Grosvenor Square is at the heart of Mayfair and is spread over 2.5 hectares to become the second-largest square in London with an awesome urban garden coupled with a pathbreaking environment.
Grosvenor Square usually plays host to small music events, there are art installations in the square from time to time. It’s also a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy Westend and Oxford Street mayhem.
In the spring or small you can chill out on the green with a picnic, any other time, it the perfect place to enjoy a lovely walk or a quiet moment, people-watching on the benches.
A Little History Of Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square
Sir Richard Grosvenor, in 1710 had the license to develop Grosvenor Square and the streets in its vicinity. In the 1720s, John Alston, a gardener, laid out the plan for this garden square. The development was done from 1725 to 1731. The entire land was sectioned into plots and offered to 30 disparate builders or partnerships on a lease basis. However, by 1738, about half of these became bankrupt.
From 1738 till the end of the Second World War, leading aristocrats in London had their residences in this garden square. These residences in the early days were composed of five or seven bays. They had an attic, three main storeys, and a basement.
There were attempts to group the houses impressively. For this, Colen Campbell finalized a design of 30 Corinthian columns for the palatial east side. However, these attempts were not implemented, and eventually, a majority of residences had individual designs.
Many of these residences were rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries with a different story. In 1773-1774, the number 23 residence (later named number 26) was rebuilt by Robert Adam for the 11th Earl of Derby. In those times, it was considered one of the finest works by an architect due to its sophisticated planning and grandeur of effect.
In 1785, John Adams initiated the first American mission in the Court of St. James’s. John stayed here from 1785 to 1788. His residence is located at the corner of Duke and Brook streets. In the 1860s, the structure was completely demolished and newly rebuilt.
During the 20th century, almost all old residences were demolished and replaced by flat blocks with a neo-Georgian style, embassies, and hotels. In the 1920s, Bernard Rubin, Glen Kidston, Tim Birkin, and Woolf Barnato, the Bentley Boys, purchased adjoining flats in the South-East corner of the square.
Here, they held day-long parties, which became seen as social legends. These Boys used to park their green, huge sports cars outside their flats. This sight became so common that cab drivers in London referred to the location as ‘Bentley Corner.’
In the Second World War era, Dwight D. Eisenhower, an American General, selected 20 Grosvenor Square as a military headquarters. While the war was in progress, this location had the nickname ‘Eisenhower Platz.’ Later, the United States Navy established its headquarters for United States Naval Forces Europe at this location.
Here, you can view statues of President Ronald Reagan, Eisenhower, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Currently, most residences in Grosvenor Square have the Georgian style of architecture. Some of the prominent locations are the following: The Biltmore Mayfair Hotel (no. 44), the Venue Lab event space (no. 38), a luxury hotel with the designer David Chipperfield and redeveloper Rosewood Hotels (no. 24), upscale apartments at the location of the former United States Navy building (no. 20), London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square (no. 10), the Embassy of Italy back entrance (no. 4), and McDonald House that is undergoing redevelopment to high-end residences (no. 1).
Things To Do Near Grosvenor Square
Mercato Mayfair – It is located on North Audley Street and has emerged as a cultural hub of genuine food served across two floors of global cuisine. It has community space, a wine cellar, and a rooftop terrace. Read more on how to visit Mercato Mayfair.
Sadie Coles HQ Art Gallery – This art gallery represents approximately 50 artists of international repute.
Mount Street – It is a top luxury shopping destination in Mayfair. At its Eastern end is located an exclusive nightlife spot Berkeley Square. At its West entrance is located the hotel-lined Park Lane. You can find brands like Christian Louboutin, Pragnel Jewellery, Dior, Eskandar, Oscar de la Renta, Huishan Zhang and more.
Afternoon Tea At Claridge’s – It serves teas ranging from a rich Oolong to the complex Claridge’s Blend. The menu comprises a conventional mixture of savory and sweet. Enjoy finger sandwiches, scones served warm, and sweet pastries accompanied by a remarkable selection of wonderful loose-leaf tea. Teas are served in beautiful fine bone china and silverware, both made to a unique Claridge’s design. They do traditional, champagne as well as children’s afternoon tea.
Selfridges – The singular store has been named Best Department Store four times globally. It is a social center and landmark destination with a skate bowl, bars and restaurants, in-house cinema, and more. Whatever you do when visiting London, whether you are in London for one day or 3 days, you need to add this department store to your itinerary.
Places To Eat Near Grove
Mayfair is a pretty affluent area in the city with so much history so if you are staying here or visiting, be sure to check out the gastronomy in the area. We have already shared tips on the best Italian in Mayfair to some other amazing places to eat in Mayfair and surrounding areas. Below are some restaurants near Grosvenor Square that you need to check out.
- Le Gavroche – This Michel Roux Jr.’s famous fine-dining restaurant offers luxe French food and impeccable service.
- Cafe Biltmore – Located within the Biltmore Hotel. They have a simple menu but are executed superbly.
- 34 Mayfair – British game and world meats cooked on an imported Argentinian grill in art deco-inspired brasserie. You will love everything from the ambience, decor, food and friendly service.
- Gordon Ramsay’s Bar and Grill – Gordon Ramsay’s swish hotel restaurant for steak, sushi and modern grill fare with Asian influences. Located within Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.
- NAC – French bistro with whitewashed bricks and banquette seating, plus a wood-paneled cocktail lounge.
Amazing Hotels In Grosvenor Square
There are some pretty amazing hotels in Mayfair, many of which are located in or near Grosvenor Square. If you are looking to stay on the square below are some amazing hotels on Grosvenor Square and nearby.
- The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR Hotels & Resorts – The Biltmore Mayfair is steps away from the finest shopping, dining and royal parks. Located on Grosvenor Square, the hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from New Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, while the leafy surroundings of Hyde Park are 7 minutes’ walk away.
- London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square – A magnificent 5-star hotel that offers luxurious air-conditioned rooms in London’s West End. Guests can dine at the Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, and use the on-site gym. Free WiFi is available in public areas. The London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square has a great location in the centre of exclusive Mayfair. Park Lane, Hyde Park and the famous shops of Oxford Street are all just 5 minutes walk away.
- Claridges – The glamorous and elegant Claridge’s presents sophisticated 5-star luxury in the heart of Mayfair. Spacious, luxurious, and sumptuously furnished, each room at Claridge’s boasts a luxury marble bathroom and peaceful views of the courtyard. Guests have access to free Wi-Fi via infra-red keyboard from the TV.
- Grosvenor House Suites – Grosvenor House Suites offers 5-star accommodation in the heart of Mayfair, with a 24-hour concierge service, a daily maid service, and a 24-hour fitness room. The ultramodern sophistication of clean lines and slate grey décor accentuate its superb location on Park Lane. Overlooking Hyde Park, Grosvenor House Suites by are within minutes’ walk of boutique shops and exclusive galleries.
- Grand Residences by Marriott – Mayfair-London – In the heart of Mayfair, Marriott 47 Park Street offers luxurious Edwardian suites furnished with works of art and crystal lighting. Each elegant suite boasts a modern kitchen with emerald pearl granite worktops, along with integrated and stylish amenities. Suites boast sumptuous living and dining areas, with luxury furnishings, sofas, and a large flat-screen TV.
- The Beaumont – The original building of the hotel dates back to 1926 and features an iconic, 3-storey high sculpture by the award-winning Sir Antony Gormley. Offering a popular restaurant, spa and fitness centre. Accommodation ranges from standard guest rooms with large king-size beds, to studios and spacious suites, all elegantly designed in Art Deco style with original artwork and antiques. Luxury bathrooms have black and white marble, heated floors.