The insider’s guide to Mayfair

We asked the experts to walk us through a perfect day in W1...

This year, Mayfair officially knocked Knightsbridge off the top spot as London’s most expensive area. Once the location of the disreputable Edwardian ‘May Fair’, this now-covetable corner of West London has become the playground of the uber-wealthy, and plays host to a swathe of the Capital’s finest restaurants, most decadent hotels and exclusive nightclubs.

With property prices in W1 showing no signs of coming back down to Earth any time soon, only an elite few will soon be able to invest in a patch of this district to call their own. But that doesn’t mean a gentleman can’t fill his day with the best of what Mayfair has to offer.

The insider’s guide to Mayfair
Leo's at The Arts Club

We spoke with two of our Mayfair-dwelling friends, Peter Wetherell of Wetherell Mayfair Estate Agents (whose Twitter bio will inform you that he knows Mayfair like nobody else), and William Woodhams, CEO of luxury bookmakers Fitzdares, to run us through what a perfect Mayfair day looked like for them.

Read on to discover the haunts you should be frequenting in order to experience the best that this glittering area has to offer…

Start your day right with the best coffee in London...

Both Woodhams and Wetherell both cite The Mount Street Deli as the best spot to start the day. “They stock the best coffee in London — and can give East London a run for its money on barista skills!” says Woodhams. 

All of their tea and coffee is selected from independent London roaster, Caravan, who source the best quality green coffee in a sustainable, and environmentally friendly way — so you can feel good about shelling out a little extra for your cappuccino.

Next up, it’s breakfast time…

For Wetherell, the newly-opened outside terrace at Jean-Georges at The Connaught is the perfect spot for a leisurely breakfast. If you’re feeling indulgent, the truffle scrambled eggs are to die for — or, for a healthier alternative, the crushed peas and mint on toast will kick start your day the right way.

Woodhams’ preference is to frequent The Connaught for a pre-dinner cocktail. “If only for the home made crisps — try them now! The daiquiris and martinis there are  truly exceptional — and the crowd is fun and local.”

Time for a leisurely lunch…

“Lunch has to be at the newly refurbished Harry’s Bar on South Audley”, says Woodhams. “Millions have been spent on its recent refurbishment, and it feels more feminine, and so makes for the perfect lunch spot. It is still the ultimate treat restaurant and without doubt the best staff in the world under Luciano!” 

The insider’s guide to Mayfair
5 Hertford St.

For Wetherell, the lunch menu at 5 Hertford St. is unbeatable, albeit a little trickier to bag a table at…

Settle in for afternoon tea…

According to Woodhams, there’s only one place: “It might seem strange but an afternoon stop at Mark’s Club cannot be bettered. No tourists, no loud mouths, no elaborate buttery afternoon teas, just quiet decorum, truly excellent tea, exemplary staff and hushed tones that avoid — by rule — business chat.”

The insider’s guide to Mayfair
Mark's Club

For William, it’s the quintessential Londoner’s choice of Claridges for an afternoon tea. For the true Mayfair experience, enjoy your sandwiches and cakes with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé.

Get ready to dine out…

“Dinner can be tricky” Woodhams explains, “as the two best places are impossible to get into. The Mexican at Annabel’s or the Sushi Bar at 5 Hertford Street are both at the top of their games — and both offer great dancing downstairs!” 

Another devilishly tricky place to get an invite to, Wetherell favours Oswald’s Club for dinner. With a huge focus on wine, members here can even cellar their own wine here, or buy in house and then enjoy a glass in either the ground floor restaurant or on the small rear terrace.

For when the Mayfair night is yet young…

“If, like me, you don’t move with much elegance, I advise whipping over to Leo’s at the Arts Club — who seem to have an unrelenting line up of incredible live bands who get everyone dancing without embarrassment!” says William.

The insider’s guide to Mayfair
Leo's at The Art's Club

For a more romantic destination, Peter recommends Galvin at Windows on the rooftop of the Hilton on Park Lane, where you can drink in some of the best views in the City with a sparkling glass of champagne in hand.  

William offers some parting advice for the gentleman looking to make the most of what W1 has to offer: “After a day following the above timetable, you’d better pray for gamble to have paid off, or get yourself checked into the Betty Ford clinic. Mayfair is not for the light walleted or hearted…”

Further Reading