Mayfair magic: What are the best things to do in Mayfair?

Nestled in the heart of London, Mayfair stands as the epitome of elegance and extravagance, a place where luxury isn’t just a word but a way of life. 

Renowned as the upscale district that monopolises attention, Mayfair boasts swanky restaurants serving up gourmet artistry, high-end designer boutiques that redefine fashion, and iconic red-bricked mansions housing some of the city’s most prosperous denizens. 

So, if you’re eager to unlock the secrets of this luxurious enclave, from exquisite dining to high-end shopping, come with us on a journey through the grandeur that is Mayfair.

Explore St James’s Park 

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Location: London SW1A 2BJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 300 061 2350

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This park is like a breath of fresh air amidst the bustling city. A peaceful, picturesque lake stretches out before you, complete with charming, resident swans. 

Beyond the elegant swans, you’ll spot a vibrant mix of waterfowl, like ducks, geese, and pelicans. Yes, pelicans! They’ve been a part of the park’s history for nearly 400 years. 

Fun fact: they were a gift from the Russian Ambassador to the UK back in 1664. Who knew diplomacy could be so feathered and fantastic?

Visit the Royal Academy of Arts

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Location: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7300 8090

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Once inside the ​​Royal Academy of Arts, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with artistic legends. The Royal Academy’s illustrious history dates back to 1768, and it’s been showcasing some of the world’s most celebrated artists ever since. 

Expect to see works by luminaries like Turner, Constable, and Reynolds gracing the walls. 

This place is also known for the Summer Exhibition Spectacle. This annual event is an art extravaganza that has been wowing visitors for over two centuries. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience where anyone, from emerging artists to established names, can submit their work.

Dine at Claridge’s

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Location: Brook St, London W1K 4HR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7629 8860

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Mayfair is renowned for its gastronomic delights, and Claridge’s is no exception. Dining here is like embarking on a culinary adventure. 

The food is a fusion of British tradition and innovation, and every bite is an exquisite masterpiece. From classic afternoon tea to Michelin-starred fine dining at Fera at Claridge’s, your taste buds are in for a treat.

Here, you’ll witness delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and an array of pastries that are almost too beautiful to eat. It’s a delightful ritual, and Claridge’s sets the gold standard.

Tour Spencer House

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Location: 27 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7514 1958

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Spencer House is like a time machine, whisking you back to the 18th century. It’s a living, breathing relic of the Georgian era, which, by the way, was all about powdered wigs, silk gowns, and grandeur. 

The interior of Spencer House is a harmonious blend of neoclassical and rococo styles. Marble, gilded mouldings, intricate plasterwork, and those oh-so-dramatic chandeliers – it’s like walking into a work of art.

Did I mention the royal touch? Spencer House is linked to the Spencer family, who just happen to be related to Princess Diana. Yes, that Diana. Exploring the house, you’ll feel like you’re a guest at a grand royal soiree.

Attend a concert at Wigmore Hall

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Location: 36 Wigmore St, London W1U 2BP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7935 2141

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Nestled in the very heart of Mayfair, the hall’s been dishing out musical magic since 1901. Classical music lovers consider it a sacred space, and you’ll soon understand why when you walk through those grand doors.

One of the hall’s most enchanting qualities is its intimate setting. With a capacity of just 545, it’s like having a private recital with the world’s finest musicians. The acoustics are flawless, ensuring that every note, every chord, reaches your ears with pristine clarity.

Experience afternoon tea at The Ritz

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Location: 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7493 8181

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Imagine a room that transports you straight into a scene from a period drama. The Palm Court at The Ritz does just that. It’s resplendent with marble columns, gilded mouldings, and a beautiful, cascading chandelier. 

Now, let’s talk tea. The Ritz takes its brews seriously. They offer a selection of 18 loose-leaf teas, each with its own unique flavour profile. From classic English Breakfast to exotic blends, it’s a tea lover’s paradise.

Visit the Handel & Hendrix House Museum

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Location: 25 Brook St, London W1K 4HB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7495 1685

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Let’s start with the “Handel” in Handel & Hendrix. This museum is unique because it melds together two musical legends under one roof. Handel, the Baroque composer extraordinaire, and Hendrix, the rock ‘n’ roll guitar virtuoso.

Handel’s part of the museum, 25 Brook Street, was his London residence for 36 years. It’s where he composed some of his most famous works, including The Messiah. When you step into the rooms, you’re quite literally walking in the footsteps of a musical genius.

Now, the other half of this musical duo – Jimi Hendrix. Just a stone’s throw away at 23 Brook Street is where the legendary guitarist lived in 1968. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the swinging sixties and the rock revolution.

Explore Grosvenor Square

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Location: London W1K 6AN, United Kingdom

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While Mayfair is all about British elegance, Grosvenor Square adds a pinch of Americana to the mix. It’s home to the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom, and that star-spangled touch adds a unique flavour to this posh London neighbourhood.

