When I think about the most luxurious and exclusive areas of London, my mind immediately turns to Mayfair. A district encompassing some of London’s best restaurants, designer shops, beautiful houses and with the highest concentration of five star hotels in London, it’s the perfect place to spend a luxurious day. Here’s a list of some of my favourites and top recommendations for where to stay, places to eat and what to do in W1.
In London there are four branches of my all time favourite restaurant, Roka, one of which can be found on North Audley Street in Mayfair. The restaurant has a really intimate feel, perfect for a date night or special occasion and the menu of Japanese Robatayaki cuisine is simply out of this world!
Order everything but particularly yellowtail sashimi, tuna tataki, crispy prawns and beef gyoza.
Hakkasan is one of the sexiest restaurants in London. The Mayfair location can be found on Conduit Street and has a super-stylish interior with a vibe that is buzzy whilst being laid back and casual.
Food is modern Cantonese and for me, the best Chinese food in London. The dim sum selection is amazing, the soft shell crab is perfect and the silver cod with champagne and honey is a must.
I’ve never reviewed Scott’s on my blog but the fish restaurant, owned by Caprice Holdings, is one of my favourites in London. It is one of those places that exudes classic elegance, service is on point and the menu is made up of classic seafood all perfectly cooked and presented beautifully. For a more casual experience, diners can perch at the beautiful champagne bar and nibble on a platter of oysters…you may even spot Nigella Lawson – I’ve actually seen her there twice! For food I would suggest going all out and ordering the roasted shellfish platter, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had.
Nobu is a really special place for me; as I mentioned in my review of Nobu Old Park Lane, it is the first place where I ever tried proper sushi. Mr S and I have had many fun dates in Nobu both in London and all over the world so it’s only natural that I would recommend it as one of my top choices.
There are two Nobus in Mayfair both serving a menu of Japanese / Peruvian fusion but Mr S and I slightly prefer Nobu Berkeley Street over Nobu Old Park Lane. The former has a more funky interior, a relaxed vibe and we love the bar downstairs to start the night off. Ordering sushi at Nobu is a must but the renowned black cod is absolutely out of this world.
If you’re looking to go all out for super special high-end dining, then Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is my number one choice, not just in Mayfair but in the whole of London.
The restaurant features a menu of French cuisine from one of the world’s greatest chefs and the location in the Dorchester Hotel just makes it feel even more special. Everything on the menu is incredible but if you’re there for a birthday or special anniversary, indulge in the tasting menu or at least a four course meal.
Well, this probably comes as no surprise to you but my favourite hotel in Mayfair is The Dorchester. The incredibly luxurious hotel on Park Lane is where Mr S and I had our wedding reception.
I have just so many wonderful memories of this place from lunches at The Grill Room, dinner at Alain Ducasse, afternoon teas, drinks at the bar. It really is a place that means a lot to me. The lobby and public rooms are beautifully appointed and the service is perfection, making it a number one choice for world leaders, celebrities and royalty.
I also love The Dorchester Spa which is the perfect place to unwind after a day shopping in Mayfair, they even serve afternoon tea in the pretty Spatisserie.
Another one of London’s Grand Dames, as soon as you walk into Claridge’s all your cares can melt away as you gaze on the beautiful art deco interior. If you’re ever stressed about anything just pay a visit here.
Claridge’s is simply one of the most magical places in London, and a great choice for foodies. There’s Michelin-starred Fera by Simon Rogan, casual dining in the Reading Room and the award-winning afternoon tea served in Claridge’s beautiful foyer. Of course, service is absolutely impeccable and nothing is too much trouble for the staff.
While The Dorchester and Claridge’s feel incredibly grand, I love the more intimate and boutique feel of the Connaught, located in the heart of Mayfair Village.
The gorgeous hotel is also home to Helene Darroze, one of London’s two-Michelin starred restaurants as well as more casual dining at Espelette. But best of all it houses the Coburg Bar and Connaught Bar, my favourite bar in London. The Connaught Bar has the most glamorous 1920’s decor, beautiful glass ware and a cocktail list that is both innovative and classic.
One thing I love about Brown’s is the history behind it. Opening in 1837 it was the first hotel in London and it has had many distinguished guests since such as presidents, royalty and writers. Agatha Christie, based one of her thrillers there and Rudyard Kipling also used to stay. Perhaps most famous of all Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone made his first phone call from the hotel.
But Brown’s is an ageless classic and renovations mean the interior is still fresh and glamourous. I would definitely recommend a glass of champagne in the stylish and intimate Donovan Bar as well as afternoon tea in their dedicated tea room surrounded by the cosy original wood panelling and antique fireplaces.
By comparison to the other hotels, The Beaumont in Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair is a mere child in age. But the boutique hotel has been beautifully decorated with a feeling of old world luxury inspired by the 1920’s Art Deco Hotels.
The Beaumont is actually the first hotel from highly regarded restauranteurs Corbin & King and the hotels in-house restaurant, The Colony Grill Room, has had some great reviews. I’m still yet to try the restaurant but from my experience at the duo’s other restaurants, including Fischers, The Delaunay and The Wolseley, I’m pretty sure I would like it. Jimmy’s Bar pays homage to London’s tradition of American bars and serves classic cocktails and spirits with photos of 1920s – 1940s English and American celebrities lining the walls.
