Newsletter sign up

A Guide to Mayfair, London’s Most Fashionable Address

By | Blog | No Comments


Boasting the finest of everything that London has to offer, from dining to shopping, hotels to bars, Mayfair is the perfect place to visit and be pampered in every way.

Its boutiques and shops are temples to luxury goods and have more designer clothes, accessories and jewellery than you can carry. With the finest shopping experience in London, it’s hard to leave the district empty-handed, though very easy to leave with an empty wallet.

Once the Mayfair visitor has tired of trying on designer gear or admiring beautiful bespoke items in its many bijou shops, there are plenty of fine restaurants and bars to which one can retire and enjoy fantastic food and drink amongst some of the wealthiest residents of the city.

Mayfair shopping
Shopping in Mayfair is bursting at the seams with designer names and exclusive brands. Many of the most prestigious labels from the UK and around the world have chosen to have their flagship stores in this chic West London haunt and as a result there’s no shortage of places to indulge a passion for fashion.

The flagship branch on New Bond Street

Distinctively British label Mulberry, famous for its outerwear and leather goods, takes pride of place on New Bond Street along with the new Louis Vuitton Maison, which has some 35,000 square feet of space that is billed as the most luxurious of its stores in the world. Stocked with some of the most rare and sought-after pieces in the Vuitton collection, the Maison also offers a selection of limited print books on contemporary British art.

Those looking for something a little edgier should head to Dover Street, where Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo has opened a six-storey store with echoes of London’s indoor markets. Dover Street Market, as its known, has concessions from the likes of Givenchy and Lanvin as well as lesser-known but no less chic designers.

Fine dining
Mayfair’s finest restaurant by a mile is the positively opulent Corrigan’s on Upper Grosvenor Street. Offering drinks at the bar as well as meals in its dining room, it feels luxurious from the moment the maître d’ takes your coat while the resident pianist plays the baby grand. Tasting menus are on offer from £75 and offer the chance to see the inventiveness and flair of the chefs while the offer of a bowl of chips on the side stops it from being too formal and stuffy.

For something a little less dizzyingly extravagant, North Audley Street’s Princess Garden offers some of the best dim sum anywhere in London – including Chinatown – and has an understated air of elegance and fantastic service.

Staying in Mayfair
Mayfair counts amongst its hotels some of the most famously luxurious in London and most well-known around the world. Claridge’s and The Dorchester are two names that are instantly recognisable and speak of elegance and indulgence.

The elegant Dorchester, overlooking Hyde Park

For something a little different in the area, visitors could choose instead the well-appointed apartments at No. 5 Maddox Street. Each of the luxury suites has a lounge with designer furnishings, a private kitchen and access to the 24 hour concierge service, all of which give just a small flavour of what it’s like to live in this wealthy and fashionable part of London.

Mayfair really does have the best of everything that London has to offer. Its most prestigious hotels provide a great place for those wishing to experience the London high life to stay, while shopping and dining are unsurpassed anywhere else in the city for those seeking the most privileged experience of London life.

Image Credits: achimh and Ugg Boy Ugg Girl

Events in London during October 2013

By | Blog | No Comments


Every month in London brings a new slew of events and October is no different. There’s a diverse range of things to do, both at a cost for participation and free to attend, that can keep you busy in the capital through the middle of autumn.

The BFI London Film Festival
One of the biggest events around London in October, and indeed one of the biggest film events on the world film calendar, is the London Film Festival, hosted by the BFI. Running from the 9th to the 20th October, the festival sees a whole host of new films including the next big box office hits and a range of independent titles receive showcase screenings across the city.

Across the 12 days of the festival, cinema goers will have the opportunity to choose from over 230 fiction and documentary feature films with a number of those receiving their world or European premiere in the city. In addition to the feature-length films on offer, there are also over 100 life action and animated short films as well as a packed programme of talks from directors, producers and actors linked with the films that are playing.

The festival screenings include shows at the famous Odeon Leicester Square, but also take in some of the independent cinemas around the city including the Ritzy in Brixton and the Hackney Picturehouse.

London Restaurant Festival
For those who would rather get more personally involved with the subject of their festivals, restaurants around London are inviting gastronauts and bon viveurs to enjoy a cornucopia of new flavours across the city. Some of the most sought-after restaurants in the city will be offering festival prix fixe menus from the 3rd to the 21st October, giving plenty of opportunities to sample the delights of fine dining at a reasonable price.

Enjoy some of the finest gourmet food London has to offer

One of the highlights of the festival is the Gourmet Odyssey, where adventurous diners are invited to board an old-fashioned London Routemaster bus and visit some of the city’s most exciting restaurants.

The London Restaurant Festival’s website has more information on how to get involved, including a list of participating restaurants and tickets for organised events.

