For such a relatively small quarter of London, Mayfair boasts an incalculable amount of luxury per square foot. There are more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants in this small maze of cobbled streets and five star hotels and it is home to some of London’s most revered shopping avenues, boutiques and art galleries. If you find yourself staying in Mayfair or anywhere within Uber distance of W1, don’t miss its hidden gems and international stars...
Where to dine
Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
Choosing where to eat in Mayfair is perhaps the hardest decision you will be faced with, as there are so many outstanding options. If it’s Michelin fare you’re after then the ultimate choice is Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and his unparalleled contemporary French cuisine, one the few three Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital. Also on the French trail is Le Gavroche, Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and Hibiscus, which all serve up a very haute ‘deux’ stars. La Petite Maison is another popular choice.
Marcus Wareing’s two Michelin starred modern European restaurant Marcus has reopened at The Berkeley, and another relative newcomer to Mayfair’s dining scene, opening last summer and making quite an entrance for such a tiny restaurant (only nine covers), is the newly awarded for 2016 two star Araki, serving up mind (and budget) blowing Japanese food. Umu, on the other hand which has been open for a decade, received another star this year making it another worthy contender for sushi lovers. There is also of course Japanese Nobu and for seasoned chopstick pros, the famed and buzzing Hakkassan serving some of the finest Chinese dishes in the city. The elegant and sophisticated Gymkhana is the choice for Indian, Momo for Moroccan, Scott’s for seafood, Coya for Latin American, HIX Mayfair for seasonal British cuisine and the renowned Hawksmoor and Gaucho for sublime steak. If you’re looking to grab a bite at lunchtime, tuck into a homemade sandwich, salad or cake at the Mount Street Deli.
Where to shop
Burlington Arcade © Flickr/www.GlynLowe.com
Take a stroll around the streets of Mayfair and you will stumble across some truly unique boutiques, designer temples of luxury and the odd big name department store. For a more focused retail outing, Bond Street is where all the big names congregate. Head to Old Bond Street, for a more sedate shopping experience, and some extremely fine jewelers. The iconic Burlington Arcade is also a great spot for fine jewellery, Mount Street is the place to join the fashion savvy, while South Molton Street houses the more mid-range brands as well as luxe-label haven Brown’s. The charming cobbled streets of Shepherd Market are also worth a mosey around for antiques and unique jewellers and boutiques.
Where to peruse art
Bust of Emanuel Augustus Saatchi Gallery London © Flickr/looking4poetry
As well as the big hitters, The Royal Academy for some of the world’s most renowned classic and contemporary art and the Saatchi Gallery for some of the newest and brightest talent on the international contemporary art circuit, Gagosian Gallery, The Timothy Taylor Gallery and Cork Street and its medley of got-to galleries, are all worth a visit.
Frank Stella Inflated Star and Wooden Star 2014 at the Royal Academy ©Flickr/Jacquemart
Where to quench your thirst
The Parlour at Sketch London
Sketch on Berkeley Street is the destination whatever time of day your thirst strikes. Take a seat at the Glade Room for afternoon tea, The Parlour for an early evening glass of wine or the East Bar for a late night cocktail. The cocktails at The Whip, an equestrian themed vintage hideaway are pretty impressive, as are the classics served at the American Bar at the Beaumont and the thirties inspired cocktails at the art deco The Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s. The legendary martinis at Dukes Bar in the Dukes Hotel are also not to be missed and for cocktails with a view, the bar at Galvin at Windows at the Hilton Park Lane is hard to beat. Lancashire Court, a bustling medley of cobbled paths bursting with restaurants, cafes and bars is a charming people watching magnet to while away the hours, drink in hand.
Old Bond Street © Gary Knight/Flickr