10 great things to do in Mayfair after visiting Belgravia Gallery
10 great things to do in Mayfair after visiting Belgravia Gallery
Explore some of Mayfair’s cultural and culinary delights with some retail therapy or relaxing spa therapy thrown in for good measure, the only catch is that you must visit the Gallery first!
- Afternoon tea at The English Tea Room at Brown’s Hotel
Just a short stroll down Albemarle Street from Belgravia Gallery is arguably the finest five star hotel in London serving the very best afternoon tea.
Apparently Brown’s has been serving traditional afternoon tea for over a century. One of the artists shown at the Gallery, HM Queen Victoria, was an early patron. Moreover, The English Tea Room as it is named, is the recipient of one of The Tea Guild’s special Awards of Excellence, most recently in 2013, in recognition of the outstanding quality and consistently high standards in Afternoon Tea service.
An amazing array of teas (17 to choose from) plus a seemingly never ending supply of finger sandwiches, delicate pastries, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve plus a choice of freshly baked cakes from the trolley ensures you will not leave hungry – we never do!
It is advisable to book a table online or by phone: The English Tea Room or at Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon tea is served from 12 noon to 6.30pm every day and is £45 per person.
- Shop Bond Street and surrounds
Increasingly known for its designer shopping, Mayfair is also home to some of London’s specialist shops selling items that you could not find anywhere else. Bond Street and Dover Street Market may symbolise the epitome of London designer shopping, but small retail businesses like Avery Fine Perfume (27 Avery Row), Bernard J Shapiro (32 George Street), Rigby & Peller (22A Conduit Street) and Kirk Originals (6 Conduit Street) are uniquely Mayfair. You may find these stylish, one of a kind shops in other boroughs and cities, but the Mayfair touch of these local branches is unmistakable. Our favourite? That would be telling…
- Elemis Day Spa at Lancashire Court
Elemis Day Spa is the king of the day spa formula. It boasts award winning flagship day spas in London, Bangkok and Miami and not forgetting the new concept Travel Spa at T5 Heathrow.
The hugely professional team at Lancashire Court have impressive skills – and excellent “towel management” (a must in any massage) – and there is a treatment list as long as the Gallery. Browse their therapy menu here.
After walking the streets of Mayfair and the browsing the walls of Belgravia Gallery, it would be a real treat to stop at Elemis for a treatment, or two!
- Visit a pair of Royals
The Royal Academy and The Royal Institution are both very short walks from Belgravia Gallery.
So many of our clients and visitors come from or on their way to the Royal Academy and not just when there is a big name show on.
This spring we have been hearing about Sensing Spaces – Architecture Reimagined which closes on 6 April 2014 and is GREAT for kids! The other talking point has been Norman Steven’s – Selected Prints, which closes 25 May and has provided some spring garden inspiration.
The Summer Exhibition draws artists, art lovers and collectors from all over the country (and world) and in the summer months, we love discussing the merits of the annual selection. It is the world’s largest open entry exhibition. This year, the Summer Exhibition runs from 9 June – 17 August inclusive.
For WHAT’S ON at The Royal Academy – click here.
The Royal Institution was founded in 1799 to, amongst other things, promote “the application of science to the common purposes of life” and that remains its remit to this day. After a refurbishment in 2008 the building is now intended as a “science salon” for the public. There is a lecture theatre, substantial library, modern research facilities and a restaurant.
You can visit the Faraday Museum which has displays charting 200 years of history-making science. You can also book a Heritage Tour to learn more about the history of the organisation and its home at 21 Albemarle Street.
For WHAT’S ON at The Royal Institution – click here.
- Picnic in Green Park
There are some amazing little delis and take away places in Mayfair to grab some lunch or snacks and lounge in Green Park.
Marks & Spencer, right above the tube on the north side of Piccadilly, might even sell you a picnic blanket!
If you want something minute-fresh then head to Mount Street Deli (delicious food with a “bias towards British and Italian producers”) is at 100 Mount Street; Truc Vert on North Audley Street also serves up takeaways and sometimes has a Saturday market worth visiting– although bear in mind that the Gallery is not generally open on a Saturday!
