Hidden London: Episode 10
We are back in Mayfair because it has a lot of history and of course great shopping stores. Mayfair takes its name from the fairs which took place every year in May in the mid 1700 to 1800s. There are a number of elegant Georgian townhouses, exclusive hotels, and gourmet restaurants.
Within Mayfair is Berkeley Square with gardens in the centre. Berkeley Square was made famous by the wartime song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square about the nightingale which sang there. The trees, reputedly planted there in 1789 are “London Plane” trees, some of the hardiest in the world. They thrive on the London atmosphere and are well equipped to cope with pollution. is now entirely occupied by high-status offices, clubs and other amenities for the very wealthy.
Bruton Street comes off Berkeley Square and is where Queen Elizabeth the Second was born at number 17 on the 21st April 1926. The queen was the first monarch for many centuries not to have been born within a Royal Palace. The townhouse belonging to the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne has since been demolished. However, there are two plaques on a less than glamorous building where the townhouse once stood. One marking the site of Her Majesty the Queen’s birth place and the other commemorating Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The home of luxury shopping in London is New Bond Street which is renowned throughout the world for hosting elegant stores, exclusive brands and designer luxury fashion. Auctioneers Sotherbys founded in the mid 1700s by the bookseller who expanded to include fine/decorative arts and jewellery is also there.
Jimi Hendrix was an American rock singer songwriter and an excellent guitarist who could play the guitar behind his back. The legendary rock guitarist lived in Mayfair at 23 Brooke Street between 1968 and 1969. It was a top floor flat of an 18th-century house. The London apartment of Jimi Hendrix has now been restored as a museum. There is a blue plaque on the outside wall of the house.
On the 30th of January 1969, The Beatles performed their last live show on the roof top of 3 Savile Row which was the Apple headquarters. The concert lasted less than 45mins as it was interrupted by the police who asked them to turn the volume down.
The nearest tube/underground/metro stations that cut through Mayfair are Bond Street and Green Park. There are also four other stations on four corners of Mayfair which are Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. Savile Row is close to Piccadilly Circus.