Pillow Talk: Between the Sheets of the Beaumont, Mayfair

The 21st-century opening of the Beaumont is shaking up the scene in Mayfair
The 21st-century opening of the Beaumont is shaking up the scene in Mayfair | © ZACandZAC / Courtesy of the Beaumont
Alice Barnes-Brown

Tip your top hat to this smartly suited stay in one of London’s swankiest ‘hoods, trimmed with smart shops and envelope-pushing art galleries.

Mayfair is the epitome of luxury: just consult your Monopoly board. Situated where Hyde Park ends and Soho begins, it attracts the world’s rich and famous with its gorgeous Georgian architecture and high-end shopping along suit-bearing Savile Row. But it wasn’t always so: Renaissance-era “May Fair” was allegedly so raucous, it was deemed a public nuisance. And today, in a neighbourhood that’s also home to old-school hotels such as Claridge’s and the Ritz, the 21st-century opening of the Beaumont is shaking up the scene once again.

1. The Beaumont Hotel

Hotel, Luxury

Luxury suite living room with fluffy couches, polished-wood tables and swirl-patterned curtains at the Beaumont, Mayfair
© ZACandZAC / Courtesy of the Beaumont

Step inside the varnished lobby of this Grade II-listed 1926 building and you’d never know it began life as, ahem, a car park for the wealthy customers of nearby Selfridges. Understated rooms and silk-draped suites house original mid-century artwork, hand-picked books and toasty underfloor-heated bathrooms. Book the showpiece ROOM by Antony Gormley to experience the sculptor’s take on a superlative hotel suite. But before you dive into your cloud-like bed, stop by Le Magritte Bar for a sensual, smoky Empire of Light cocktail or treat your ears to live music in Gatsby’s Room, which hums with Jazz Age elegance.

2. The Colony Grill Room

Restaurant, American, British, Vegetarian

Dining room with red leather booths and vibrant wall murals depicting nature scenes at the Colony Grill Room, Mayfair
© ZACandZAC / Courtesy of the Beaumont
Steaks, sommeliers and sundaes: that’s what you’ll discover in this mural-covered, New York-style grill set within the Beaumont. While you’re taking your pick of the menu, line up pairings from the Piedmontese wine expert to match your courses. If, after melt-in-the-mouth Suffolk wagyu and aphrodisiacal oysters, you have room for dessert, the must-try on the Colony’s menu is a build-your-own sundae. Let out your inner child and wolf down a scoop of each flavour, covered in rainbow sprinkles – nobody’s judging.

3. The Beaumont Spa


Spa area with small plunge pool between the steam room and the sauna at the Beaumont Hotel, Mayfair, London
Courtesy of the Beaumont Hotel

Leave your worries in the changing rooms of the Beaumont’s subterranean spa and cross the white marble threshold into a world of warmth. Settle into the sauna or steam room and complete the Scandi-style circuit with a rapid dip in the plunge pool. Or maybe you’d prefer a hammam ritual, which begins with a cleansing full-body wash with Moroccan black soap, followed by an exfoliation and a massage using melted shea butter. Found a hair out of place? Towel off and stop into the hotel hairdressers before greeting the city.

4. Selfridges


Classic art deco time statue with winged woman in blue and clock outside the entrance of Selfridges
© Stephan Stockinger / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s only fitting you should pop into the UK’s second-largest department store (after Harrods), a three-minute hop from your room. Shopaholics know the glitzy window displays – which take months to conceptualise – are just a tiny taster of what’s inside: think outlandish-yet-effortless party dresses, intoxicating fragrances from British brands and even the latest luxury pet accessories. Shopping tends to work up an appetite, but luckily for you, there’s food to be found on each of Selfridges’ six floors – including a sustainably sourced pizzeria at the very top.

5. Hyde Park


Lawn chairs sit in front of the Serpentine lake with pedal boats and an outdoor cafe on the far side in Hyde Park, London
© JOHN KELLERMAN / Alamy Stock Photo

Some days, you just need fresh air. Enter, Hyde Park – the largest Royal Park in London – where locals like to loll about and drink in the heady heights of summer. Explore 350 acres (142ha) of perfectly landscaped greenery shaped by kings and queens, such as Queen Caroline who transformed it into the public haven it is today and created the centrepiece Serpentine lake. Row, paddle or swim, or take a seat on the UK’s first solar-powered boat: it’s a 20-minute stroll from the Beaumont, passing by pods of park-dwellers and picnickers.

6. Mercato Mayfair

Market, Street Food

Mercato Mayfair in London, a cavernous deconsecrated church whose naves, altars and pulpits are filled with food stalls
© Ilenia Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Foodies, rejoice: the hottest street-food market in Mayfair is here. Housed in a deconsecrated church, the naves, altars and even pulpits of old St Mark’s are filled with snack peddlers and stomach-summoning aromas of all sorts. Tear into tender rotisserie chicken and wash it down with a German beer or a herbaceous G&T. In the summer, you’ll love looking out over Mayfair from the roof garden. In winter, cosy up with free live music in the crypt-converted wine cellar.

7. Gatsby’s Mansion


A performer is bathed in purple light as he gestures toward the crowd as part of Immersive Gatsby
Courtesy of Immersive Gatsby

If the Beaumont has you in a F Scott Fitzgerald kind of mood, pay Jay Gatsby the honour of attending his “little party” at 56 Davies Street. This immersive theatre show puts you in the pages of the classic novel, where you’ll drink strong liquor that laughs in the face of Prohibition, lose your breath to trumpet-heavy Charleston tunes and chat to the characters in a swinging setting. Snappy suits and flapper dresses welcome.

8. UNIT London

Art Gallery

Colourful mixed-media pieces hang on white walls of gallery space at UNIT London
Courtesy of UNIT London

Mayfair might be known for its exclusivity, but talked-about contemporary art gallery UNIT is determined to break down those barriers. Founded by two young artists, UNIT gives emerging artists a platform to explore and express their creative identities. From dynamic Neo-Surrealism to international portraiture, what’s in the frame at UNIT never fails to surprise.

9. Mr Fogg’s Residence and Secret Garden

Cocktail Bar, British

Jules Verne-themed bar with leather seating and hot-air balloon on ceiling at Mr Fogg’s Residence and Secret Garden
Courtesy of Inception Group

Fancy yourself a Victorian explorer? Fulfil that dream with a drink in hand at this old Jules Verne-themed townhouse-cum-cocktail bar, where the walls are scattered with novel references to Around the World in Eighty Days, including a hot-air balloon on the ceiling to remind you of Phileas Fogg’s dramatic escape from Paris. Better still, your libation honours a 19th-century great: for instance, an inspired combo of Jagermeister, oolong tea and Scotch whisky pays tribute to Prince Albert.

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