4 cultural things to do in Mayfair

Written on 27 August 2014 by Alistair Boscawen in London


If you want a day packed with culture in Central London, why not visit one of these attractions? From the gorgeous Spencer House to the Handel House Museum, read on for more information.

Not only does Mayfair boast many a fine restaurant as well as lively bars and stunning properties; there’s also plenty to see and do for those looking for a more refined day out. So the next time you’re in the area make sure you visit one or all of the below attractions for a fascinating historical or cultural experience…

Spencer House

Initially built in 1756-66 for John, the first Earl Spencer (an ancestor of the late Diana Princess of Wales); the building’s London’s most immaculate surviving aristocratic eighteenth century town house. Located close to St James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster, Spencer House has eight restored state rooms which are all open to the public. There are a range of things to see such as artworks, objets d’art as well as beautiful furniture. There’s a lovely terrace and restored garden which is on display during specific days during Spring and Summer. There are also views from the garden of Green Park and a range of contemporary sculpture to see for free from auction house Christie’s.

Royal Academy Mayfair

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open entry exhibition and is one of the highlights of the cultural calendar. It’s been held annually for 250 years and has traditionally been a strong barometer of the art of the age. Anyone can enter and the works are chosen by famous artists. The Royal Academy is artist-led and each one has a different perspective. The RA is funded by visitors, donors, sponsors and the ‘friends’ of the institution.

Handel House Museum

This building, found at 25 Brook Street, was the home of the great composer George Frideric Handel; who lived here from 1723 until his death in 1759. He composed his famous ‘Messiah’ piece here along with several other operas. Now this museum is devoted to the composer’s life and work. At 23 Brook Street, the upper floors were home to rock legend Jimi Hendrix in 1968 and 1969 and this acts as a space for changing exhibitions and events. The house was initially part of number 25 and has now been restored. There are a range of family activities, lectures and concerts, as well as talks which take place on Saturday afternoons on an array of subjects.

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Fleming Collection

Fleming Collection The Fleming Collection is the only gallery dedicated to granting public access to Scottish art throughout the year. There are some 750 oils and watercolours from 1770 to the present day, these include works by Raeburn, Ramsay and Wilkie. To mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, the collection is currently showing an exhibition of work by the Scottish photographer Peter Cattrell, whose interest in the Somme was inspired by the unearthing of a photograph of his great uncle William Wyatt Bagshawe with three of his companions in the Sheffield ‘Pals’ Battalion.

Mayfair has a host of fantastic cultural events to attend. Whichever of these you decide to visit, we hope you have an interesting and inspiring day out.

 

Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen

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