After a fine summer in the UK, visitors to London will emerge to experience London as a great place to be with the new season of theatre, opera, musicals and entertainment. All over the city, life will be welcoming in the autumn.
Take the West End's Mayfair as a good example of London at its best, whatever the year or season. Grandiloquence and academia sit side by side. Wonderfully primped public greens lie in all directions - Kensington Gardens, Grosvenor Square, Parks Hyde and Regent's - as do fabulous examples of architecture from the Georgians and Victorians through to the modern era. Many of these fine buildings are seats of education and museums, still serving the general public today as they have for centuries.
But more than anything else, Mayfair has become known (thanks, in no small part, to the Monopoly board game) as a byword for wealthy London. Notable landlords have included the likes of the Duke of Westminster and the eminent Rothschild family, both of whom bought up large swathes of the area during the 19th Century.
Mayfair's reputation for exclusivity has only grown since then, with many of the old Georgian mansions converted into successful commercial ventures. The headquarters of a number of major corporations are to be found in Mayfair, as is the US embassy. Rents are notoriously high, even by London's high standard. Footed by business, wealthy residents, boutiques and luxury hotels, it is a bill beyond the grasp of most mortals. Ah yes. The hotels ...
Claridge's and the Dorchester are known across the world, and are without doubt the most famous of Mayfair's hotels. But they're not the only game in town. If you're considering splashing out on a shopping trip to London, and you want a bit of luxury, there is no shortage of upmarket hotels from which to choose.
One of the finest examples is the Millennium Hotel. Situated at one of London's prettiest residential parks, Grosvenor Square, the Millennium is one of Mayfair's most luxurious hotels. The thrusting Doric columns of the the 18th Century mansion are, along with a number of other features, retained in their full glory, allowing you to experience a step back in time whilst forgoing none of the conveniences of 21st Century hotel-hopping.
If you even want to venture outside, you'll be able to walk easily to Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, and London's theatreland is also close. There's shopping in Regent Street, and just walking around Mayfair is it's own pleasure. Road access is good, and if you're flying in to London, both Gatwick and Heathrow airports are on the tube network (as is Mayfair). For more historical background on Mayfair, see here.
Arriving by car? Get up to 40% discounts for overnight parking at many West End car parks.