Mayfair - where everything is best in class
Charlie Burton - Senior Commissioning Editor at GQ
Mayfair distills the finer side of London into a square half mile – everything is best in class. Move into the neighbourhood, and your local wine merchant is ...
Move into the neighbourhood, and your local wine merchant is Hedonism, your local brunch spot The Wolseley and your local gym an Equinox. Indeed, the streets are peppered with the best members clubs in town and, arguably, the world. You can’t miss the ever-buzzing new Annabel’s with its bold floral facade, but there are also the more prestigious haunts of 5 Hertford Street, Harry’s Bar and George. Then there’s the shopping; the flagships of Bond Street put destination retail right on your doorstep.
But that’s only one side of the story. The area also functions successfully as a practical, day-to- day place to live. There’s a Sainsbury’s and a Marks & Spencer in Mayfair, just as there is a host of small, independent businesses. These are scattered down side streets – the likes of friendly local favourite Le Petit Cafe, for instance, or the popular LebanEats shisha bar – and also hubbed around the Georgian enclave of Shepherd Market. Here you’ll find a number of low-key, curry houses, stationers and dry cleaners as well as a host of satisfyingly old fashioned pubs.
While Mayfair is bang in the centre of the capital – a 20 minute walk from Leicester Square one way and Knightsbridge the other – it has a more civilised pace of life. Green Park tube station is never as busy as Oxford Circus, getting you swiftly onto the Picaddily, Victoria or Jubilee line. What’s more, the neighbourhood offers a wealth of green spaces. Of course Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’ Park are a stone’s throw away, but there are also hidden gems such as Mount Street Gardens. Dating back to 1889, this beautifully tended oasis is wonderfully full of bird life, making for a perfect place to sit down on a bench and enjoy a still moment of contemplation. We trust you won’t let the secret out.
Charlie Burton is the Senior Commissioning Editor of GQ, the leading UK men’s lifestyle magazine, and also its technology columnist. He writes monthly commentary on the technology-driven trends that are changing the world and co-edits the publication’s tech reviews. Charlie Burton was formerly the Associate Editor of Wired magazine, the monthly chronicle of disruptive ideas and innovations, to which he continues to contribute articles. His first book, How To Win At Life, a collection of interviews with world experts about the things they do best, is out now. Follow him on Twitter @charlie_burton and Instagram @charlieburtongq