Anyone who’s played Monopoly knows that Mayfair means big money. Named after the annual spring fair that took place in the area in the 17th and 18th centuries, Mayfair was home to the upper class way back when and that’s continued to this day. It’s the most upmarket area of London packed with designer stores, private members’ clubs, swish bars, posh restaurants, art galleries and lavish hotels, so if you’ve got cash to splash this is the place.
From high-end Indian at Gymkhana to opulent Chinese at Park Chinois to classic seafood (and celeb spotting) at Scott’s, Mayfair is full of fancy restaurants with equally fancy prices. These are the spots you save up for special occasions or or when you’ve got dinner on the company card. Even sleeping in Mayfair is a luxurious experience with five-star hotels like The Dorchester, Claridge’s and The Connaught all within walking distance of each other. If they’re good enough for royals then they’re good enough for us.
Widely considered to be one of, if not the, best Indian restaurant in London, Gymkhana is looking better than ever after a refurbishment following a fire. There’s new artwork and photographs on the ground floor level, and a more substantial remodelling in the basement, which has seen the bar moved and a more colourful design adopted. The menus still feature many of the Gymkhana classics, as well as a few new dishes and cocktails, so there’s plenty of reasons to visit again even if you’ve been before. The kid goat methi keema was always one of the most hyped dishes at Gymkhana and it’s still a must order – scooping up the rich minced goat meat and piling it on to the soft buttery pao buns is a joy to behold. Another one of Gymkhana’s most famous dishes, the muntjac biryani, is still here and again it’s one you won’t want to pass up. The pastry crust is broken upon table-side, revealing a steaming bowl of rice and chunks of muntjac deer – it’s a heavy dish but it’s served with pomegranate and mint raita which helps add a bit of freshness. Whether you’re a long time fan of Gymkhana or you’re yet to visit, the refurbishment of the space is the perfect excuse to visit. It’s certainly pricier than your average Indian restaurant but the cooking is exceptional, and fully worthy of it’s Michelin-star status. A five star experience all round.
17 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8EA, United Kingdom
Like Yauatcha and Hakkasan, Park Chinois was originally set up by Alan Yau before he moved on to other things (as he always does). Park Chinois might just be his magnum opus, a ridiculously lavish palace that sticks two fingers up to austerity Britain – well it is in Mayfair after all. Dining here, with its chandeliers, red velvet drapes and gold taps shaped like flying ducks, feels like stepping back to another era and we completely adore it. There’s incredible dim sum, whole roast Peking duck, lobster, crab, and even some modern creations such as the Park Carbonara made with sea urchin. This place, more than the others even, could break the bank but check out the Prix Fie lunch menu if you want to keep it tidy. Or just forget it and go all out.
4 Blenheim Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1LB, United Kingdom
Cubé does things a little differently, with a mix of very traditional Japanese dishes plus some European influences – the bulk of the menu is arranged into Hot and Cold tapas sections, with one dish mixing Udon noodles with black olive and truffle pesto for instance. The fatty tuna and eel sushi were two of our faves and defo go for the small cubes of pork belly, really soft and tender and seasoned with a great big whack of rosemary – we’d go back for this alone.
17 Bruton St, Mayfair, London W1J 6QB, United Kingdom
8 Hanway Place, London W1T 1HD, UK
Sister to Yauatcha, Hakkasan also knocks out some beautifully refined Chinese food at its two locations in Mayfair and Hanway Place. It loses minor points for the permanent nightclub soundtrack but the cooking more than makes up for it. Again, you could spend a small fortune if you go for dinner but check out the Dim Sum Sundays menu available from midday until 6:45, which is £62 per person and includes a bottle of champagne to share, two cocktails each, a banging selection of dim sum and a main course too. A pretty civilsed way to spend a Sunday we think.
Scott’s was originally opened as an oyster warehouse in 1851 by a young fishmonger by the name of John Scott and rapidly evolved into the now famous seafood restaurant and oyster bar. The menu reflects its impressive heritage, serving traditional fish and shellfish dishes alongside a variety of meat and seasonal game dishes in very posh Mayfair surrounds. Oysters, served at the elegant oyster and Champagne bar, are a house speciality. The outdoor terrace is a famous hangout for celebs too so you might even spot a few stars.
Claridge’s is quite simply a London icon. The 5-star hotel is synonymous with glamour and elegance – it’s popular with the royals as well as whole host of other famous faces, so that should give you some idea of the standards they run this place to. The rooms range from superior kings to royal suites, and they’re all decked out in grand art deco style. If you can’t afford to sleep over, you can still get a little taste of luxury with the hotel’s famous afternoon tea – served in that signature green and white china – or at Davies and Brook, the restaurant from Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm, which serves up dishes like dry-aged duck glazed with honey & lavender and Claridge’s Fried Chicken.
The Dorchester is one of the most famous hotels in London and since it opened in 1931, it’s been a popular haunt of royals, celebs and even presidents. As well as having a host of opulent rooms and suites, the five-star hotel is also known for its collection of restaurants, which include The Grill at the Dorchester, led by Tom Booton (creator of that lobster thermidor tart); China Tang, which serves traditional Cantonese food; the 3-star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester; and The Promenade, where the hotel’s afternoon tea is served.
