Explore Mayfair in London with FORBIDDEN.LONDON

Believed to be an ancient haunt of the Romans, London’s most exclusive district has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Mayfair began life in the modern era as nothing more than a scattering of fields and farm land until the annual St. James’s fair arrived to shake things up.

Otherwise known as the May Fair, this vibrant festival centred on and around what is now Shepherd’s Market, just north of Piccadilly. Performers and merchants came from across London to entertain revellers, which satiated the masses from 1686 up until 1764, when upper class residents successfully petitioned an end to frivolities as they claimed the fair lowered the tone of their increasingly affluent neighbourhood.

That neighbourhood was primarily founded through the marriage of 12 year old Mary Davies and Sir Thomas Grosvenor. Davies came from a family of shrivners who owned 500 acres of land west of the city, with 100 acres lying south of Oxford Street and east of Park Lane being particularly valuable to potential developers. Whilst building had already begun in the late 17th century, it was not until the couple’s son, Sir Richard Grosvenor, joined forces with surveyor Thomas Marlowe that today’s Mayfair truly began to take shape.

The first of the district’s three major squares arose in 1717, named Hanover Square after King George I, Elector of Hannover. A decade later, Mayfair was absorbed into the new parish of St. George Hanover Square, which stretched as far east as Old Bond Street and continued into Hyde Park to the west, with Oxford Street and Piccadilly providing the borders to the north and south. The Grosvenor family, later claiming the Dukes of Westminster titles, still owned a substantial part of the area, developing opulent residential quarters for the aristocracy surrounding Mayfair’s glorious centrepiece, Grosvenor Square.

Whilst the Grosvenors held the monopoly on the district’s northern estates, the equally prosperous Berkeley family were busy developing in the south, with the foundation of Berkeley Square and its surrounding grandiose residences. Throughout the 18th century, wealthy Londoners continued to flood to this new and attractive neighbourhood, owing to Mayfair’s greater expansion. The district remained a hotspot for the rich and famous up until the 1920s, as the financial crisis forced many inhabitants to move to the suburbs or relocate to America.

The Second World War witnessed a further shift in occupants, as many businesses headed to the area to escape the Blitz. The district retained its corporate edge until very recently, with the past two decades embracing something of a revival, replacing offices with luxurious family homes, top notch restaurants and deluxe boutiques, returning Mayfair to its former glamorous glory.

Read more about Mayfair on Wikipedia


Apple Store (Regent Street) Top Pick
235 Regent Street , Mayfair, London, W1B 2EL

The Apple Store, Regent Street, is located on the corner of Regent Street and Hanover Street near Oxford Circus,... Read more


Sketch Top Pick
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2XG

The triple dream of launching a centre, a “lieu” or destination place, for food, art and music has been realised... Read more


Vivienne Westwood Top Pick
44 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2YL

With a design record spanning over 40 years, beginning with punk rock in the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood's designs have... Read more


17-19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2QH

If you love great food and wine, you'll love 28°-50°. The 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen concept takes the... Read more


34 Mayfair
34 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HD

You will find 34 Mayfair just off Grosvenor Square (with the entrance on South Audley Street), in the heart of... Read more


4 Mayfair Club
4 Mill Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2AX

Tucked away in the heart of Mayfair, No 4 Mayfair is one of the relatively new gentlemen’s clubs in the borough.... Read more


45 Park Lane
45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN

45 Park Lane is sophisticated yet full of life, the hotel basks in an enviable location in London’s elegant Mayfair... Read more

Home to CUT (at 45 Park Lane)


Accessorize (Green Park / Piccadilly)
72 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 8HP

Accesorize is devoted to bringing the most exciting and eclectic products to the high street. With its own... Read more


Al Hamra Restaurant
31-33 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London, W1J 7PT

We, at the Al Hamra Restaurant aim to reach out to the West by shortening the divide with the introduction of our... Read more


Al Sultan Restaurant
51-52 Hertford Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7ST

Opened in 1986 in the heart of Mayfair, Al Sultan opened as one of the first Lebanese restaurants in London. All... Read more


Alain Ducasse (at The Dorchester)
53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA

Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most decorated chefs. Known not only for his incomparable French cuisine, Alain... Read more

Part of The Dorchester Hotel


Aldo (372 Oxford Street)
372 Oxford Street, Mayfair, London, W1C 1JP

A privately held company, ALDO specializes in high-quality fashion footwear and accessories offering an... Read more


Alexander McQueen (Old Bond Street)
4-5 Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4PD

Alexander McQueen brand was founded by designer Alexander McQueen in 1992. It was the suggestion of Isabella Blow... Read more


22 Burlington Arcade , Mayfair, London, W1J 0PR

Almar was created in December 2010 as a way of selling brand new watches from past designs. Most watch retailers... Read more


Alyn Williams (at The Westbury)
37 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2YF

Alyn Williams is a born and bred Londoner his culinary journey started at home where his father both grew... Read more

