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Mayfair, London

4.2
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the east edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in London and the world.The area around Mayfair was originally part of the manor of Eia and remained largely rural in nature until the early 18th century. It became well known for the annual "May Fair" that took place from 1686 to 1764 in what is now Shepherd Market. The fair attracted an unpleasant, downmarket element and gradually became a public nuisance. The Grosvenor family, later to become the Dukes of Westminster, acquired land through marriage and began to develop on it under the direction of Thomas Barlow. The work included three major squares – Hanover Square, Berkeley Square and Grosvenor Square, all of which were surrounded by luxury homes, and the church of St George Hanover Square.By the end of the 18th century, most of Mayfair was built on with prestigious housing to suit the upper class; unlike some nearby areas of London, it has never lost its affluent status. The decline of the British aristocracy in the early 20th century led to Mayfair becoming more commercial instead of residential, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporate headquarters, embassies and other businesses. There remains a substantial quantity of luxury residential property, upmarket shops and restaurants, and modern hotels along Piccadilly and Park Lane in particular. Mayfair's prestigious status has been commemorated by being the most expensive property square on the London Monopoly board.
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  • Affluent area with shops, residents and prices to match. Architecture is pretty and grand and it's a pleasant area to stroll through. If dining or shopping here expect a significant price tag but on t...  more »
  • A very upmarket part of London with expensive housing and retail outlets. Good restaurants but expensive.  more »
  • 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 »

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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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