If you wanna splash the cash (like serious big bucks), you can’t beat The Connaught Bar. It’s all about the glitz and glamour, and the place is dripping in money – they even have a martini trolley! But if you’re feeling a bit less 007 there are plenty of reimagined classics on the menu too. It’s swish and you’ll probably only be able to afford one drink, but it’s so worth it.
The Connaught is part of the same hotel group as Mayfair neighbour Claridge’s so it’s no surprise that this 5-star hotel is also dripping in elegance – their art collection alone includes pieces by Barbara Hepworth, Damien Hirst and Louise Bourgeois. The 121 rooms go from superior queens right up to an apartment suite and all have 24-hour butler service – this is Mayfair after all. As well as The Connaught Bar, a regular on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, the hotel is also home to Jean-Georges at The Connaught, the two-star Helene Darroze at The Connaguht and the legendary Connaught Grill, which was revived by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in 2020.
If you’re fiending for French cooking in London look no further than Le Comptoir Robuchon, which keeps the spirit of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon alive following the legendary chef’s passing in 2018. It’s a bit of a swanky spot with marbled counters and velvet chairs and the food more than lives up to its stylish surrounds. Classics like dover sole, veal shank with ceps, and chocolate souffle sit alongside more inventive dishes like jerusalem artichoke panna cotta with smoked salmon, and there’s even a Japanese section that includes sashimi and sushi. Just a word of warning that the prices are pitched at a Mayfair audience so consider asking your boss to take your for a team bonding dinner – or try and visit for the midweek lunch menu.
Get your brows and lashes done alongside your blow dry as the Mayfair branch of Duck & Dry has launched Duck & Pluck. The brow and lash bar offers a range of threading and tinting services, meaning you can get all multiple treatments under one roof rather than trekking across town to different salons. With its straw lamps, bright yellow chairs and stone bar, it’s as Insta-worthy as the rest of Duck & Dry – and don’t forget to take advantage of the prosecco bar either.
St. Mark's Church, N Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 6ZA, UK
Mercato Mayfair (from the Mercato Metropolitano team) is housed inside the Grade-I listed St Mark’s church, which has undergone a massive £5 million refurb specifically for that reason. It looks holier than thou but the only thing you’ll be praying for is for your stomach to allow more food in because there’s restaurants, bars, patisseries, delis and food counters spread across its four floors. As well as a roof terrace where you can soak up the sights and sounds of Central London, the space also hosts a rotating selection of events, classes and workshops to get stuck into.
Charlie’s (run by Adam Byatt of Michelin-starred Trinity in Clapham) is the in-house restaurant at Brown’s Hotel and it showcases the best of British cuisine in a classic Mayfair dining room, with wood panelled walls, white tablecloths and cosy booths. It’s a pretty space, but definitely on the smart side, so not somewhere to come with a group of mates and start a riot. For a date night or family occasion, however, it fits the bill nicely. The menu plays up to the classic, old school style of the hotel with dishes like beef fillet tartare, chicken & duck liver terrine, and rack of lamb with potato & celeriac gratin.
Welcome to the jungle baby, it’s time to delve into the depths of the Amazon(ico). Think foliage-covered ceilings, lashings of gold and all-around OTT interiors, with loads of live plants too obv. There’s also nightly jazz performances in the restaurant and resident DJs in the Peruvian sushi bar so it’s more of an experience than a formal sit down meal. The food loosely follows the tropical theme, mixing Brazilian, Asian and Mediterranean influences for dishes like churrascaria, aguachile, sushi, poke, tandoori, Kobe beef and American steaks.
MONCKS OF DOVER STREET
33 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4NF, UK
Moncks of Dover St – named after 16th century local, owner of the Clarendon Estate and all-around good time guy Christopher Moncks – is open from breakfast though to evening, serving a pretty classic brassiere menu, with the odd Mayfair flourish. Coming from the team behind Park Chinois expect more of the same flair but less of the spicy ingredients. Take the eggs Benedict on the breakfast menu with truffle for example, or the lavish lobster roll, which comes with a little tin of caviar. If you’re just passing take a pew at the outstanding bar area or relax in their hidden courtyard.
The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF, UK
The Colony Grill Room is the main restaurant of Oxford Street refuge The Beaumont Hotel. It has an upmarket, vintage atmosphere and the dining room at the back has a slight feel of stepping back in time (in a good way) with dark wood panels, red leather booths and Art Deco stylings. When it comes to the food think of hearty American classics like burgers and juicy steaks straight off the grill. There are also more luxurious options too like sweet and creamy lobster bisque or steak tartare, which is made tableside. Don’t skip the drinks here either as it’s a great place to come for cocktails with its low lighting dark and moody vibe.
Atul Kochhar, who was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, flew back on to the London restaurant scene with Kanishka. Launched in partnership with Tina English it focuses on food from lesser known regions of India, including the Seven Sister states in the east. Dishes on offer include venison tartare with mustard oil mayo and naan crouton; pan seared seafood, Alleppey sauce and smoked cabbage poriyal; and the milk-based dessert chocolate rasmalai. With a 50-strong whisky list and cocktails including a Roast Banana Old Fashioned and a mezcal and tomato broth Ingrita, you won’t go thirsty here either.
