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Mayfair, London

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Mayfair is an exclusive area in the West End of London towards the east edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster. The district is mainly commercial, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporate headquarters, embassies, as well as hedge funds and real estate businesses. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some upmarket shops and restaurants, as well as London's largest concentration of five star hotels. Rents are among the highest in London and the world and its prestigious status has been commemorated by being the most expensive property square on the London Monopoly board.Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long "May Fair" that, from 1686 to 1764, took place on the site that is now Shepherd Market.HistoryMayfair was mainly open fields until development started in the Shepherd Market area around 1686 to accommodate the May Fair that had moved from Haymarket in St James's. There were some buildings before 1686 – a cottage in Stanhope Row, dating from 1618, which was destroyed in the Blitz in late 1940, though there is no evidence of meaningful habitation or building before 1686. There has been speculation that the Romans settled in the area before establishing Londinium. A theory has been proposed since the 1950s that Aulus Plautius set up a fort near the junction of Park Street and Oxford Street during the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43 while waiting for Claudius; the theory was more fully developed in 1993, with a proposal that around the fort a Roman town formed, which was later abandoned as being too far from the Thames. The proposal has been disputed due to lack of archaeological evidence. If there was a fort, it is believed the perimeter would have been where the modern roads Green Street, North Audley Street, Upper Grosvenor Street and Park Lane now are, and that Park Street would have been the main road through the centre.
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  • Area with priciest real estate in city with priciest real estate in Europe. Sexy Fish died and were served up on platters in Berkeley Square. Royal Academy of Arts. Although a friend no longer automat...  more »
  • I have been saving up for ages so that I could walk into the Crombie Shop in Conduit Street to try on and purchase a Crombie Retro Coat, Service was impeccable so thank you Morshed superb salesperson,...  more »
  • An effluent area with luxury residential property, upmarket shops and restaurants and exclusive hotels for the upper class. Surrounded by parkland, both Hyde Park and Green Park is on its border with ...  more »

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Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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