Mayfair is a West End neighborhood filled with shopping, exquisite accommodations and great nightspots. It’s such an affluent region that it holds the highest real estate position on the British version of the Monopoly game. Visit the area to enjoy its attractions and the large parks lining its outer edges.
Entertainment in Mayfair started in the 1700s with the revelry of London’s annual May Fair. Plays, livestock auctions and drinking foreshadowed the activities of today. Today The May Fair is a grand hotel, home to American aristocracy in the 1900s, British royalty in the 1920s, Hollywood stars in the 1950s and avant-garde partygoers today. Select this or other five-star hotels for a luxury stay in the neighborhood.
Attend an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts on the east side of Mayfair. Tour its permanent collection, which includes British artists from as early as its foundation in 1768 as well as other artists from the 18th century to today.
At the heart of Mayfair is Grosvenor Square Gardens, one of London’s Royal Parks. See its Franklin Delano Roosevelt statue, September 11 Memorial Garden and memorial to the RAF’s Eagle Squadron. Bordering the park is the United States Embassy.
Just west of Mayfair is the 350-acre (140-hectare) Hyde Park, one of London’s Royal Parks. Look for the Diana Memorial Fountain next to the Serpentine lake. At the northeast sector of the park near Marble Arch is the Speakers’ Corner, where Marx, Lenin and Orwell made speeches in past years and millions have gathered for protests in recent years. Picnic or sunbathe at Green Park along the southern edge of Mayfair. Sit in the shade of the London plane trees next to the green lawns of Berkeley Square Garden.
Shop along Oxford Street, have a suit tailor-made at Savile Row and pass by the famous Sotheby’s and Phillips auction houses. Dine at some of London’s top restaurants in and around Mayfair’s exclusive hotels.