Mayfair is an area of central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

, within the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...



Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight
The fortnight is a unit of time equal to fourteen days, or two weeks. The word derives from the Old English fēowertyne niht, meaning "fourteen nights"....

-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market
Shepherd Market
Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, England. It is located between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere.- History :...

 today (from 1686 until it was banned in that location in 1764). Until 1686, the May Fair was held in Haymarket, and after 1764, it moved to Fair Field in Bow
Bow, London
Bow is an area of London, England, United Kingdom in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a built-up, mostly residential district located east of Charing Cross, and is a part of the East End.-Bridges at Bowe:...

 because the well-to-do residents of the area felt the fair lowered the tone of the neighbourhood.

Mayfair was traditionally bordered by Hyde Park to the west, Oxford Street to the north, Piccadilly to the south and Bond Street to the east, although the eastern boundary has been stretched in recent years to Regent Street. The old telephone district of MAYfair (later 629) changed east of Bond Street to REGent (later 734). Most of the area was first developed between the mid 17th century and the mid 18th century as a fashionable residential district, by a number of landlords, the most important of them being the Dukes of Westminster, the Grosvenor family. The Rothschild family
Rothschild family
The Rothschild family , known as The House of Rothschild, or more simply as the Rothschilds, is a Jewish-German family that established European banking and finance houses starting in the late 18th century...

 bought up large areas of Mayfair in the 19th century. The freehold
Fee simple
In English law, a fee simple is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is the most common way that real estate is owned in common law countries, and is ordinarily the most complete ownership interest that can be had in real property short of allodial title, which is often reserved...

 of a large section of Mayfair also belongs to the Crown Estate
Crown Estate
In the United Kingdom, the Crown Estate is a property portfolio owned by the Crown. Although still belonging to the monarch and inherent with the accession of the throne, it is no longer the private property of the reigning monarch and cannot be sold by him/her, nor do the revenues from it belong...


The district is now mainly commercial, with many offices in converted houses and new buildings, including major corporate headquarters, a concentration of hedge funds, real estate businesses and many different embassy offices, namely the U.S.'s large office taking up all the west side of Grosvenor Square. Rents are among the highest in London and the world. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some exclusive shopping and London's largest concentration of luxury hotels
Hotels in London
This article describes the hotels in London, England. Hotels are an important part of London's tourism industry.-History:Before the 19th century there were few if any large hotels in London. British country landowners often lived in London for part of the year but they usually rented a house, if...

 and many restaurants. Buildings in Mayfair include both the Canadian High Commission and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 embassy in Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in the exclusive Mayfair district of London, England. It is the centrepiece of the Mayfair property of the Duke of Westminster, and takes its name from their surname, "Grosvenor".-History:...

, the Royal Academy of Arts, The Handel House Museum
Handel House Museum
The Handel House Museum is a museum in Mayfair, London dedicated to the life and works of the German born baroque composer George Frideric Handel, who made his home in London in 1712 and eventually became a British citizen in 1727. Handel was the first occupant of 25 Brook Street, which he rented...

, the Grosvenor House Hotel
Grosvenor House Hotel
Grosvenor House is a large and luxurious hotel. The iconic Mayfair, London hotel is owned by the Sahara Group. The name has also been licensed to a property in Dubai....

, Claridge's
Claridge's is a luxury hotel in Mayfair, central London. It is located at the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street.-History:Claridge's is a traditional grand hotel. Its extensive and old connections with royalty have led to it being referred to as an "extension to Buckingham Palace"...

 and The Dorchester.

The renown and prestige of Mayfair could have grown in the popular mind because it is the most expensive property on the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Monopoly (game)
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...



Mayfair has become an attractive location away from the City of London for private banks, hedge funds and wealth managers.
The Egyptian Education Bureau, is located in Chesterfield Gardens. EasyGroup
EasyGroup , founded in 1998, is a conglomerate & the holding company controlling the "easy" ventures; it is privately owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou....

 has its head office in Mayfair.

