Mayfair: Luxury living in the heart of London

Mayfair: Luxury living in the heart of LondonOver the past decade, Mayfair in Central London has become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. The area is known for having some of the highest rental prices in the world and residences here aren't always easy to get hold of as many former homes have been converted into offices, embassies and businesses.

However, if you're happy to pay out the jaw-dropping amount each month - sometimes up to £4,000 per week - then you'll never feel the urge to move somewhere else. For Mayfair is fully justified in being the most expensive property on the Monopoly board. Here, you'll find streets and houses of dignified elegance as well as a number of the most luxurious restaurants and hotels on the planet. As a result, it's often considered a bolthole for the rich and powerful, you never know who you might meet treading these prestigious streets. Read on to discover why the area attracts everyone from celebrities to politicians.

Variety of properties

Mayfair is particularly known for its beautifully elegant period conversions and post-war apartments, with freehold townhouses commanding an additional premium as they generally have gardens and outdoor spaces attached to them. Newly renovated abodes are often quickly snapped up on the international and domestic markets, so if you find somewhere you like the look of, you'd be well-advised to put in a competitive offer sooner rather than later. Many of the flats located in Mayfair are finished to an exceptionally high standard and come with additional amenities and concierge-style services.

However, the sheer variety of what the locale has to offer makes it difficult to define the style of the area. Whether you're looking for an imposing townhouse or a stylish little living unit, Mayfair is sure to provide.

History and location

The name 'Mayfair' comes from the annual 15-day long May Fair, which initially took place at the site now called Shepherd Market. This celebration was banned in 1764, however, because the aristocratic residents felt it was attracting undesirable people from poorer parts of the capital. During the Second World War, air raids forced many centrally-based businesses into the area, prompting many houses to be converted from their original residential purposes.

Mayfair is home to a number of prestigious and well-known streets and landmarks. Hyde Park Corner lies on the south-west corner, while Marble Arch occupies the north-west. Piccadilly Circus can be found to the south-east while the famous Regent Street stretches across the eastern boundary. These locations are served by a number of major roads, resulting in residential streets that are fairly quiet but comparatively easy to access - the perfect combination. Other noteworthy areas include Grosvenor Square, Bond Street and Park Lane.

Transportation

The advantage of living in Central London is that you're never far from a mode of transport that can get you almost anywhere in the world that same day. Residents of Mayfair enjoy fast connections to all of London's major airports, with Heathrow accessible via the capital's Tube network, City available on the DLR and the Gatwick Express just a stone's throw away at Victoria Rail Station.

However, one of the biggest advantages of living in Mayfair is that you don't actually have to step onto a bus or into a cab to reach the very heart of the city, which renders travel unnecessary for a night out. Where local travel is required, however, the Tube is perfectly accommodating, supporting almost all of the transport network's major lines from Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.

Things to do

Living at the heart of London, residents have the capital's most exclusive shops, hotels, restaurants and clubs right on their doorsteps. As a result, you'll never be short of things to do. Shopaholics will no doubt be more than satisfied with some of the city's most prestigious shopping locations, among them the famous Burlington Arcade, which has housed shops under its glass-roofed promenade since 1819.

Those looking for a bargain of the more competitive kind might like to check out local auction houses Phillips and Sotheby's, both known the world over for selling fine valuables and collectables. Savile Row, similarly renowned for producing excellent tailoring, is located to the east of Mayfair's commercial district. New and Old Bond Street will provide fine jewellery fanatics and clothing enthusiasts with everything they could ever dream of.

Quite apart from its reputation of being a bustling hotspot of fine eating and superb shopping, the area is also home to some of the most unique and beautifully-designed parks and green spaces in the capital. Mount Street Gardens and Berkeley Square both have reputations for being particularly gorgeous and well-maintained, while those looking to really stretch their legs will find what they seek in Hyde Park.

If you like your culture, you'll also be very happy with the proximity of landmarks including the Royal Academy of Arts, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Indeed, the closeness of the Royal Family's home base means you're likely to spot Princes William and Harry, who have been known to frequent Mayfair's prestigious clubs.

Taking to the streets

While this feature should give you a good idea of why Mayfair's an excellent place to live - putting aside the whopping prices - the best way to sample the area is to get out there and explore. Luckily, Mayfair is perhaps the best place in London for this. We recommend a day of shopping, culture and decadence followed by a night at a West End show or one of the local bars and clubs. Trust us - you won't be disappointed.

Published 15th April, 2013

© 2013 Estates IT Limited

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Over the past decade, Mayfair in central London has become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. The area is known for having some of the highest rental prices in the world and residences here aren't always easy to get hold of as many former homes have been converted into offices, embassies and businesses.

Mayfair: Luxury living in the heart of London

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