved with the names of former American residents and visitors to Mayfair.

Things To Do in Mayfair

Mayfair is known to be the hub of art galleries and exhibitions and is home to the Royal Academy of Arts. Sophia Contemporary Gallery is a new addition to Mayfair’s art scene and showcases contemporary Middle Eastern and Iranian art alongside other western art.

Bond Street, near Mayfair, is ideal for fashionistas, who will be spoilt for choice with the number of designer shops, branded stores and stylish boutiques. Savile Row is the world’s most famous street for tailoring, and is known for its high-quality bespoke suits.

Mayfair is not only for those who can afford to live there. Mayfair’s pretty green spaces, such as Berkeley Square and Grosvenor Square, are filled with dog walkers, office and manual workers. The world-class Royal Academy of Arts, a huge artist-run gallery, is free to visit. Walking through Mayfair, taking in the Regency-era columns and Georgian red-brick buildings along Mayfair’s wide, pristine streets, is an oasis away from the busyness in the very heart of London.

Core Plus – This strategy uses the same properties as the core strategy, but with increased opportunities for improvements through renovations and expanding the number of tenants for example. It is a moderate-risk strategy.

Boutique Shops, Exclusive Clubs and Shopping Arcades of Mayfair

Mayfair is renowned for its exclusive boutiques, many of which hold a royal warrant. Several long-standing private members’ clubs operate in Mayfair, most of which opened in the late 19th century, including creatives’ favourite The Arts Club and the uber-elite Annabel’s.

Everything, from food and drink to fashion, is lavish and high-end. Shopping in Mayfair is as posh as it gets, with New Bond Street’s high-fashion, designer stores; the Victorian-era Royal and Burlington shopping arcades; art dealers around Cork Street; luxury perfumers and designer jewellery shops.


Tiffany’s of Mayfair

Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Old Bond Street. Since 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been the world’s premier jeweller with brilliant-cut, princess-cut and Tiffany True-cut diamonds set in gold, rose gold and platinum, plus matching wedding band sets. Alongside jewellery, you’ll find watches, homewares, perfume, gifts and accessories.

Shepherd Market of Mayfair

Shepherd Market is a world within Mayfair, and feels like a self-contained village full of pubs, galleries, and coffee shops. The northern part of Mayfair is primarily taken up by offices and private colleges and clinics. Embassies and plush hotels are dotted all around.

Mayfair Restaurants & Coffee Shops

The district’s restaurant scene is rich in both senses of the word, serving international cuisines in high-end restaurants, bars and pubs that have seen celebrity faces several times. Enjoy the famous imported coffees at Wilton Way Café while listening to London Fields, a radio station that is located on the premises itself. or seek out the international menu, daily salads and freshly baked cakes of The Mount Street Deli.

Mayfair’s gourmet restaurants are on a whole different level, including haute modern French cuisine from Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, perfectly prepared steak and afternoon tea at The Ritz Mayfair.

Mayfair is home to more Michelin-star restaurants than any other London district. For contemporary Asian fare, you might want to check out the contemporary Cantonese cuisine Hakkasan Mayfair, Indian fine dining at Gymkhana, Michelin-starred the Araki Japanese restaurant or Nobu, Cube and Ginza Onodera, which serve up a range of beautiful dishes with a perfect harmony of savoury and spicy flavours.

Perhaps the most famous pub in Mayfair is the 18th-century watering hole The Punchbowl.

Mayfair is the home of the whimsical travel-themed bar at Mr Fogg’s Residence to whisks you away on Phileas Fogg’s travels around the world.

Nightclubs here are high-end celebrity hang-outs – Mahiki is one of the most notorious, and is known for its extravagant cocktails and a celebrity clientele that’s included Prince Harry and Beyoncé.


Core Plus – This strategy uses the same properties as the core strategy, but with increased opportunities for improvements through renovations and expanding the number of tenants for example. It is a moderate-risk strategy.

Mayfair Parks, Squares, and Gardens and Hyde Park

Mayfair is bounded on two sides by some of London’s biggest and best parks. With Green Park to the south and Hyde Park to the west, there’s no shortage of places to get outdoors around here.

Brown Hart Gardens, which sits elevated above street level, is favourite secret garden in Mayfair. It is an oasis within this exclusive district offering everything from benches and plants to its own café.  

Not far from Brown Hart Gardens, between Mount Street and South Street, is Mount Street Gardens, a peaceful haven from the urban rush of London.

Elsewhere in Mayfair, Berkeley Square and Grosvenor Square are two of the most famous of their kind in the city. Surrounded by luxurious showrooms and apartment blocks, they are pleasant to wander through on a Mayfair walk.

Around Mayfair

Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, died at 19 Curzon Street in 1881. Other Mayfair residents have included the writers Richard Sheridan and Somerset Maugham. Queen Elizabeth II was born at 21 Bruton Street in 1926. The musicians George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix lived at numbers 25 and 23 Brook Street.

Core Plus – This strategy uses the same properties as the core strategy, but with increased opportunities for improvements through renovations and expanding the number of tenants for example. It is a moderate-risk strategy.