Have you always been intrigued to learn more about the history of Mayfair? Often described as a town within a town, London’s most ‘reclusive’ enclave exudes aristocratic opulence as well as old world charm. My latest walk – Hidden Mayfair – provides a perfect introduction to many of the area’s secrets and I hope you will join me for a little snoop around!
While visiting the sites of a former burial ground and a popular Georgian ice-cream parlour, this walk will also take in Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s only public work in the UK, the mock-Tudor house in which Gloria Swanson used to live as well as – and perhaps most surprising – an Italian garden perched on top of an electricity substation. From aristocratic landlords to fearless flappers, our glitzy and glamourous cast of characters will include the incomparable Lady Emma Hamilton, retail-magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge and infamous actress Tallulah ‘Dahling’ Bankhead.
Originally conceived for Open Garden Squares Weekend 2014, this walk of two hours uses the green (and ‘grey’) spaces of Mayfair as a connecting thread. For a small taster of this tour, check out murder mystery writer Fran Pickering‘s feature about the mystic fountain we will be encountering on our walk:
You can also find little mentions of the Mayfair Tour on the following websites and blogs:
While researching this tour I was also very fortunate to stumble upon two invaluable resources which I’d like to share with you as I believe they should be more widely known. On its website, the Royal Academy of Arts offers an extensive architectural history of Burlington House which came in handy. Over Twitter I was alerted to the recent release of a free book called ‘The Story of Mayfair From 1664 Onwards‘. Written by Mayfair’s leading real estate agent Peter Wetherell, this chronicle contains a fantastic illustrated section on buildings that we have lost! *sigh*
This tour is open to tourists as well as seasoned Londoners who want to learn more about the history of Mayfair. The walk is fully accessible too. To check dates and buy tickets (£8), please visit my EventBrite page: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-hidden-mayfair-tour-tickets-8934676859. The meeting point for the tour is by the Pump House in the middle of Berkeley Square, which is a 5 minutes walk away from Green Park Station (see map below).
If you have any more questions do not hesitate to get in touch with me either via my Contact Page or send me an email directly to: yannick.pucci[at]gmail.com. You can also find me on Twitter (@ypldn) where I am always up for a chat. This tour can also be booked as a private walk for groups and individuals.