Any destination guide to London will centre its most glamorous chapter on things to do in Mayfair. The central location of The May Fair became the home of London’s aristocracy following the Great Fire of 1666 and dukes’ former grand mansions and parks now form the basis of one of London’s most celebrated and elegant quarters.
The May Fair Hotel, London
Selfridges is one of the world's finest department stores and dominates the west end of Oxford Street. A contemporary store that includes products from high end designer to the high street's most fashionable brands, Selfridges offers a broad selection of fashion options making it a fantastic store for everyone.
Situated on The May Fair Hotel's doorstep, it would be rude not to pop into Jooal. Famous for its beautiful collection of rare coloured gemstones, originally available in the Harrods Fine Jewellery Room, Jooal has a very impressive client list including Royals around the globe, politicians and actresses. Renowned for their signature stone Tanzanite, Jooal jewellery is simply stunning.
Only a few minutes’ walk away from The May Fair Hotel, Bond street is home to the world's best jewellers. Known as a playground to society’s wealthiest and most stylish people, Bond Street epitomises luxury. When travelling from Old Bond Street to New Bond Street, you'll pass shops stores including De Beers, Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, Tiffany &Co and Harry Winston.
Oxford Street is one of London’s most popular and busiest streets when it comes to shopping around Mayfair. With something for everyone, you can’t go wrong when shopping here. With everything from high end department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser, to Marks & Spencer, Gap, Zara, Top Shop, H&M and Primark.
Randall & Aubin
Located in the heart of Soho, Randall & Aubin is the place to go for a great evening out. As well as having a great atmosphere, the food is simply delicious. With a great menu offering top seafood dishes such as whole dressed crab and classics including sirloin steak, it certainly makes the queuing for a table policy well worth it.
London Borough Market
London's most renowned food market, Borough Market is a provider of exceptional British and international produce located in London Bridge, under the railway lines. Open from Thursday to Saturday, Borough market's amazing food and atmosphere make it an experience you will not forget.
Fortnum and Mason
Quintessentially English, a favourite of the Royals and one of the most famous and oldest stores in London, Fortnum and Mason are renowned purveyors of fine foods, hampers, teas and wine. With its fantastic interiors, Fortnum's is a must-see store and an excellent place to buy beautifully wrapped gifts for all the family.
The Guinea Grill
The Guinea restaurant and private dining room is housed in one of London’s oldest pubs. Established in 1423, The Guinea is a traditional English pub in the heart of Mayfair. Serving some of the best steak in London, fresh fish, seafood, English lamb and their famous pies, it's a great place to eat for a truly British experience.
Sea Shell of Lisson Grove
You can't get more British than fish and chips. The Sea Shell has gained a great reputation with stars and celebrities alike and is located close to some of London's most famous landmarks, including Madame Tussauds, The Planetarium, Lords Cricket Ground, Abbey Road and Regents Park Zoo.
The perfect place to satisfy your cheese addiction, La Fromagerie enjoys the reputation of being one of the best cheese shops in England. As well as the shop there is also a café where you can enjoy dishes such as Escargots L'Anglais, Croque Monsieur, charcuterie plates and, of course, the La Fromagerie Cheese Plate.
Located on New Bond Street, Sotheby's has become a destination for connoisseurs of art and collectors. Sales range from furniture, to Picasso, to porcelain, to old master paintings and so on. The first auction house to do sales through the internet, and recent record sales in modern and contemporary art, Sotheby's caters for everyone.
Famous for its expertise, extraordinary art and its supreme service, Christie's is recognised worldwide as one of the world's leading auction houses. Opened in 1766, it offers over 400 sales a year in a wide range of categories including fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine and more.
With its flagship London sale room situated in New Bond Street, Bonhams boasts that buyers that will only find antiques and fine art of the highest quality with them. All Bonham's specialists are based in New Bond Street and are available to give advice and auction estimates. As you can imagine, they are usually very busy, so an appointment is advisable!
