We all know Mayfair from Monopoly as one of London’s most expensive areas and this hasn’t changed over the years. The west London area on the east edge of Hyde Park is mainly commercial and houses the capital’s largest number of five star hotels.
There are numerous good restaurants, pubs and cafés in the area including The Punchbowl: one of the area’s oldest pubs; The May Fair Kitchen: which specialises in sourcing food where the provenance can be traced to the farmer or grower; and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill. It is also a great destination for afternoon teas with venues including Sketch, Hotel Café Royal, Lanes of London and Brown’s Hotel.
Mayfair was originally made up of open fields until development started in the Shepherd Market area around 1686 to accommodate the May Fair that had moved from the Haymarket in St James’s. The annual two week long May Fair took place from 1686 to 1764 in Shepherd Market before relocating once again to Fair Field in Bow in London’s East End following complaints from local residents.
The area is now made up mainly of offices dominated by hedge fund managers, real estate businesses and embassies including the US consulate, which takes up the west side of Grosvenor Square. Famous buildings in Mayfair include the Royal Academy of Arts, The Handel House Museum, the Grosvenor House Hotel, Claridge’s and The Dorchester.