Non-trivial tour guide and travel advisor Daryna Venger

Mayfair+ Royal academy of art

I am glad to welcome you to Mayfair — where everything is indecently expensive, there is a lot of everything, and it is beautiful everywhere! The tour consists of three parts — a part of the St.James area, a visit to the Royal Academy of Art and Mayfair itself.

The places and towns of St.James (gentleman of the quarter) are interesting both for their past and no less exciting present, and among them are secretive gentlemen’s clubs, a hotel that set the standards of luxury in the world, the oldest English-language bookstore in the world and the oldest department store feeding the King, electric fanariots and James Bond bar. Let’s answer the questions what stories, events, buildings, people and phenomena have made Piccadilly the central street of London? And why is the street named that way at all? We will understand who gentlemen are in general, how the Anglican Church functions and where to buy cheese according to old recipes, visit the 17th century church by the amazing Christopher Wren.

It is in this part that we will visit the perfume house of the 18th century, which served the British queens Elizabeth and Victoria, Marilyn Monroe, Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill. You will understand what the role of the court perfumer is and learn the main ingredient of the wedding fragrances of the British royal family, starting with Queen Victoria. Let’s talk about the durability of perfume and what influences it, discuss the concentration of flavors and compare the properties of natural and synthetic ingredients. We are also waiting for Queen Elizabeth’s favorite chocolate, carbonated tea, slippers and a hat for sleeping in the most beautiful royal arcades and soap as an art object!

In the second part of the tour, we are waiting for the first Academy of painting in Britain, founded by 36 artists in 1768, headed by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It was the Academy that made it possible to raise the level of art in Britain and determined the taste for the next centuries. Today, the Royal Academy’s permanent collection includes works by British artists such as Reynolds, Turner and Constable, along with other must-see masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo. The building itself dates back to 1664, and is an eclectic mix of different styles with traces of the fascinating history through which it passed. William Blake also studied here, as well as contemporary artists: Eddie Peak, Pio Abad and Adham Faramavi.

And for dessert — the third part of the tour — 350-year-old Mayfair, a favorite habitat of the richest people around the world, where historically, after a Big Fire, everyone who could afford it at that time moved. It is so wonderful that the descendants of the first owners still own parts of the district and receive dividends from this. Let’s discuss the Baron’s publisher, who was around the corner, and Franklin Roosevelt’s honeymoon, which also took place here. Take a walk through the ancient market and see the ghostly Downing Street subway station, where films are often filmed. The Beatles and the famous criminals the Craig brothers, the spy and the Jesuits are all in the area. Let’s discuss the architectural styles that are intertwined and create a unique charm of this place, remember the first London Dandy and a few more ghosts, and finish in a landmark place.

Ending with lunch with Darina on this tour — Mercato Mayfair — in the premises of an ancient church, where a real paradise with eco-friendly authentic cuisine, two floors of world cuisine, with a roof terrace and a wine cellar!