We decided to find out a little more about Mayfair’s illustrious past, present and future to mark the opening of our new flexible workspace in Hanover Square.
Here’s what we discovered…
A fascinating history
Mayfair’s intriguing history dates back to circa 1686 when development started in the Shepherd Market area to accommodate the popular May Fair.
The fair was originally held at Haymarket in St James’s but had to relocate due to overcrowding. By the 1700s, May Fair attracted showmen, jugglers, fencers, bare knuckle fighters and a few (somewhat bizarre) activities including women’s foot racing and semolina eating contests.
Strange but apparently true!
Then, in 1711, the famous Grosvenor family acquired land in Mayfair through marriage. They started to develop it under the instruction of Thomas Barlow, a prominent carpenter and master builder. The work included Hanover Square – the home of our new workspace – alongside Berkeley Square and Grosvenor Square.
A view of Hanover Square in 1750
By the end of the 18th century most of Mayfair was home to affluent residential properties. However, the decline of the British aristocracy in the early 1900s meant the area became more commercial. As a result, many properties were converted into offices, corporate headquarters and embassies.
The development of Hanover Square continues to this day. We can see Crossrail’s new Bond Street Station being built outside our window as we speak! The Elizabeth Line will ferry around 137,000 passengers to Mayfair every day.
Hanover Square today: Blue skies, beautiful buildings, Crossrail and Halkin.
One of the most attractive things about Mayfair is its variety of restaurants that cater to different tastes and budgets. It’ll come as no surprise that this part of the West End has more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the capital!
Mayfair is home to the likes of Sketch, a photogenic gastro-brasserie / gallery that also happens to boast the most famous toilets in London; Hawksmoor, an award-winning steakhouse and cocktail bar; Murano, a Michelin restaurant run by esteemed chef and Gordon Ramsay protégée, Angela Hartnett, and dozens – if not hundreds – more.
Dining out with clients and coworkers in Mayfair needn’t cost a lot either. L’Autre is a well-reviewed Polish Mexican bistro (the only one of its kind in the world). It serves up Polish dishes and Mexican favourites in a family run setting.
Mayfair used to exude an air of exclusivity, and it still does to some extent. However, the recent proliferation of flexible workspaces is making the area more accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes.
We’re playing our own part in this by offering reasonably priced desks in private offices as well as coworking memberships for those in need of a hot desk.
You can drop in and work from any of the lounges in our network from just £200 a month with a Smart Lounge Membership. That includes our properties in Mayfair, Monument, Southwark and Watford. All of our spaces contain high-speed internet and are designed around comfort and collaboration.
Visit the Halkin website to learn more about our central London workspaces.