Part of The Westbury Mayfair Hotel


Aman Spa (at The Connaught)
Carlos Place, Mayfair, London , W1K 2AL

Deep in the heart of our hotel lies the entrance to another world. The Aman Spa at The Connaught is the first Aman... Read more

Part of The Connaught


American Bar (at the Beaumont)
The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London, W1K 6TF

Jimmy's Bar belongs to the great tradition of American Bars that became legendary in London and Paris from the... Read more

Part of The Beaumont


Price Range: £££

Angus Steakhouse (Woodstock Street)
10 Woodstock Street, Mayfair, London, W1C 2AD

The steak on our menu is sourced primarily from Las Pampas region of Argentina where they specialise in breeding... Read more


Annabel's Wine Cellar
3 Hay's Mews, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PU

Annabel’s has a global reputation that has been established over the past five decades, founded on superb service,... Read more


Anne Fontaine (New Bond Street)
30 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2RN

Anne Fontaine was born in 1971 to a Brazilian mother and a French-German father in Rio de Janeiro. Passionate... Read more


Aqua Nueva
5th floor, 240 Regent Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 3BR

Offering contemporary northern Spanish dishes, aqua nueva is overseen by acclaimed chef Alberto Hernandez, who... Read more


Armour Winston Limited
43 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London, W1J 0QQ

Armour Winston is the longest established jewellers in London's world famous Burlington Arcade. They have... Read more


Asprey (New Bond Street)
167 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4AY

Established in 1781, as a purveyor of the finest British luxury goods, Asprey has become a name synonymous with... Read more


Assunta Madre
8-10 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 1LJ

There was once an Italian fisherman who sailed the Mediterranean Sea, he would go out every night roaming the sea on... Read more


Burlington Arcade 41., Mayfair, London ,

Atkinsons was established in London in 1799 by James Atkinson.The fragrance house and its emblematic bear went on... Read more


Aubaine (Dover Street)
31 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4ND

Aubaine is a true blend of cosmopolitan style and French cuisine. Combining the elegance of a Parisian salon with the... Read more


Aubaine (Heddon Street)
4 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BS

Aubaine is a sophisticated yet relaxed french restaurant serving exquisite cuisine, plus homemade pastries &... Read more


Balls Brothers (Mayfair Exchange)
34 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 5DN

We're excited to open our doors to our loyal customers for our launch week. Come experience the new Mayfair! With an... Read more


Bar Remo
2 Princes Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 2LB

Family-run by the Vignali family for over 90 years, we pride ourselves on a warm and friendly welcome to all of our... Read more


Barker Shoes (Mayfair)
215 Regent Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4NG

Barker shoes have been an English tradition for over 135 years. Only the most carefully selected leathers are used... Read more


Barley Mow
82 Duke Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JF

Records show that an Inn was built on this site in the early 18th century. The current building was adopted as the... Read more


47 Burlington Arcade , Mayfair, London , W1J 0ET

A historic manufacturer of premium cashmere, established in the Scottish Borders... Read more


Beards (Mayfair)
14 Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4SW

Founded in 1804, Beards is one of the oldest Jewellery Houses in England. Originally established under the family... Read more


Beauty & Fitness (at Claridge's Hotel)
49 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HR

Located on the top floor of the hotel, our Health Club & Spa offers a tranquil and peaceful environment with stunning... Read more

Part of Claridge's Hotel


Bell & Ross
Units 48-49 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London , W1J 0QJ

There are trades which make you bear exceptional temperatures, undergo violent accelerations or withstand... Read more


18 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London, W1J 6LY

Bellamy’s was established in 2004 and is named after the club in Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy of novels,... Read more


Benares Restaurant
12a Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS

Taking inspiration from his native India, while continuously researching regional dishes, Atul combines his heritage... Read more


Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
11-15 Swallow Street , Mayfair, London, W1B 4DG

The sensitive restoration of this famous restaurant has retained many original features of the building and the... Read more


Benugo (Curzon Street)
14 Curzon Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5HN

We're about great tasting food, made just for you. We bake all our own cakes in our London bakery and have specially... Read more


Berk Cashmere
46 - 49 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London, W1J 0ET

David Berk started his business more than 50 years ago. Today there are literally thousands of cashmere items in... Read more


Black Dice Bar
25 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BH

Black Dice is a swish new cocktail lounge found tucked away behind a pink door underneath Momo on Heddon Street.... Read more


Black Roe
4 Mill Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2AX

Black Roe in the heart of Mayfair, brings the finest Pacific Rim cuisine. The intimate restaurant opened by Kurt... Read more


Blenheim Bishop Lettings
82 Park Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6NH

Blenheim Bishop has been established since 1991 and specialises in the letting and management of exclusive... Read more


BMW Park Lane
70 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 7TT

BMW retail sales for new and approved used BMW cars. BMW models 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, x3, X5, Z4 and M, BMW Motorrad Park... Read more


Bocconcino Restaurant
19 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8ED

Bocconcino is a Mayfair destination restaurant serving both classic and modern Italian cuisine and cocktails in a... Read more