Popping up on random walls around London, guerrilla artist Banksy has taken London by storm with his great presence of street art. With some of his art targeted at making hard-hitting political points and other craftsmanship that is just seen as quirky and amusing, Bansksy's work is well worth seeing.
Statue of Eros
In the heart of Piccadilly Circus sits the famous Eros statue, a popular landmark many tourists choose to take their photographs next to. Contrary to what many may believe, the Eros statue is in fact not the Greek god of love but a memorial to the Earl of Shaftesbury, a philanthropist who did much good in the area.
Portobello Road Antique Market
Known as the largest antique market in London, Portobello Road Market in West London has a great buzz and feel to it. Running almost the length of trendy Notting Hill from south to north, Saturday is the best day to visit the market, as over 1,00 sellers will be showing off their wares.
Opened in 1897 and the oldest gallery in the Tate network of galleries in England, the contemporary displays at Tate Britain present some of the famous names of British art and showcase works by emerging British artists. It's a stunning building situated on Millbank overlooking the River Thames.
The Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly continues to fulfil its founders' aims by mounting a continuous programme of internationally acclaimed loan exhibitions, supported by extensive education programmes, seminars and debates. The Main Galleries and The Sackler Wing of Galleries host a variety of major exhibitions from all periods and art forms.
BFI London Film Festival
The largest film festival in London is organised by the British Film Institute every October time. The annual festival showcases the best in cinema from both British and international filmmakers, screening over 300 films and shorts from around the world. Visit the http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff to find out more.
Raindance Film Festival
Dedicated to filmmakers, the 10-day Randance Film Festival supports independent film. Many of the movies shown in the two week festival are from first-time directors and takes place in central London during September - October every year. Visit the Raindance Film Festival website for more information.
Film4 Summer Screen
Every August, the magnificent courtyard at Somerset House hosts outdoor film screenings. On a perfect summer's day, what better way to relax and enjoy your favourite film than in the beautiful surroundings set back from the River Thames? Tickets sell out fast, so visit the Fim4 Summer Screen website to book.
The Scoop at More London is an outdoor sunken amphitheatre with seating for 800. Throughout the summer months it regularly hosts a variety of free events, from films, music and theatre to local community events and activities. The Scoop at More London is open to everyone and is located close to the iconic Tower Bridge.
Prince Charles Cinema
Situated in Leicester Square, Prince Charles Cinema is known for being London's best value cinema. As well as playing recent blockbusters, the cinema also has specialist screenings including sing-along-nights, where audience participation is strongly encouraged. A great night out for all.
BFI Imax 3D
With screen sizes over 20 metres high, 26 metres wide and a top notch sound system, watching a film at the BFI Imax 3D cinema is a unique experience. You literally feel like you are 'in the picture'. If you are a film enthusiast, visit the BFI Imax for more information and to book tickets.
The Royal Opera House
Home of the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera House is a world-famous spectacular theatre in Covent Garden. Book tickets to one of its popular performances to truly understand how magnificent this venue is and enjoy a glass of champagne in the Paul Hamlyn Hall Champagne Bar beforehand.
Oprera Holland Park
Listen to beautiful opera in a stunning setting. With a programme of easy listening classic operas to more serious works, it’s a perfect way to spend a summer evening outdoors in leafy Holland Park. Take along a picnic for the interval or book ahead for fine dining options organised by Opera Holland Park.
Located in Berkley Square, very close to The May Fair Hotel, sits the famous Annabel’s private members’ club. Boasting a guest list of high profile visitors, including royalty - Princess Anne as well as the Queen herself. Frank Sinatra, Kate Moss and Ivana Trump have also been members. If you want to join the elite, Annabel’s is the place to go.
The O2 Arena
The O2 started life as the Millennium Dome, when London celebrated the turn of the century. Now, it's a huge arena near Canary Wharf for concerts and shows with a capacity of 23,000 people, along with bars, restaurants, a cinema and bowling alley. For tickets and event information, visit www.theo2.co.uk