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London - Around Town : Mayfair and St James's (part 2) - Shopping, Eating and Drinking

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Exploring St James’s

Morning

Starting from St James’s Park Underground, walk up through Queen Anne’s Gate, noting the lovely 18th-century houses. Pass through the alley in the corner into Birdcage Walk then into St James’s Park . Get a coffee from the café, Inn the Park, and watch the pelicans before heading up to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard at 11am. After the ceremony, head up The Mall, past St James’s Palace and into St James’s Street. Turn right into Jermyn Street, and check out such traditional shops as cheese seller, Paxton and Whitfield, and perfumery, Floris. Walk through Wren’s St James’s Church near the end of the street, leaving by the north exit where a craft market is held. Head west down Piccadilly to Fortnum’s.

Afternoon

Fortnum & Mason is the perfect place to buy tea, as a souvenir, and to have lunch, in the Fountain restaurant, where the dieter’s choice is caviar and half a bottle of champagne.

Cross Piccadilly to the Royal Academy of Arts and spend an hour on their permanent collection, including Michelangelo’s sculpture, Madonna and Child. Window shop along Burlington Arcade and then the Cork Street galleries. Turn left into Bond Street, heading for Brown’s stylish hotel in Albemarle Street, and relax over a lavish (and expensive) English tea.

Shopping

  1. Fortnum and Mason

    Famous for its food hall and restaurants, this elegant department store still has male staff who wear coat tails. Try the extravagant ice-creams in the Fountain restaurant .

    • 181 Piccadilly W1

  2. Asprey

    The British royal family have bought their jewels here for more than a century. Other gift items to be found here include pens and silver picture frames.

    • 165–169 New Bond Street W1

  3. Charbonnel et Walker

    One of the best chocolate shops in town selling a tempting array of handmade chocolates. Fill one of the pretty boxes, which come in a range of sizes, with your own choice of chocolates.

    • 1 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street W1

  4. Gieves and Hawkes

    Purveyors of fine, handmade suits and shirts to the gentry since 1785, this shop is one of the best-known in a street of expert tailors. Off-the-rack clothes are also available.

    • 1 Savile Row W1

  5. Browns

    London’s most famous designer clothing store stocks pieces by Lanvin, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen among many others.

    • 23–7 South Molton Street W1

  6. Mulberry

    Come here for the complete country-house look, including clothing, household items and gorgeous leather goods.

    • 41–2 New Bond Street W1

  7. Cork Street Galleries

    Cork Street is famous for its art galleries. You can buy works by the best artists here, from Picasso and Rothko to Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

  8. Sotheby’s

    View everything from pop star memorabilia to Old Master paintings at this fine arts auction house founded in 1744.

    • 34–5 New Bond Street W1

    Sotheby’s auction house
  9. Fenwick

    An up-market, pleasantly small department store.

    • 63 New Bond Street W1

  10. Waterstone’s

    What is possibly Europe’s largest bookshop occupies a large building on Piccadilly .

    • 203–206 Piccadilly


Eating and Drinking

  1. Sketch

    The cooking here is some of the finest London has to offer. The Gallery is buzzy and informal, while the pricier Lecture Room attracts the fashionable and famous.

    • 9 Conduit Street W1

    • 020 7659 4500

  2. Momo

    Brilliantly-decorated in a kasbah style, this modern, North African restaurant serves tajines and couscous. The Mo Tea Room and Bazaar next door serves tea and snacks.

    • 25 Heddon Street W1

    • 020 7434 4040

  3. The Avenue

    Join the smart set in this vast, lively restaurant. Food is European and caters to the British preference for large portions.

    • 7–9 St James’s Street SW1

    • 020 7321 2111

  4. Tamarind

    This Indian restaurant doesn’t disappoint. The food is modern, original and seasonal while staff are helpful and efficient. The set menus are great value.

    • 20 Queen Street W1

    • 020 7629 3561

  5. The Square

    Wonderful French food is on offer at this sophisticated modern restaurant. Only set-course meals are served; at lunchtime 2- and 3-course meals are £30 and £35.

    • 6–10 Bruton Street W1

    • 020 7495 7100

    • Disabled access

  6. The Wolseley

    The art-deco interior gives this famous brasserie an air of glamour. Opens 7am (8am Sat & Sun). Book well ahead for the formal restaurant.

    • 160 Piccadilly W1

    • 020 7499 6996

  7. Nicole’s

    Located in the Nicole Farhi fashion shop, this café is a popular lunch stop.

    • 158 New Bond Street W1

    • 020 7499 8408

  8. Alloro

    This Mayfair restaurant has an airy first-floor dining room, and good Italian food.

    • 19–20 Dover Street W1

    • 020 7495 4768

  9. ICA Café

    Good food at reasonable prices is on offer at this arts centre restaurant.

    • The Mall SW1

    • 020 7766 1451

  10. The Greenhouse

    Michelin-star modern European cuisine in a serene Mayfair location.

    • 27 Hay’s Mews W1

    • 020 7499 3331

Unless otherwise stated, all restaurants accept credit cards and serve vegetarian meals

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