For a hedonistic home-city break, head to Mayfair, “the aesthete’s mecca that is the capital’s most elegant district”, says FT Globetrotter.
Places of note Stroll around Shepherd Market, an 18th-century square tucked away behind Piccadilly with shops, restaurants and old-school pubs to explore. Oenophiles should head to the “spectacularly impressive” Hedonism Wines on Davies Street. Meanwhile, Mount Street, one of Mayfair’s original shopping destinations, has Queen Anne-revival architecture and designer shops, but if fashion’s not your thing, there’s also beautiful stationery at Mount Street Printers and vintage Cuban cigars at Sautter. And then there are the galleries – global names Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth, photography specialists Hamiltons, and spa-like Thaddaeus Ropac are all in the post code. Passing through Berkeley Square? Be sure to look out for members’ club Annabel’s ever-changing facade – it has just unveiled a dazzling, Amazon-themed exterior.
Famous faces It’s one of the best places in the capital to spot celebs, drawn in by the superb selection of members’ clubs, Michelin-starred restaurants and unrivalled hotels. Rihanna, Drake and even Her Majesty have passed through Annabel’s doors – it is said to be the only club the Queen has visited.
To eat Famous seafood restaurant Scott’s is “a beloved London institution and the perennial answer to where to eat”. Step into the Connaught hotel and your indulgent choices include a patisserie, all-day dining at Jean-Georges, three-Michelin-starred food at Hélène Darroze, new addition the Connaught Grill and the Connaught bar, which serves the best martinis in town. For something (a little) more affordable, there’s the bustling pizzeria Delfino – its outside terrace is a perfect spot for people watching.
1 To stay
New kid on the block the Mayfair Townhouse is made up of, not one, but fifteen Georgian townhouses on Half Moon Street, an address famous from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Flamboyant interiors inspired by the poet and playwright await guests, plus the Dandy Bar, the Lower Ground restaurant, a small gym and more than 170 rooms and suites with velvet furnishings and eccentric artwork. Doubles from £265 a night.
2 To rent
This penthouse flat, just steps from leafy Grosvenor Square, has a 24-hour concierge and a lift to whisk you up to your luxury space. Once inside, you’ll find a reception room, separate kitchen, double bedroom and shower room. Bond Street Tube station is three minutes’ walk away. £2,383 a month.
3 To Airbnb
This two-bedroom flat is a stone’s throw from both Berkeley Square and Mount Street. It has floor-to-ceiling windows in the open-plan sitting and dining area from which to admire the surrounding architecture, a fully equipped kitchen and eclectic decor. Sleeps four, from £278 a night.
4 To buy
Mayfair remains one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in the world – “it is unaffordable even on the Monopoly board” – as the price tag for this 12-bedroom townhouse on Upper Grosvenor Street shows. For your millions you get a home cinema, a gym and spa with one of the area’s largest swimming pools, four reception rooms and a master bedroom (on its own floor) that comes with a private roof terrace. £54.5m.