If your family plays the board game Monopoly at all (or at least the traditional UK version), you’ll be familiar with Mayfair as the most expensive dark blue property on the board. The actual district of Mayfair is one of the prime spots in central London – just on the east edge of the massive Hyde Park. This is a land of foreign embassies, luxury hotels, boutique and designer label shopping, and some of the most exclusive residences in the world. Is it worth a visit? Absolutely. Take the kids and wander around the streets of Mayfair – there is a lot to explore. In this article we share with you a few of our favourite discoveries in this fashionable part of town.
Start the day right
If you are travelling by tube, get off at Green Park station and begin your Mayfair adventure with breakfast at The Wolseley. This looks and feels a bit expensive, but they do an amazing breakfast and it is surprisingly child friendly. This is an old-world cafe in the great European tradition. A lot of fun, reasonably priced, and the breakfast options are stunning.
If your kids are into science at all then the The Royal Institution has a lot of fun, hands-on exhibits that really helps to bring the world of science alive.
You probably won’t be able to afford to buy much from the big label shops that line New Bond Street, but the window shopping is good fun. Spectacular window displays vividly illustrate the strength of London’s fashion scene. This is a good opportunity for some celebrity spotting too.
Wander down the Burlington Arcade and you’ll realise that shopping can be elevated to an art form. This is a beautiful covered walkway with small boutique stores on either side. Shoppers are greeted by sharply dressed doormen and the shops feature a lot of things that you probably didn’t realise that you desperately want. Stop in at Laduree for some Parisian macaroons – stunning.
Grocery shop with the Queen
Fortnum and Mason is London’s famous department store and proudly supplies groceries to the Queen. It’s a stunning store that befits this grand old business.
Stop for afternoon tea
It depends on what is going to appeal most to your family. High Tea at the Ritz Hotel is pretty spectacular, but if that might not be quite right for your children another good option is afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel. This is London’s oldest hotel and comes with a lot of history. The first UK telephone call was made from here, Agatha Christie set one of her mysteries here, and Rudyard Kipling was staying here when he wrote The Jungle Book.
The history of London means that it is a city of enormous contrasts – some of its neighbourhoods are little worlds of their own, existing in a rarefied way of life that seems completely at odds with how everyday Londoners actually exist. Immerse your family, give them a taste of what is possible. Monopoly will never be the same again.