Despite being famous for its luxury shopping (and for being a prime site on the Monopoly board), Bond Street has so much more to offer. This exclusive area of Mayfair is now home to a myriad of art and antiques galleries, as well as designer stores.
We asked Suze from The Luxury Columnist to put together a guide to Bond Street, to help you get the most out of your visit.
Located in the heart of the West End, Bond Street was founded in 1700 by Sir Thomas Bond. Ever since, it has attracted influential and wealthy people, including Admiral Horatio Nelson who lived here for many years. It is still considered the most exclusive shopping street in London and is one of the most sought-after areas of real estate in Europe.
The area’s mix of art and retail gives it a unique vibrancy. All of the major auction houses are represented here, and there are numerous art galleries, which are open to the general public, such as the Halcyon Gallery. The Browns Hotel Art Weekend recently celebrated more than 150 years of art in Mayfair and St James’, and 100 galleries and auction houses opened their doors to the public. Gray’s Antiques Market is a short walk away and houses one of the world’s largest collections of antiques, fine jewellery and vintage fashion. The Royal Academy of Arts on nearby Piccadilly is well worth a visit, they have an eclectic range of art exhibitions, as well as a café and restaurant.
Don’t miss the “Allies” statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, sitting on a bench having a conversation. Sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener, the statue was unveiled by Princess Margaret in May 1995. It has been popular with passersby ever since, as you can pose for a photo sitting between the two historic world leaders.
According to some, the distinctive interlocking letter Cs on the lampposts in Westminster are an homage to Coco Chanel from the Duke of Westminster who was in love with her. The council say that the CCs stand for City Council, but it’s a nice urban myth!
There are lots of good places to eat very close to Bond Street. Here are some recommendations that you may find useful:
- Alwyn Williams at The Westbury on Conduit Street for Michelin starred dining.
- Bond & Brook at Fenwicks department store for a healthy light lunch.
- Hush in Lancashire Court for outdoor dining.
- Ladurée for macaroons and tea in the Burlington Arcade.
- Rextail for steak on Albemarle Street.
- Sketch on Conduit Street for afternoon tea or dinner.
Dover Street Market is the place to go for fashion-forward outfits in a hip setting, whilst Fenwick is an upmarket department store, offering designer goods. There are several historic shopping arcades in the area, including the Royal Arcade and Burlington Arcade. The latter is the oldest covered shopping precinct in the world and it is officially forbidden to run or whistle inside, although an exception was made for Paul McCartney who was whistling a new tune! It has a stunning brand new hand-sculpted paper art installation by Zoe Bradley.
Then there’s also the flagship stores for brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton, plus an impressive number of shops holding Royal Warranties, such as Aspreys of London which is located in a pair of Georgian and Victorian townhouses. Both Aspreys and SJ Phillips jewellers have craft shops in store. For an extensive list of shops and restaurants, check out the Bond Street Association website.
If you’re searching for a luxury hotel to compliment your luxury shopping trip, then look no further than The Ritz London. One of the most famous hotels in the country (if not the world), The Ritz is located just a stone’s throw from Bond Street. Why not take a break from the boutiques with a spot of afternoon tea, or wind down in the evening on the beautiful Ritz Restaurant Terrace?
With all suites designed in the house ‘Louis XVI‘ style, guests are ensured opulent indulgence and lavish comfort.
To search more hotels close to Bond Street, click here.
Bond Street is officially split into two streets located between Piccadilly and Oxford Street. Old Bond Street is the southern section whilst the longer northern section is known as New Bond Street. If using public transport, the closest underground stations are Green Park and Bond Street.
Lead image by Garry Knight
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About the author
Hi, I’m Suze, aka Luxury Columnist, and I started the blog on my friends’ recommendations, to share my amazing experiences, love of photography and writing. My mission is to help everyone experience a little luxury in their lives and I’m an official media partner of the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality & Lifestyle Awards.
Luxury Columnist has been described as one of the leading luxury lifestyle blogs with 300,000 monthly hits. My readers are based mainly in the UK, the United States, Australia, Russia and France.