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Building In Mayfair

The DJD Guide to: Mayfair

We’ve been photographing and drawing London’s homes for a long time, which means we’re very familiar with our capital. It may not be one of the area’s you would immediately associate as ‘residential’, and it is one of London’s most expensive boroughs, but we think you’ll find living in Mayfair is more desirable than first expected. Our Guide to Mayfair highlights the best places to eat, send your kids to school, enjoy the fresh air and shop – not just in the luxury stores – with insider information gathered by our photographers while out and about on assignments.

In This Post

People walking past shops on a high street in Mayfair

Where is Mayfair?

Very central. It’s not a big area, compared to Chelsea or Kensington, squished between Hyde Park to the west, Green Park and Buckingham Palace to the south and Soho to the east. Above Mayfair is Marylebone, with Oxford Street (the A40) forming the boundary between the two. Mayfair is named after the annual May Fair that took place from 1686 to 1764. The location at the heart of the West End has made it popular with famous names such as Oscar Wilde, who lived on Tite Street, Jimi Hendrix and Andrew Lloyd-Webber, and it has also been home to numerous British Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Robert Peel.

House in Mayfair with blue door and wrought iron gates
Outside of book shop in Mayfair

Living in Mayfair

In Monopoly terms, Mayfair is the jackpot: it’s a dark blue piece with the top value on the board, and Park Lane is, in real life, one of the most desirable addresses in the whole of the UK, let alone London. Other popular residential areas include Davies Street (the penthouse apartments at 21 Davies St are particularly sought after) and Queen Street, where serviced apartments have use of Little House by Soho House private members’ club. You may not fancy living on Europe’s busiest shopping street – Oxford Street – but there are plenty of apartments here to choose from. Ditto Piccadilly – though the lure of Fortnum & Mason as your local corner shop is quite hard to resist. Maddox Street has plenty of serviced apartments too, plus some really fabulous architecture – flat-fronted contemporary towers sandwiched between ornate Georgian and Victorian facades. Mayfair Chambers still has the coveted W1K postcode but is discreetly tucked away just off Berkeley Square, while Shepherd Market has that charming, villagey feel of ‘old Mayfair’. The area has, in places, been gentrified to the point where most of the big, old buildings have been converted to embassies and big corporation head offices and five-star hotels. This makes it popular with expats, particularly Americans; the former US Embassy was located here until 2017 when it moved to Battersea, with the Grosvenor Square offices now being converted to a luxury Rosewood hotel. If that feels a little too on the nose, you could also live at Twenty Grosvenor Square, where the 37 immaculate residences are managed by Four Seasons (the hotel chain) and have interiors by Finchatton.  It’s perhaps also worth noting that rental prices in Mayfair are some of the highest in the world and buyers will need a starting budget of about £1 million for an apartment.

 

Shopping in Mayfair

Mayfair is home to London’s best shopping streets: Bond Street and New Bond Street, Mount Street, South Molton Street and Oxford Street are all iconic thoroughfares where you’ll find everyone from Chanel to Church’s. Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest and most famous retail area, where you can find almost anything you need in Selfridges department store. For food shopping, Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly is the ultimate corner shop, though local shoppers have been disappointed by the closure of acclaimed butcher Allens of Mayfair. It has been replaced by upmarket Milanese Pasticceria, Marchesi 1824. Shepherd Market has great local stores, cafes, galleries and restaurants like Kitty Fisher’s.

High street with shops and parked cars
Park in Mayfair

Going out in Mayfair

Eating out in Mayfair is an elegant experience: you’ll find one three-star Michelin restaurant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, plus eight two-star restaurants and 13 restaurants with one Michelin star. Notable addresses include Fera at Claridge’s, Murano and Pollen Street Social. The area is also home to an array of ritzy nightlife spots: Annabel’s Private Members Club on Berkeley Square was one of the first nightclubs in London, and Loulou’s is its ‘little sister’; Scott’s is a sophisticated seafood restaurant, while Sexy Fish is a more flash, modern option with a leaning towards more Asian flavours; Hakkasan serves world-class Chinese dining while Gymkana is a Raj-era themed Indian restaurant. Mayfair is also home to the Royal Academy of Arts and the two-screen arthouse Curzon Cinema, which shows mostly independent and foreign films.

Transport in Mayfair

It’s exceptionally easy to get around London from Mayfair, whether on foot or by using public transport: Mayfair is served by Bond Street, Green Park, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus tube stations. All are in Zone 1 with access to six lines: Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria and Elizabeth (Crossrail), with an annual travel card costing upwards of £1400. Getting out to Heathrow is easy, with Crossrail trains taking 29 minutes, or you could drive via the A40 Westway to the M25 – though times are very dependent on rush hour traffic. The big red London bus is ubiquitous here, and services run day and night.

High Street shop window in Mayfair
Building in Mayfair

Green spaces in Mayfair

Those lucky enough to call Mayfair home will have almost doorstep access to Hyde Park and Green Park, two of London’s largest open green spaces. Behind Mount Street is Mount Street Gardens, a tranquil spot for enjoying the shade under the London plane trees. Grosvenor Square is also a nice place to sit, and there is a memorial to UK citizens who died in the 9/11 terror attacks.

To book an appointment with your local property marketing agency in Mayfair, contact us today.

Mayfair schools and nurseries

There’s only one state school actually in Mayfair: St George’s Hanover Square primary school, which is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. There are other schools nearby in Marylebone, St Vincent’s and Hampden Gurney, plus comprehensives St Marylebone (for girls) and Westminster City (Boys). Most residents opt for private education, with local options being Connaught House, Wetherby (prep and seniors), Hill House and Portland Place. Specialist schools include the Fashion Retail Academy, the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the bilingual L’Ecole Internationale Franco-Anglaise.

Street in Mayfair
If you would like to explore the area to visit some of the places mentioned above, we have prepared an area guide flyer to guide you through Mayfair. Click on the button below to download the map.
Park in Mayfair

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