Closer to the Gallery there are all the lunchtime chain places as well as some independent sandwich shops like The Mayfair Sandwich Shop at 7 Stafford Street – just around the corner from the Gallery. Personal experience can confirm that their roast beef, horseradish and rocket sandwiches are excellent.
- Visit and view an auction at Sotheby’s or Christie’s
Many people do not know that it is often possible for members of the public to view (some of) the items to be auctioned prior to the auction date. The exhibition times vary for different auction houses and for each auction so do make sure you check websites for details.
It is very exciting to see all sorts of art, furniture, ceramics (and so much more) that are not regularly and generally available to the public – the majority of the works come from private collections and end up back in private collections after the auctions.
Christie’s auction calendar for 2014 is here.
Sotheby’s auction calendar for 2014 is here.
Sotheby’s also has the Café, open since 1996 for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The menu changes weekly. Click here for more information.
- Lunchtime recitals at St James’s Piccadilly
For a suggested donation of £3.50, anyone can attend one of St James’s Piccadilly’s lunchtime recitals. It would be a bargain at thrice the price because whatever is on the programme, the musicians will certainly transport you from bustling Piccadilly to another place and time. You may hear Bach or you may be treated to program of songs sung a cappella by a quartet of singers from Africa. Musicians from the Royal College of Music, the Concordia Foundation and other groups and soloists perform two or three times a week.
Recitals are usually about 50minutes long. For a programme of upcoming events, click here.
- Ice Cream at Fortnum & Mason
The little known ice cream parlour tucked in the back of the first floor of Fortnum’s on Piccadilly is an indulgence for children and adults alike. Many of the flavours served are not found anywhere else in the world.
A very favourite haunt of Gallery director, Anna Hunter and her granddaughter, the Parlour Restaurant is a very special place to treat yourself, and others. Other food is available, including open sandwiches and even wine (heaven forbid!) which just might provide the most welcome refreshment after strolling the bustle of Mayfair’s streets.
Art, Theatre. Theatre, Art. The words just lend themselves to a pairing.
Combine a late afternoon visit to Belgravia Gallery with an early theatre menu supper (another blog entry all together!) and a show. Most of London’s west end theatres are a pebbles toss from the Gallery. The closest perhaps are those on Haymarket or Piccadilly Circus and then there is The Curzon Cinema – it has two Royal Boxes in its palatial Screen One, which makes it feel like a theatre!
There are websites, blogs, magazines and all sorts of other media entirely and rightly dedicated to the review and promotion of theatre and so a measly paragraph of suggestions here will do little for you. Best to visit one of the specialists, try for information:
The London Theatre Guide – click here; The UK Theatre Web – click here; or TimeOut.
For reviews and comments and advice, it’s best to consult your news forum of choice!
- Cocktails at Coburg Bar at The Connaught
Ok, time to confess. I have not actually visited the two bars at The Connaught, but BUT they have been on my list of “important places to go” for a while now. They both just sounds fabulous. Here is what the website says:
“Ultra-stylish décor and mouth-watering cocktails put the Connaught Bar in Mayfair into a league of its own. Inspired by English Cubist and Irish 1920s art, with textured walls shimmering in platinum silver leaf overlaid with dusty pink, pistachio and lilac, designer David Collins has produced a gem of a London bar.”
Moreover, a reviewer whose opinion is oft aligned with mine has said this:
“There are two bars in the Connaught Hotel. While the livelier Coburg Bar is lovely and the drinks unimpeachable, make your way to the tiny Connaught Bar, where the decor is reminiscent of an ice cube, and settle in at one of the tiny tables. Ago Perrone and Rusty Cervin will offer you a varied selection of bitters for your martini, which is prepared tableside, and you can get flawless mint juleps, daiquiris and even a charlie chaplin.”
IF you need any other reason…look at the time that has been spent putting together the drinks menu – yes, I may have consulted it from my desk. Now you can too, by clicking here.
So there it is. A comprehensive and hopefully unique list of possible ways to combine a visit to the Gallery at 45 Albemarle Street with something different, and complimentary. Whether you live in London or not, the Gallery is most certainly worth travelling to visit and Mayfair is worth it too.