Mayfair is a wealthy part of London that many people choose to move to in order to enjoy London life to the full. Even if moving to Mayfair is beyond your budget you can still find out more about what there is to do in this area in our helpful guide.
Mayfair is a wealthy, attractive area of London with a rich history, and a rich clientele. The street names within the area tell the story of a marriage between Mary Davies (Davies Street) and Thomas Grosvenor (Grosvenor Square) who in 1677 essentially began to build the area known as Mayfair today.
Modern Mayfair has retained the village feel from the early days when it was first created, despite attracting extremely wealthy people from all over the world. The Grosvenor Estate continues to influence the buildings and construction in the area, so anything added is sensitive to the overall look, feel and style of Mayfair. The estate also ensures cleanliness is upheld within the area. If you’re moving to Mayfair, you certainly have a lot to look forward to, including the atmosphere, the restaurants, the culture, and the easy access into all areas of London.
Who Lives In Mayfair?
The majority of people who purchase properties in Mayfair come from overseas. China, The Middle East, India, Europe – there are people from all over the world willing to pay pretty much any amount to get a piece of the Mayfair property pie. With a lot of the clientele being so busy, and jet-setting all over the world, many properties are only occupied occasionally, alongside full-time members of the community remaining in the area, and of course staff maintaining vacant properties.
Where Exactly Is Mayfair?
Mayfair is in Central London in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street and Piccadilly and it joins onto Hyde Park too.
The History Of Mayfair
When Mary Davies and Thomas Grosvenor married in 1677 they formed the Grosvenor Estate which still owns large parts of Mayfair today (300 acres). Mary Davies happened to bring 500 acres of land (including swamps, pastures and orchards) into the marriage which gave the couple a lot of control over the area. Gerald Grosvenor, a direct relative of Thomas Grosvenor is now one of the richest men in the UK and is worth billions.
Before the couple developed the area it was largely open fields. The name came from the May Fair being held in the area which started to draw in annual crowds that got bigger and bigger. The May Fair eventually moved in the mid 1700’s which is when the Grosvenor family began to develop Mayfair with shops and houses.
Mayfair is within walking distance to key Central London areas such as Soho, Covent Garden and Oxford Street, however, there is also a Tube Station based at each end: Green Park and Bond Street. From one or the other of these stations you can get the Central, Jubilee, Victoria or Piccadilly line tubes. You can get to Liverpool Street mainline station in just 12 minutes from Mayfair. Paddington and Marylebone are also easily accessible to get out of the city to the West and North-West. Should you wish to, you can easily catch an Uber or taxi from the area as it is heavily served by private transport services. You can also catch one of many Central London buses which will take you in and around both inner and outer London. Living in Central London you are also within easy reach of all London airports including Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and London City all of which you can get to using public transport, or private taxi services.
The property available to rent and buy in Mayfair is beautiful and there are both traditional and modern options. There used to be very beautiful large grand mansions in the area which were abandoned during WW2 and then afterwards were used as offices. Some are still offices today and according to an up to date London office rental calculator, the cost of a short term serviced office rental in Mayfair with 4 desks would cost you around £40,000 pounds per year. A lot of the office spaces that were being used have recently been sold for residential properties to increase the amount of available homes in the area. If you plan to rent in Mayfair expect to pay anything from £415 and £3,500 per week. If you plan to buy in Mayfair, expect to pay between £500,000 pounds and £14 million. The average flat costs around £2.5 million and the average house costs upwards of £14 million according to a local estate agent.
The Cost Of Living In Mayfair
Aside from the rental prices you might also have to consider residential parking costs if you wish to hold a vehicle locally. Current charges can be found on the Westminster council website. You should also take into account the Band D council tax for the area which exceeds £650.
Education In Mayfair
If you plan to raise a family in Mayfair there are plenty of great educational facilities to choose from.
- The Belgravia Nursery School (77 Kinnerton St, London SW1X 8ED)
- Hyde Park Barracks Community Childcare Centre (London SW7 1SE)
- St George’s Primary School (Hanover Square, South St, London W1K 2XH)
- Connaught House School (47 Connaught Square, London W2 2HL)
- St Vincent’s RC Primary School (11 St Vincent St, London W1U 4DF)
- DLD College (199 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7FX)
- Queen’s College London (Harley St, London W1G 8BT)
- Abbey College (22 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH)
- Westminster City School (55 Palace St, London SW1E 5HJ)
- The Sylvia Young Theatre School (1 Nutford Pl, London W1H 5YZ)
Bear in mind that some of these schools are private, some are single sex, some might take applications based on the family’s relationship with the associated church, some might take private applications by interview only. Every school is different and it is certainly worth researching extensively before moving to the area to check how easily your child could attend the school of your choice.
