A Glimpse into Affluent Mayfair
Featured in notable gray-screen titles like My Week with Marilyn and Love Actually, Mayfair is an affluent neighborhood just east of Hyde Park in the City of Westminster. This West End neighborhood is defined by upscale boutiques, fine dining restaurants and hotels, exquisite accommodations, and luxury home neighborhoods for the wealthy and famous of London.
It’s one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in London today, but this wasn’t always the case. Here’s an overview of its history and some fun things to do in Mayfair, even when visiting shortly after a tattoo in Shoreditch.
Mayfair’s Historic Makeup
Mayfair has long been one with affluence and exclusivity. It was home to British aristocrats in the 17th century, Hollywood stars in the 19th century, and other prominent figures like Winston Churchill throughout its history. A 17th-century census report shows it had over 100 persons of title and numerous members of parliament, proving the district’s affluent status from its early years.
But as noted, this hasn’t always been the case. Long before the wealthy began settling here, Mayfair was a large rural area and part of the Manor of Eia. Growth began after Sir Thomas Grosvenor, an ancestor to modern-day Dukes of Westminster, inherited about 500 acres of land, part of which is present-day Mayfair, from marrying the 3rd Baronet. The duke set out to establish an upper-class neighborhood, a mission he was successful in thanks to his influence and wealth.
Mayfair’s popularity was further fuelled by the Mayfair, an annual fair named after, being moved here from St James. The fair attracted numerous fairground entertainers and crowds, something that the wealthy people of Mayfair passionately detested.
Residents, backed by an earl, led a campaign against the fare and had it abolished in the 1760s, restoring Mayfair’s glory as one of London’s most exclusive neighborhoods. It remains one of London’s wealthiest areas, with plenty of things to see and experience.
Things to Do in Mayfair, Westminster
Mayfair is home to countless Michelin-star hotels and restaurants, upscale shopping boutiques, and open spaces, and you can never run short of things to do. Check out a few:
Explore Bond Street
Mayfair’s Bond Street is one of the most famous streets in London. It boasts a wealth of high-end stores, designer fashion brands, prestigious brands, fine jewelry, and unique art and antique shops. Bond Street has been a big deal since it was first established in the 17th century. It’s where to go if you’re into retail therapy and prefer to shop brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Dolce Gabbana, and Tiffany Co.
Check Out Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square is the perfect place to relax after exploring attractions like The British Museum, Hyde Park, and Buckingham Palace. It has 2.5 ha of an open, beautifully-landscaped square garden open to the public and is the largest of its kind in London after Russell Square.
Other notable places to check out in Mayfair:
- Mount Street
- Marble Arch
- Apsley House
- The Palm Court
Know before You Go
Mayfair is in the West End area of London in Westminster. It’s easily accessible via Green Park, Bond Street, and Marble Arch tube stations or by train from Marylebone or Charring Cross service stations. Discover more about the neighborhood from the official website below.
Mayfair website: https://www.mayfairldn.com/