Cadbury formerly had its head office in Mayfair. In 2007, Cadbury Schweppes announced that it was moving to Uxbridge
Uxbridge is a large town located in north west London, England and is the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Hillingdon. It forms part of the ceremonial county of Greater London. It is located west-northwest of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres...

, London Borough of Hillingdon
London Borough of Hillingdon
The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London, England. The borough's population was recorded as 243,006 in the 2001 Census. The borough incorporates the former districts of Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the...

, to cut costs.

Mayfair also boasts some of the capital's most exclusive shops, hotels, restaurants and clubs. Just alongside Burlington House is one of London's most luxurious shopping areas, the Burlington Arcade
Burlington Arcade
The Burlington Arcade is a covered shopping arcade in London that runs behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping centre...

, which has housed shops under its glass-roofed promenade since 1819.


The City of Westminster operates the Mayfair Library as a local library.

St. Nicholas College of London (16 Curzon Street
Curzon Street
Curzon Street is located within the exclusive Mayfair district of London. The street is located entirely within the W1J postcode district and is 400 yards to the north west of Green Park tube station...

 W1J 5HP) offers lessons in English and other languages to the residents and visitors of Mayfair.

Streets and squares

  • Albemarle Street
    Albemarle Street
    Albemarle Street is a street in Mayfair in central London, off Piccadilly. It has historic associations with Lord Byron, whose publisher John Murray was based here, and Oscar Wilde, a member of the Albemarle Club, where an insult he received led to his suing for libel and to his eventual imprisonment...

  • Berkeley Square
    Berkeley Square
    Berkeley Square is a town square in the West End of London, England, in the City of Westminster. It was originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent...

  • Berkeley Street
  • Bond Street
    Bond Street
    Bond Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London that runs north-south through Mayfair between Oxford Street and Piccadilly. It has been a fashionable shopping street since the 18th century and is currently the home of many high price fashion shops...

  • Brook Street
    Brook Street
    Brook Street is one of the principal streets on the Grosvenor Estate in the exclusive central London district of Mayfair. It was developed in the first half of the 18th century and runs from Hanover Square to Grosvenor Square. The continuation from Grosvenor Square to Park Lane is called Upper...

  • Brown Hart Gardens
    Brown Hart Gardens
    Brown Hart Gardens, located off Duke Street, Mayfair, is a public garden on top of an electricity substation.-History:The gardens began life as the Duke Street Gardens where a communal garden was laid for what were then working class dwellings in Brown Street and Hart Street.In 1902 the building...

  • Bryanston Square
    Bryanston Square
    Bryanston Square is a square in Marylebone, Westminster, London, England. Named after its owner Henry William Portman's home village of Bryanston in Dorset, it was built as part of the Portman Estate between 1810 and 1815, along with Montagu Square a little to the east and Wyndham Place to its...

  • Cork Street
    Cork Street
    Cork Street is a street in Mayfair in the West End of London, England. It is very well known in the British art world for the commercial art galleries that dominate the street. It is located to the north of Burlington House, which houses the Royal Academy, a leading British art institution...

  • Curzon Street
    Curzon Street
    Curzon Street is located within the exclusive Mayfair district of London. The street is located entirely within the W1J postcode district and is 400 yards to the north west of Green Park tube station...

  • Dover Street
    Dover Street
    Dover Street is a street in Mayfair, London, England. The street is notable for its Georgian architecture as well as the location of historic London clubs and hotels, which have been frequented by world leaders and historic figures in the arts. It also hosts a number of contemporary art galleries...

  • Grosvenor Square
    Grosvenor Square
    Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in the exclusive Mayfair district of London, England. It is the centrepiece of the Mayfair property of the Duke of Westminster, and takes its name from their surname, "Grosvenor".-History:...

  • Hanover Square
    Hanover Square, London
    Hanover Square, London, is a square in Mayfair, London W1, England, situated to the south west of Oxford Circus, the major junction where Oxford Street meets Regent Street....

