Sitting in its prominent position at the juncture of Jermyn Street and Duke Street in St James, The Cavendish resides in one of London’s most affluent and beautiful areas, Mayfair. Being in the heart of London and all the things the capital has to offer visitors, we often miss what is on our own doorstep so, during your next stay with us, take some time to explore this stunning area.
Just a stone’s throw away from leafy St James’ park, Mayfair includes the areas between the world famous shopping areas of Regent Street, Oxford Street, Park Lane and Piccadilly making it an exclusive and desirable neighbourhood packed with period architecture, grand homes, wonderful hotels –including The Cavendish London – and cosmopolitan restaurants.
It’s easy to fall in love with some of the wonderful period properties that are on the hotel’s doorstep. Take a short stroll in any direction to find 18th century mansions and Edwardian apartment buildings complemented by original shop fronts. Everything looks exactly as you would imagine it would: beautiful, elegant and extremely posh!
All of this is a far cry from where the area takes its name. The annual ‘May Fair’, which took place from the late 1600’s to 1764, stood on what is now Shepherds Market but over the years it became increasingly unpleasant and even a public nuisance leading to a campaign to abolish it. Through the Grosvenor family – who became the Dukes of Westminster and who are still one of the area’s largest landowners – Mayfair, as it became known, was redeveloped into upper class housing by the end of the 18th century. Chesterfield Street is one of the few street in which 18th century properties still exist on both sides and is therefore one of the least altered roads in the area.
Many of the large original properties have been converted into embassies and corporate headquarters, but Mayfair still retains a substantial amount of high-end residences along with upmarket shops, restaurants and galleries. Its status has even been immortalised on the famous ‘Monopoly’ board game where it is, just like in real life, the most expensive square on the board!
Always attracting the rich and famous, Mayfair has been home to many well-known residents. Further down Jermyn Street from The Cavendish London stands a statue to Beau Brummell, the Regency-era ‘dandy’ who became the gentlemen’s fashion icon of the 18th century. Sartorial elegance surrounds this area with the Burlington Arcade home to gentlemen’s outfitters, shirt makers and tailors – Brummell’s legacy still abounds.
It is said that Pocahontas, the famous Native American squaw, visited Mayfair in the early 17th century and many Americans have subsequently frequented the area including Theodore Roosevelt who married in Hanover Square and Franklin D. Roosevelt who honeymooned here. Indeed the US Embassy used to be located on Grosvenor Square before its relocation to Wandsworth. A memorial park in Mount Street even has benches engraved with the names of former American residents and visitors.
The area’s most famous resident certainly has to be Her Majesty The Queen, who was born at 17 Brunton Street, her maternal grandfather’s house. Sir Winston Churchill, George Fredric Handel and Jimi Hendrix also lived in Mayfair – the latter two’s former residences are now open to the public as the Handel and Hendrix museum on Brook Street. So, whilst walking around, keep your eyes open for blue plaques commemorating the homes of Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale and Jeeves creator, P.G Wodehouse amongst many others.
For Arts’ Sake
It is said that the east end of Mayfair has more art galleries than most European cities, which is quite fitting at the Royal Academy of Arts is based in Piccadilly just a 3 minute walk from The Cavendish!
Beginning at the Royal Academy - which currently has an exhibition of David Hockney’s work; The Arrival of Spring, Normandy - it’s easy to take in many of the galleries and auction houses in the area.
From mid-July through to September, leading galleries around Piccadilly have various exhibitions taking place which can be followed easily via a walking trail. Take a look at www.mayfairartweekend.com to see exactly what is being exhibited and when.
Along with art and sartorial elegance, Mayfair is synonymous with fine dining. Enjoy the fresh, seasonal menu that The Cavendish’s own Mayfair Lounge and Grill offers. Seeped in history but bang up to date, The Cavendish has been renowned for its food since its original owner, Rosa Lewis, became the doyen of dining during the Edwardian era. Today, the restaurant delivers a culinary experience that leaves you with everlasting memories, a desire to share and the need to return for more… so we look forward towel coming you when you do.
We look forward to welcoming you soon and remember, book direct with us for three nights or more and you’ll receive a 20% discount. Or enjoy a stay with afternoon tea at the Mayfair Lounge and Grill www.mayfairloungeandgrill.com