Festival of Lights
21st October is an important date in the Hindu, Sikh and Jain calendars and sees devotees and the general public take to the streets to celebrate Diwali. The festival represents the triumph of good over evil in the faiths where it holds significance and is celebrated on the night of the new moon, when the nights are at their darkest, with lamps, lights and often fireworks.

Diwali flower lanterns float on the fountain at Trafalgar Square awaiting sunset

In London, Trafalgar Square acts as the centre of celebrations and sees thousands of people gather to enjoy the festive lights, traditional music and dancing and delicious food stalls as well as a range of activities for children. Join the party from sunset and enjoy a great, free night out.

Halloween Hauntings
There are plenty of spooky places around London to go at any time of the year, but none more so than on the 31st October. Halloween is celebrated in a number of different ways all over the city, with some venues taking great pride in providing scares for their visitors.

The London Dungeon is offering a late session, starting at 11pm, with an even creepier than usual trip through London’s more gruesome history. With an earlier start but an even more gruesome end, the Old Operating Theatre Museum at London Bridge has a special presentation from Professor Ian Conrich at 6pm with a discussion of the role of surgery in horror films. From The Human Centipede to Frankenstein, Professor Conrich will talk visitors through the role that surgery has to play in some of our most horrifying tales.

There are plenty of things to keep you busy around the city in October. Between festivals and festive celebrations, there’s something for everyone all through the month.

Image Credits: StateofIsrael and everheardofaspacebar

8 Unusual Facts about London

By | Blog | No Comments


London is an amazing and fascinating place with a long history and lots of interesting tales to tell about its growth and development. However, there are a few that will surprise even the most knowledgeable Londoner or well-read visitor to the city.

Take a look through our 8 strange facts and learn something about London that you never knew before.

1)  The Underground

Born in the Victorian era and the backbone of London’s transport system ever since, the London Underground is a source of great pride (and sometimes great consternation!) for Londoners getting around the city.

Here be Demons

Its development met with objections from some unlikely quarters. While one might expect well-to-do gentlemen to quibble over the noise and disruption of the works in their areas of work and home life, warnings from the clergy would not have been top of the list of expected grievances. However, Victorian church men warned the government against the building of the Underground, claiming the noise from the trains would “disturb the devil.”

2)  The Bridges of London

One of the things for which London is most famous is its Thames bridges, criss-crossing the river and allowing people and trade to flow from north to south.

Waterloo - The Women's Bridge

What many people don’t realise is that whilst the bridges are considered to be a feat of the ingenuity of men, Waterloo Bridge was predominantly built by women. The bridge as it stands today was built during World War II by women, who were amongst some 24,000 female construction workers who took on traditionally male roles across the city during the war.

3)  The Great Fire

The Great Fire of London was a calamity that saw the destruction of a considerable amount of the architecture and infrastructure across the city. Starting on Pudding Lane, the fire swept across the city with flames fanned by strong winds and fed by the timber that was the common building material of the day.

In spite of the widespread destruction wreaked by the fire, only six people lost their lives as a result of the blaze. Given the extent of the fire and the damage to property, this is quite remarkable.

4)  Harrod’s Department Store

Prestigious Harrod’s department store in London’s Knightsbridge has long been associated with the sale of luxury goods to gentrified Londoners and visitors to the city. Few people know that until 1916 amongst the toiletries on sale at the store customers could procure pure cocaine, which was on sale to the general public.

5)  Nelson’s Column

The plinths on Trafalgar Square surround the soaring column that sees Admiral Lord Nelson surveying the city towards Westminster and Whitehall. So impressed with the statue was Adolf Hitler that he planned, upon his expected conquering of the British Isles, to dismantle it and take it to Berlin.

6)  Animal Magic

Well-known as a densely populated city, few would think of London as being a particular haunt for wildlife. However, around the city excavations have found animal bones including a crocodile in Islington, a hippo in Trafalgar Square and a mammoth in King’s Cross. No-one knows where these animals came from.

7)  The Tower of London

Through the ages, the Tower of London has been the focus of a great many traitorous dealings and Royal incarcerations as the throne of England was contested by monarchs from across Europe. It finally fell into disuse as the home to those who had committed treason against the United Kingdom after the execution of Josef Jakobs, a German intelligence agent who was shot by a firing squad in 1941.

8)  St Paul’s Cathedral

One of the most iconic sights on the London skyline could have looked a lot different if Sir Christopher Wren had been allowed to have his way. On his original designs the dome of the cathedral, which is now topped with a spire, was crowned with a 60 foot high stone pineapple. That would have given quite a different aesthetic to this classical structure!


A city with the history that London has is bound to have a few surprising tales to tell. Through its lifetime, it certainly has seen its fair share of unusual goings-on. We can only imagine how what we do now will appear to our descendants in hundreds of years’ time.

Image Credits: by_dChris and lilivanili

Support London’s Air Ambulance

We are delighted to support London’s Air Ambulance, helping to extend the reach of their lifesaving missions across London. The London Helicopter will match your donation to double its impact.