For those American expats seeking the good life in London neighborhoods Mayfair is the place to begin. Although most people can’t afford to actually live in Mayfair next to royals and celebrity icons visits to the neighborhood are more than possible. When making plans to walk the post streets of Mayfair there are a few hotspots one should consider.
Does it get any more exclusive than the Queen’s residence? Mayfair is home to Buckingham Palace and Americans can book tours of the many beautifully appointed state rooms. The palace is only open to the public during the months of August and September when the Queen is away on holiday. Tickets go quickly and it is quite an honor to participate in a tour so it is advised to inquire into tickets well in advance. Tours include the staterooms and gardens and are led by tour guides prepared to answer any and all questions in regard to the history of the palace and its contents.
Also located in Mayfair is the infamous Piccadilly Circus which is simply the intersection of some of London’s largest and most famous streets including Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly and Regent Street. Piccadilly Circus is most similar to New York’s Time Square with its neon signs adorning buildings and some of the most visited tourist sites only steps away. London’s China town is only a short walk from Piccadilly Circus as are stores such as Tower Records, Lillywhites, and Zavvi.
Located on Piccadilly Circus the Criterion Restaurant is a London institution providing modern European dining in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Guests can enjoy classic British dishes with a flare of difference in such dishes as “Gloucester old spot pork loin and belly, crackling, black pudding and pea puree” and “Roasted rack of lamb, baby vegetables, aubergine purees”. Guests enjoying dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings can enjoy live jazz music along with their chef-prepared meals.
The ability to live in Mayfair may be out of reach for most Americans living in London but a day enjoying all Mayfair has to offer is certainly a possibility. Whether one wants to enjoy a romantic date in Piccadilly Circus with its neon lights and competing sights and sounds or a day shopping at the finest department stores, this most elite of London neighborhoods will certainly provide.