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TRAVEL TIPS & INTEL

London Spotlight: Mayfair Shopping

Situated amidst three hundred years of shopping splendour, Mayfair offers an unparalleled opportunity for retail therapy for shopaholics arriving on flights to London.

Synonymous with luxury, the very mention of this perpetually stylish district of London brings a smile of satisfaction to travellers and locals seeking the finest in luxury.

Mayfair’s proximity to the most renowned of London’s shopping meccas also garners nods of approval from those requiring convenience along side their opulence.

One such shopping destination is Bond Street which runs through Mayfair from Piccadilly to Oxford Street. Although, technically there is no Bond Street at all.

Rather there are two streets, Old Bond Street (the southern bit) and New Bond Street (the northern bit).  The northern part is referred to as “New” as it was added in a second phase of development, with the Old and New streets being complete by 1746.  Generally speaking, common parlance refers to both in the singular as simply Bond Street.  Today these streets host some of London’s most glamorous and exclusive shops.  Visitors here can expect the likes of top brands such as Gucci and Armani as well as a number of retail locations for Royal Warrant holders (businesses that supply the royal family).  A list of Bond Street shops reads like a who’s who of today’s most prominent brands and top designers:  Donna Karan, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Nicole Fahri, Armani, Versace and Ralph Lauren.

Equally close at hand are the retail outlet-lined Regents Street and Oxford Street, both featuring some of the world’s hottest designer shops and name brand emporiums. For trendsetters, the cutting edge boutiques of the Soho and Fitzrovia tributaries that run along these thoroughfares are sure to please!  At Mayfair’s western edge, Harrods and Harvey Nichols and the rest of Knightsbridge’s shops await. To the south, across Piccadilly the sophisticated and historic St James’s preserves genteel centuries-old emporia such as the food halls of Fortnum & Mason.

For a lesson in the history of refined shopping, the Burlington Arcade – the world’s first shopping arcade – hosts the finest of up market retailers in one of Europe’s most magnificent settings.  Just off Piccadilly, this lush arcade’s current shops not only offer a wonderful array of quality products and gifts but also specialist knowledge and a high standard of service.  A list of the arcades shops includes notable luxury accessory providers Franchetti Bond, Polistas, Pickett, Crockett & Jones and Richard Ogden.  Whether ready to indulge in ashopping spree or just do a little window shopping with a historic feel, Burlington Arcade is a link with London’s past that’s sure to delight all who visit.

Need a bespoke suit?  Savile Row is famous for its tradition of tailoring.  Indeed, the actual term “bespoke” is thought to have originated on this handsome street when cloth for a suit was said to “be spoken for” by individual customers. The illustrious list of Savile Row customers includes Winston Churchill, Prince Charles and Napoleon III.  Today, Savile Row still epitomizes the best in bespoke tailoring.

All locations mentioned above are within walking distance from anywhere in Mayfair,  Of course, with such a central location, this fashionable district is well serviced by public transport and a steady stream of cabs. So, there’s no need to walk anywhere!  Several bus routes pass along the street.  A handful of nearby Tube stations – Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Green Park and Bond Street – ensure access to the rest of London.  Mayfair’s Park Lane is also one of the easiest places in London to hail a cab.  Beyond Mayfair and its sumptuous surroundings the rest of London’s shopping havens are all just a simple jaunt away.  Enjoy.

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