Bombay Bustle draws inspiration from the tiffin-wallahs of Mumbai and the menu recreates some of the most-loved dishes from the area, like Misal pav topped with potato salli, Kolhapuri spiced spit roasted chicken, and seabass and scallop Tawa Pulao. For lunch you can grab a tiered tiffin box filled with curries, rice and breads. The interiors also draw influence from Mumbai with art deco design, a pewter bar and lots green leather and wood panelling, just like you’d find at an Indian railway station, so you won’t run out of things to snap for insta.
There’s been a pub on The Guinea Grill site since 1423 and the Grill itself has been open since 1952 so we say why break tradition now? The decor reflects its age with lots of wood-panelling, oil paintings and carpet that wouldn’t look out of place at your nana’s house but it’s authentic and we rate that. As well as pouring Young’s ales, the pub is known for serving up top notch pies and grass-fed steaks so this is the place to come for a few pints and a hearty meal.
Ollie Dabbous’ Hide was one of the most hyped openings of 2018 and it lived up to all the talk by winning a Michelin star within six months. Hide is split into three sections, with Below, a cocktail bar and wine cellar in the basement: Ground, a ground floor restaurant with a more casual vibe and a weekend brunch offering; and tasting menus on the top floor called Above. The food is of course inventive, skilful, and delicious with dishes like ‘Nest Egg’, an eggshell filled with a creamy concoction of yolk, smoked butter & mushroom and squab pigeon cooked over charcoal with quince miso. And we must mention the wine list which is one of the biggest in Europe. This is thanks to the partnership with nearby Hedonism wines. Not only is there a huge selection of wines in the restaurant’s own cellar but the list expands to roughly 6,000 bottles when you take into account Hedonism’s stock. The whole thing is so big, it’s stored on an iPad and if you want a bottle from Hedonism, they’ll whip round and get it for you.
Handel & Hendrix is a museum that encompasses the homes of composer George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix. Handel lived at 25 Brook Street for 36 years and wrote many of his famous works and Hendrix lived next door at number 23 from 1968-69 with girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, and was the scene of numerous jam sessions, musician visits and parties. As well as exploring out Handel’s music room, you can check out rarely-seen photographs of Hendrix, his record collection and his Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar.
Maddox Gallery was only established in 2015 but has already become a huge part of the contemporary and modern art scene in London. They’ve previously showcased some of the most respected and emerging artists alongside world-renowned figures such as Banksy, KAWS, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD, UK
The Royal Academy of Arts, which is led by artists and architects, has been showcasing art that ranges from ancient sculpture to contemporary paintings and everything in between for over 250 years. As well as an annual Summer Exhibition, which is the largest open-submission exhibition in the world, the RA has held shows on the likes of Russian revolutionary art, Anthony Gormley, Gauguin and the Impressionists, Tracey Emin and art from Oceania.
The Windmill might look like your traditional pub, albeit a slightly more fancy one, and yes they serve up classic pub grub like fish & chips and pies but look a little closer and you’ll find a fine dining restaurant upstairs with an ever evolving menu of delights like bone marrow straws or turbot & clams. If you’re just in it for the drinks though dive into their selection of cask ales, craft beers and an array of gins and in warmer weather you might even be lucky enough to grab a cocktail on their roof terrace.
34 Grosvenor Square, S Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 2HD, UK
You might think dining in Mayfair is all about formality and fine dining. 34 Mayfair certainly has the fine dining part down to a tee; there’s truffled lobster mac & cheese, white truffle pizza, and chateaubriand for two on the menu and a load of expensive bubbles to boot too. But one thing they also have down is fun, whether it’s the art by Tracey Emin in the upstairs private room aka The Emin Room, or their seasonal decs, including over 1400 dangling baubles, that envelope the space.
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 6BR, UK
If you’re looking for a vibey restaurant AND want to mingle with celebs, look no further then Sexy Fish. It’s OTT with coloured lighting, painted ceilings and even two of the world’s largest live coral reef tanks in their private room. There’s some pretty famous artwork on the walls from Damien Hirst and Frank Gehry and there’s often a DJ spinning tunes too. The menu is Asian, primarily Japanese, so expect a lot of sushi, sashimi, tataki, tempura and robata dishes plus truffle and caviar – it is Mayfair after all. They also have a huge selection of Japanese whisky if you really wanna push the boat out.
Founded by Nieves Barragan and José Etura, Spanish restaurant Sabor has taken London by storm, winning a Michelin star in 2018. Sabor means flavour in Spanish, and they have it by the bucket loads. You even get to choose which area you fancy dining at. There’s the Counter, which serves fresh fish and daily-changing regional dishes from across Spain, and the Bar for snacks and tipples, both on the ground floor. Up top is El Asador (where you make reservations) which serves dishes from Galicia and Castile, including suckling pig and rib of beef, cooked in a traditional wood fired oven.