  • Harrowby Street
  • Hill Street
  • Hyde Park Corner
    Hyde Park Corner
    Hyde Park Corner is a place in London, at the south-east corner of Hyde Park. It is a major intersection where Park Lane, Knightsbridge, Piccadilly, Grosvenor Place and Constitution Hill converge...

     — road junction at the south east corner
  • Marble Arch
    Marble Arch
    Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England...

     — road junction/plaza at the north west corner
  • Old Park Lane
  • Oxford Street
    Oxford Street
    Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, as well as its most dense, and currently has approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate,...

     — northern boundary
  • Park Lane
    Park Lane (road)
    Park Lane is a major road in the City of Westminster, in Central London.-History:Originally a country lane running north-south along what is now the eastern boundary of Hyde Park, it became a fashionable residential address from the eighteenth century onwards, offering both views across Hyde Park...

     — western boundary
  • Piccadilly
    Piccadilly is a major street in central London, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is completely within the city of Westminster. The street is part of the A4 road, London's second most important western artery. St...

     — southern boundary
  • Piccadilly Circus
    Piccadilly Circus
    Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster, built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the major shopping street of Piccadilly...

     — road junction/plaza at the south east corner of Mayfair
  • Regent Street
    Regent Street
    Regent Street is one of the major shopping streets in London's West End, well known to tourists and Londoners alike, and famous for its Christmas illuminations...

     — eastern boundary
  • South Molton Street
    South Molton Street
    South Molton Street is a street in Mayfair in London which runs from Oxford Street to Brook Street.The street was built in the mid-18th century as part of the Conduit Mead Estate. It was extensively rebuilt about 1900 but many of the original Georgian houses remain...

  • Savile Row
    Savile Row
    Savile Row is a shopping street in Mayfair, central London, famous for its traditional men's bespoke tailoring. The term "bespoke" is understood to have originated in Savile Row when cloth for a suit was said to "be spoken for" by individual customers...

  • Shepherd Market
    Shepherd Market
    Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, England. It is located between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere.- History :...

  • South Audley Street

Location in context

Nearest tube stations

The nearest London Underground stations are Bond Street
Bond Street tube station
Bond Street tube station is a London Underground station on Oxford Street, near the junction with New Bond Street. Note that the street-level entrances are approximately 200 metres west of New Bond Street itself...

, Green Park
Green Park tube station
Green Park tube station is a London Underground station located on the north side of Green Park, close to the intersection of Piccadilly and the pedestrian Queen's Walk...

, Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner tube station
Hyde Park Corner is a London Underground station near Hyde Park Corner in Hyde Park. It is in Travelcard Zone 1, between Knightsbridge and Green Park on the Piccadilly Line.-History:...

, Marble Arch
Marble Arch tube station
Marble Arch is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster. The station is between Lancaster Gate and Bond Street stations on the Central line, and is in Travelcard Zone 1.-History:...

 and Oxford Circus
Oxford Circus tube station
-External links:* ** ** * Plans of the station after the Victoria Line works , , *...

  • The former Down Street tube station
    Down Street tube station
    Down Street, also known as Down Street , is a disused station of the London Underground's Piccadilly line which closed in 1932. During World War II it was used as an air-raid shelter, notably by Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet.-History:...

     is in the area, but no longer in use

See also

  • A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (disambiguation)
  • Mount Street Gardens
    Mount Street Gardens
    The Mount Street Gardens is a public garden off Mount Street in the north of the Mayfair area of London, created in 1889. They were created out of a former burial ground of St George's, Hanover Square, and named after the Mount Field, an area including a fortification dating from the English Civil...

  • The Punch Bowl (Mayfair)
  • Allens of Mayfair
    Allens of Mayfair
    Allens of Mayfair is a butcher shop located on Mount Street in London's Mayfair, just off Berkeley Square, which has been in business for 180 years. It is London's oldest butchers shop.-History:...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.