mayfair, london: a park resident’s guide

Georgian elegance, classic style and designer dreams.

Mayfair, London, is famed for its pretty streets, historic architecture and boutique shops, cafés, restaurants and bars. But with so much on offer, navigating your way through the picture-perfect neighbourhood is not always straightforward. Allow us to guide you through our charming Mayfair village.

where is mayfair?

Mayfair is nestled in west London, bordered by Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Marylebone and Soho. It is situated within the City of Westminster borough, home to some of the UK’s most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey.

what are the most famous mayfair landmarks?

With historic Piccadilly to the south and the vibrant nightlife of Soho to the east, Mayfair provides an oasis of Georgian glamour interwoven with Queen Anne architecture. Renowned for its elegant grand streets and immaculate green squares, the most skilled designers in the tailoring world on Savile Row, and the cosy nooks and winding alleys of Shepherd Market, Mayfair works its charms on all who stay here. Some of Mayfair’s top destinations include Bond Street, Grosvenor Square, the Royal Academy of Arts, the ever-stylish glamour of Mount Street and of course, the world-famous Park Lane. You will find us to the west of the Park, at 55 and 60 Park Lane.

Buckingham Palace is situated in the City of Westminsiter Borough
Buckingham Palace is situated in the City of Westminsiter Borough. Photo: Ferdinand Stohr/Unsplash
Audley St, London W1K 2PN
Audley St, London, is filled with cafés, shops and all manner of intriguing boutiques. Photo: Adrian Houston

what is the mayfair postcode?

All postcodes in Mayfair start with either W1J, W1K or W1S. The postcode at Hyde Park Residence is W1K 1NA. The W stands for ‘west’ and the number one is reserved for the most central addresses in London. As to the J, K and S, the letters are assigned alphabetically by district.

W1J: Mayfair (south), Piccadilly
W1K: Mayfair (north), Grosvenor Square
W1S: Mayfair (east), Hanover Square, Savile Row, Royal Academy

 

P.G. Wodehouse chose Half Moon Street as the Mayfair home of Bertram Wooster, the fictional upper-class star of his Jeeves and Wooster comic novels. For those who haven’t read them, Jeeves is Wooster’s wry valet, and between these two characters, many entertaining adventures ensue. 

The history of Mayfair, London

the may fair

The district known today as Mayfair, London, first rose to prominence in the late seventeenth century, making it a fashionable residential district for over three centuries. The area got its name from the annual “May Fair” set up by King James II, which ran from 1686 to 1764 in what is now Shepherd Market. It is named after the architect Edward Shepherd, not after the May Fair’s produce! The fair was however renowned for being a hotbed of boisterous and unruly happenings but today Shepherd Market is a charming little square with narrow side streets where you will find independent boutiques, restaurants and impressive Victorian pubs. 

the grosvenor family

One of the key developments in Mayfair’s evolution was the building of Grosvenor Square in the 1720s, by the Grosvenor family – whose name is still associated with many of Mayfair’s most famous landmarks. The Square was a short carriage-ride to the most important destinations of the time: St James’s Palace, the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House) and parliament, alongside clubs, coffee houses and more nefarious establishments. This prime location quickly made it a favourite base for the country’s most powerful families. As the series Bridgerton colourfully captures, this world of exotic fabrics and luxurious fashion solidified the area’s reputation as the home of luxury in London.

Grosvenor-Square-Mayfair-London-drawing
From the BL King’s Topographical Collection: “View of Grosvenor Square” by Edward Dayes. Published July 28, 1789. Formerly owned by George III, King of Great Britain. Photo: British Library/Flickr
Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London
Grosvenor Square’s prime Mayfair location quickly made it a favourite base for the country’s most powerful families. Photo: Wikiemedia Commons

the blitz and its aftermath

The heavy bombing of the City precipitated by the Second World War forced many businesses to relocate to Mayfair, where they converted residential homes into offices. In fact, the American Embassy had its headquarters in Grosvenor Square until 2008. However, as many of these buildings began to be reclaimed for residential use in the 1990s, Mayfair built its reputation as the leading district for period conversions and grand freehold townhouses. Curzon Street is home to Crewe House, one of the few eighteenth-century Mayfair mansions still standing.

Things to do in Mayfair, London

royal parks and secret squares

With its vast green spaces and manicured garden squares there’s no shortage of places to find some peace and quiet around Mayfair. Four out of the eight Royal Parks are within walking distance: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and Green Park. Each park offers mature trees and large swathes of lawn and meadow, with special features including playgrounds, lakes, sports facilities, cafés, fountains, sculpture and galleries. 

Grosvenor Square is the second largest square in London, where you can relax on a bench alongside classically-inspired landscaping. Brown Hart Gardens is a raised terraced garden built in 1906 above the old Duke Street electricity substation and offers a rejuvenated oasis close to Oxford Street and Bond Street station. 

Although for us, you can’t beat “the hidden gem of Mount Street Gardens”, says General Manager James Partridge. “There are fountains, tropical palm trees, a sculpture. It’s beautiful.” Tucked away off Mount Street – the jewel of Mayfair’s crown – the garden is filled with plants, wildlife and benches from which to enjoy it all.

A picnic in Hyde Park, London.
A picnic in Hyde Park. Photo: Adrian Houston
The storefront of Geo F. Trumper, Mayfair, a men’s barber and perfumer established in 1875.
The storefront of Geo F. Trumper, a men’s barber and perfumer established in 1875. Photo: Penguin’s Egg Photo

shopping in mayfair

Mayfair is renowned for its exclusive selection of shops. Wind your way through boutiques and independent establishments like the classic Geo F Trumper, a men’s barber and perfumer established in 1875. Browse luxury brands including Cartier, Balenciaga and Boudi Fashion, alongside the prestigious department stores Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason. The historic Burlington Arcade opened in 1819 “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public.” Today, it has 51 independent boutiques selling everything from hats to macarons. We highly recommend treating yourself to a bespoke box of Ladurée macarons to enjoy in your apartment!

the best restaurants in mayfair

It’s almost futile to try and condense the banquet of delicious fare found within Mayfair village into a short paragraph. Whether you’re looking for gourmet feasts, light bites or on-the-goodness, every kind of cuisine is on offer – from the archetypal British staple of fish and chips from the Mayfair Chippy to the acclaimed BiBi Restaurant rethinking Indian cuisine, or the fresh, timeless tang of Bentley’s Oyster Bar… But all that can wait for another journal entry!

Mayfair village has something for everyone

This is why we love living in Mayfair, London – all the charm of English village life found within the heart of central London. Bordered by three leafy Royal Parks, Mayfair offers a unique blend of tranquillity and luxury, with designer boutiques, fine dining and art galleries. Step beyond and you’re back in our vibrant, bustling city with everything at your fingertips for the most modern cosmopolitan experience.

Need help finding accommodation? Hyde Park Residence offers a classic, secure home at the heart of Mayfair. Find out more at reservations@hpr.co.uk.