Located on Conduit Street in Mayfair, sketch is so much more than just a bar or a restaurant. It’s a two floor complex for art, food and music with a totally unique design and innovative artwork throughout. The Lecture Room is a two-Michelin restaurant with French food from decorated chef Pierre Gagnaire while The Gallery is a more casual dining space showcasing both great food and cutting-edge artwork. There are three bars, The Glade, The Parlour and the East Bar.
My favourite is the Glade with its beautiful forest setting, entering feels like a modern Midsummer Night’s Dream and it’s the perfect place to try sketch’s famous afternoon tea or the signature cocktails.
Oh…and don’t forget to check out the other thing that sketch is famous for…the egg shaped loos!
I love the restaurant Galvin at Windows at the Park Lane Hilton, but the bar is a destination in itself. Located on the 28th floor of the hotel, the bar has some of the best views over London. A panoramic vista that takes in the skyscrapers of The City such as the Shard, The Walkie Talkie and St Pauls, as well as Hyde Park Corner and Apsley House to the South West.
Mr S and I recently visited London’s latest hot spot, Sexy Fish, for my birthday and we were incredibly impressed by the cocktails and atmosphere at the bar. The bar is beautifully decorated with fish sculptures suspended from the ceiling, water running behind the counter and sea weed painted on the ceiling.
Mr S and I had a good chat with the bar manager who told us the cocktails were inspired by four corners of Asia including this Bruce Tea, a smoked Tequila-based drink served in an elegant tea pot. The bar also holds one of the world’s biggest Japanese whisky collections.
This stunning 150 year old hotel has been lovingly restored to it’s original glamour in a way that pays tribute to the grand heritage of it past. The multi-functional space is now home to a range of different drinking and dining experiences but my favourite destination is the Green Bar.
We loved the delicious cocktails served at the venue as well as the seductively lit 1930s interior and the stylish metal bar. The unique selling point of the bar is the Absinthe fountain used for the barmen to mix cocktails as well as serve straight shots, paying homage to the notorious bohemian intellectuals who used to frequent The Cafe Royal.
Another bar in Mayfair that I love is The Luggage Room at the Marriott Hotel. We loved the speakeasy style decor with the stylish leather sofas and wood panelling so much that we used the bar as a back drop to our engagement photo shoot.
The bar is actually the hotel’s former luggage room and studded walls pay homage to this history by replicating old luggage trunks. Drinks are a reinterpretation of the Prohibition era cocktails that were popular at the time.
Things to Do
Shop til you Drop!
Mayfair is easily home to some of the best shopping areas in London; I love Bond Street, Conduit Street and Mount Street for luxury high end designers such as my favourite shoe shop…
South Molten Street is great for my favourite mid range brands and if you don’t mind crowds head to Oxford Street for high street shops. Visit Savile Row for tailoring, The Burlington Arcade for fine jewellery and Sothebys for antiques and artwork. Check out the charming cobbled streets of Shepherd’s Market for unique jewellers, antiques and stylish boutiques.
Mayfair is also home to several iconic department stores such as Liberty, Fenwicks and my favourite: Selfridge’s. Voted one of the world’s best department stores, Selfridge’s has everything under one roof from fashion, home to food, it’s literally a one stop shop and easily walkable from any of my suggested hotels. Selfridge’s also has some great restaurants and bar including The Corner Room which stocks my favourite drink, Skinny Champagne.
Take A Walking Tour
My favourite tour guide Yannick Pucci offers several luxurious walking tours around the well-heeled areas of Mayfair, Piccadilly and Belgravia.
I would particularly recommend Yannick’s Piccadilly and Petit Fours tour which leads you through the fine shops of St James and the mansions of Mayfair, trying lots of delicious sweet nibbles along the way. Not only does it help you orientate yourself around the local area but you also discover plenty of history and some of the hidden secrets and interesting facts about the people and places of one of London’s poshest postcode.
Whether it’s a fantasy or reality whilst hanging out in Mayfair your can press your house against the window of luxury estate agent and choose which 35 million pound mansion you fancy.
Whilst on Mount Street you can pop into Scott’s for your seafood lunch, pick up a pair of red-soled heels from Louboutin before popping into luxury estate agent Wetherell to choose what property you’ll purchase.
There are some beautiful Grade I and Grade II listed buildings in Mayfair, right in the centre of the action within easy reach of the shops and restaurants.
Fortnum and Mason is a London institution and probably the most elegant department store in the city. I love strolling around the food halls especially all the beautiful confectionary and big wine department.
As well as the food, I love looking at the fashion and homeware all made by the finest brands and presented in such a stylish way. But the highlight of visiting Fortnum & Mason is popping to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon for a delicious afternoon tea. One of the great things about the Fortnum’s afternoon tea is that there is so much choice, including a savoury tea, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free and a children’s menu. Or you can just stick to the classic tea including perfect finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and the most beautiful, delicate pastries.
Last year as a Valentine’s Day present Mr S bought me a voucher for dinner and dancing at The Ritz, one of London’s finest hotels located in prestigious Clarges Mayfair area.
The very name of The Ritz immediately exudes luxury and elegance and though The Ritz is famous for the afternoon tea, I would highly recommend dinner and dancing. We had a wonderful four course dinner whilst enjoying a live band, fantastic dancers and hitting the dance floor ourselves.
What are your favourite places in Mayfair?
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