Grosvenor Square is steeped in history. This is where history has been made. During World War II, the square was home to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, making it a centre of military strategy.

Dine at Sketch

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Location: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG, United Kingdom

Contact:  +44 20 7659 4500

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If you thought afternoon tea was a simple affair, Sketch will make you think again. Their afternoon tea service is iconic. Sip on exquisite teas, nibble on finger sandwiches, and indulge in pastries that look like miniature works of art. 

Oh, and don’t get me started on the egg-shaped restrooms, which are an attraction in themselves!

If you’re in the mood for a little bubbly, Sketch has one of the most extensive champagne lists in London. They take their bubbles seriously here, offering a curated selection that pairs perfectly with your meal.

Visit Shepherd Market

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Location: Shepherd Market, London W1J 7QS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7583 932159

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Tucked away between Piccadilly and Curzon Street, Shepherd Market is a historic Mayfair gem dating back to the 18th century. It’s like taking a step back in time, as the architecture retains its Georgian character.

The market is a foodie’s paradise. It boasts a collection of charming eateries, cosy cafes, and traditional pubs. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or a casual meal, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds.

The market is also home to a variety of art galleries and independent boutiques. You can explore the works of local artists and pick up unique pieces to remember your trip to Mayfair.

Admire the Burlington Arcade

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Location: 51 Piccadilly, London W1J 0QJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7493 1764

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If you’re in the mood for a shopping spree with a side of history, then the Burlington Arcade is your go-to destination. Established in 1819, it’s the world’s first covered shopping mall and a living testament to London’s retail legacy.

The Burlington Arcade has received royal recognition on more than one occasion. In 1911, King Edward VII granted the arcade a Royal Warrant, and it remains a symbol of prestige and quality.

Amid the contemporary luxury brands, you’ll also find shops with a rich history. For instance, the vintage watch and clock shop, The Vintage Watch Company, is a horological treasure trove.

Explore the Royal Institution of Great Britain

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Location: 21 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7670 2955

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The Royal Institution was home to the legendary scientist Michael Faraday, the father of electromagnetism. His pioneering work paved the way for many technological wonders we enjoy today.

Every year, the Royal Institution hosts the famous Christmas Lectures, where a leading scientist presents engaging experiments to a captivated audience, young and old. It’s a tradition dating back to 1825 and remains a popular event to this day.

Shop at Fortnum & Mason

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Location: 181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7734 8040

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Back in the day, this fine establishment was the go-to place for provisions for long journeys and picnics. They even supposedly invented the Scotch egg, which is picnic royalty. So, if you’re planning a Mayfair Park picnic, Fortnum & Mason is your go-to supplier.

Remember that the shop is also renowned for its teas. In fact, they have their own tea blend, the Royal Blend, which is a favourite at Buckingham Palace. Their tea department is a paradise for tea connoisseurs!

Visit Apsley House

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Location: 149 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7499 5676

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Apsley House was the residence of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, the man who famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Inside Apsley House, you’ll find an array of artefacts and treasures from the Duke’s illustrious military career. From his famous boots to his war medals, it’s a visual feast for history buffs.

One of the highlights of the house is the grand Waterloo Gallery, where you’ll find a colossal painting depicting the Battle of Waterloo. It’s so large that the wall had to be removed to install it. 

Admire the Wallace Collection

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Location: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7563 9500

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The Wallace Collection boasts an outstanding array of European art, including masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt, Titian, and Fragonard. 

One of the most famous works housed here is Frans Hals’ “The Laughing Cavalier”. This portrait is so iconic that it’s become synonymous with the Wallace Collection itself.

Here’s the best part – admission to the Wallace Collection is free. Yes, you read that right. You can immerse yourself in a world of art and history without spending a single penny.

Dine at Novikov

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Location: 50A Berkeley St, London W1J 8HA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7399 4330

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Novikov offers a dual dining concept. As you enter, you’re faced with a choice: turn left for contemporary Asian cuisine or right for Italian dishes. It’s like a delicious fork in the road.

For Asian cuisine lovers, Novikov’s Peking duck is legendary. It’s roasted to perfection and served with all the traditional trimmings. It’s a must-try dish that’s worth every crispy bite.

On the Italian side, fresh pasta is the star. From hand-rolled pappardelle to delicate ravioli, you’ll find pasta dishes that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Enjoy a meal at Sexy Fish

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Location: Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3764 2000

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From the moment you step into Sexy Fish, you’ll realise it’s no ordinary restaurant. The interior is a masterpiece of opulence, with a dazzling art collection, golden decor, and a striking 13-foot crocodile named “Sexy” that’s hard to miss.

Given the name, it’s no surprise that seafood is a highlight here. From lobsters and oysters to the finest sashimi, Sexy Fish takes your taste buds on a maritime adventure.

But save room for dessert because the sweet creations here are a visual delight. From the ‘Chocolatey Green’ to the ‘Flower Bomb’, the dessert menu is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

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