Eating Out In Mayfair
With some of the most discerning clients in the world visiting the area, it is no surprise that there are countless upscale eateries in Mayfair to choose from. Try ROKA Mayfair (at 30 North Audley St, London W1K 6ZF) for top-end sushi and other Japanese food or 34 Mayfair (at 34 Grosvenor Square, South Audley St, London W1K 2HD) for game and other meats in art deco surroundings.
For more Japanese dishes then you could try Nobu. The opulent interiors provide the most exquisite surroundings whilst you dine on the most incredible sushi. Curry lovers will enjoy Jamavar which is extremely glamourous inside with lots of jewels and glitter, and it serves stunning cocktails to enjoy before you indulge in absolutely sumptuous Indian food.
If you want something completely ‘out there’ and different, book in at The Gallery At Sketch which is an art gallery come restaurant with an exciting and unique interior design you will have never seen before. The food is equally creative, fresh and young.
Shopping In Mayfair
Shopping isn’t as luxurious anywhere else in London, so you certainly don’t want to go shopping in this area if you’re on a budget, although having a look around is still fun because there’s so much choice. You can enjoy all the big designer labels and label emporiums like Browns and the amazing department stores like Fortnum & Mason, plus the amazing antique market Grays where you can find rare books, art and all manner of odds and ends to adorn your Mayfair property. You can also make a day of your relaxation by getting some treatments at one of the many spas and hair salons in the area.
Things To Do In Mayfair
When you live in Mayfair you are within reach of any of the wonderful activities there are to enjoy in London. From The London Eye to The Saatchi Gallery, you can easily jump on a Tube or catch a taxi anywhere you want in London and you will be there very quickly. However, if you do want to get to know the area you are moving to, then Mayfair itself has plenty to offer.
Berkeley Square is a great place to start, because it is steeped in the most interesting history. It was designed by William Kent in 1789 and holds the well known Lansdowne House at number 57 which was made for The Earl Of Bute in the 1700’s but has housed since many Prime Ministers. Number 50 Berkeley Square is thought to be the most haunted house in all of London, with stories about death and poltergeists surrounding the second floor of the home. Within Berkeley Square you can also find The Royal Academy Of Arts and The Church Of St Martin In The Fields. Hire a local tour guide and they will be able to give you a wealth of information about this square.
Next you will find 23 Brook Street which is also steeped in rich history. Jimi Hendrix lived there for many years and now you can visit the house and look at exhibits and various displays relating to Hendrix and his story. If you are interested in music and music history, you’ll be delighted to know that the Handel Museum is in Mayfair as he lived in the area until he died in 1759. You can see where he rehearsed, lived and composed.
If you’re into art, the Waddington Custot Galleries are in Mayfair and have various modern art collections for you to enjoy which change regularly. For more of the finer things in life you could also pay a visit to Claridges which is a well known 5 star hotel built in 1812. Pay a visit for afternoon tea or perhaps even an overnight stay if you’re planning on scouting out property in the area for a potential move.
Tips For Moving To Mayfair
If you are looking to move to Mayfair, there will be a lot involved in the planning because moving to a Central London location isn’t as simple as moving to a house or flat in any town or city for that matter. There are lots more components to moving to Mayfair that must be considered in order to make a successful move. Here are our top tips for moving to Mayfair:
Storage Is Key
This is probably the most important tip, because you are paying a premium for every inch of space you rent or buy in Mayfair. You should be enjoying every single bit of space, whether that is for home office areas, family playtime areas, relaxation areas, or simply areas that are beautiful to look at. You have paid a high price for that space so you deserve to have all of that space to enjoy. When you are living in any part of London storage space is an issue but even more so in Mayfair. The following items can take up space you don’t have to spare:
- Seasonal decorative items
- Seasonal sports equipment
- Winter wardrobes
- Additional bag or shoe collections
- Furniture for parties
- Childrens toys
- Large ornaments or keepsakes
- Boats, vintage cars or motorbikes
These items can be safely stored in nearby self storage so that they are not cluttering up your property. What is even better is that the contracts for self storage are always flexible, so you can easily adapt the time your size of space you need to suit you.
Research Should Come First
When making such a big move, it is important that you do all the research you can. Visit the area, and make contacts with local schools and estate agents. Get as much information as you can on what is available in the area and how it is going to work for your needs. Such an upscale area has plenty of companies falling over backwards to help prospective customers.
Make Connections With Locals
If you can, speak to locals about their experience living in the area, about schools and any issues they have or tips they have that will help you. Nobody can tell you what living in Mayfair is like better than residents themselves.
Hopefully you’re feeling much more excited and informed about your move to Mayfair. With such extensive offerings, in such an amazing location you’re sure to have an exciting and memorable time living in this beautiful part of London.