One trip to London’s Mayfair, and you’ll understand why it is one of the city’s most exclusive districts. To start, Mayfair is home to all of the most fashionable restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, posh penthouses and not to mention—the world’s elite. Since the area is so close to the Royal Court at St. James, it has long attracted London’s wealthiest families. In fact, it may not be all that uncommon to run into fashionistas shopping at Louis Vuitton Maison on Bond Street or even catch a glimpse of an occasional sheikh, aristocrat or film star whisking by in a Rolls. But don’t expect high society extravagance to flash before you like the neon lights of Vegas. Mayfair, with its elegant Georgian townhouses and Edwardian mansions, is still classic, understated London. Even the origin of its name seems fairly unassuming: it was named literally for the May fair held from 1686 until it was banned from the area in 1764. Still, the district is a fair for British glamour…and Previews proudly takes you here for March!
Stay: The Dorchester Hotel
According to the hotel’s website, “The Dorchester occupies the most prestigious acre and a half of real estate in the world, in the heart of Mayfair overlooking the glorious green expanse of Hyde Park.” We suppose we can’t argue with that. As the preferred hotel of British society, The Dorchester is best known for its five-star service, as well as its spacious, opulent rooms and suites. If you want a taste of 1930s glamour mixed with a contemporary edge, you must stay at The Dorchester at least once.
When visiting Mayfair, you must reserve a table at The Square, aptly named for its location off the historic Berkeley Square. Headed up by veteran chef Philip Howard, The Square has been “a long-standing mecca for the titans of business, banking, and finance who come for the flawless service, the show-y wine list, the well-spaced tables,” and of course, “Howard’s sophisticated but straight-up-and-no-messing modern French haute cuisine.” Seasonal dishes such as the Dorset crab lasagna, Guinea fowl with truffles, salsify and Parmesan, and monkish with glazed pig’s trotter and Savoy cabbage, are all favorites to try. And don’t forget desert: Brillat-Savarin cheesecake with passion fruit.
Do: Dover Street Market
If you fashion yourself a risk-taker or a trendsetter, then your next stop should be Dover Street Market Set over six floors and presented in pure avant-garde style, an eclectic mix of designers such as Comme des Garcons, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, Raf Simons, Jan de Cock, Judy Blame, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Undercover have all set up shop here. It’s a true must-see beyond the traditional retail therapy sessions at Louboutin, Westwood, Vuitton, Burberry…which all have shops in Mayfair.
Live: London W1K, United Kingdom
If and when you’re ready to settle down in Mayfair, look no further than this chic landmark house in Grosvenor Square. Set on Upper Brook Street, the house has been renovated by its current owners and embodies contemporary design with a lift, double reception rooms, a dining room and kitchen with dining area overlooking the private garden. Upstairs, there are two reception rooms, a bar opening onto a large terrace with a sitting area overlooking the garden. The master bedroom occupies the entire floor with a dressing and bathroom, while other floors offer four bedrooms with en suite bathroom and dressing room. And did we mention it comes with swimming pool, gym, home cinema, a bar and a wine cellar? You won’t ever want to leave this $36,762,000 USD residence, but if you do, you know that you have the luxe world of Mayfair right at your fingertips.