Andrew Rowley’s top 15 destinations to visit in Mayfair
Shop Manager, Andrew Rowley has been a familiar face at Budd for just shy of 40 years. Despite his daily commute from the South Coast, he is a Mayfair and St. James’s stalwart. He has a close working relationship with the tailors of Savile Row and the establishments of the area, cultivated over the decades. Four decades in Mayfair and St. James’s make Andy the perfect local guide, read on to find out his must visit destinations when in town.
Anderson & Sheppard
I have worked alongside the gentlemen of Anderson & Sheppard since I first joined the trade. A&S is perhaps London’s most iconic tailoring houses and I am lucky enough to own a few of their suits. We regularly refer customers to each other and over the years have got to know their team. I love their mix of the traditional with a very modern outlook.
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St. James’s Church
Wren’s church just along from us on Piccadilly hosts regular lunchtime recitals and we are so lucky to have it on our doorstep. It’s another bit of escapism and really revitalises me.
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Foster & Son
Foster & Son’s make beautiful shoes and have revamped things of late, with a great new ready to wear last. I have known the manager, Andy Smith for years and it is always fun to pop by and say hello. The boys in the cutting room have a weakness for their slippers. They are another of the area’s artisan institutions that I am pleased to say has kept going.
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Royal Over-Seas League
My London bolt hole. I feel very lucky to be a member of the Royal Over-Seas League and my membership there has proven itself invaluable over the years. I may not live overseas, but I am an out-of-towner and it has been a lifesaver on many occasions and also means we don’t have to hurry for the last train back to Brighton.
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Hidden in the heart of St. James’s It is a member’s club with 83 rooms, many of which overlook Green Park. They have a great bar, living room and deco-style period restaurant, with a really good, old-school menu that takes you back a bit. Their garden is an oasis of calm too. I can often be found here on my lunch break or for meetings.
Royal Academy of Arts
I have been a Friend of the RA for years and love to saunter around it on my lunch breaks or after work in the Summer. The enormous refurbishment of the galleries a couple of years back was extraordinary and has really breathed life into the place. There is always something to raise a smile and a new wing to discover. The member’s room is great for coffee.
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Fortnum & Mason
One of the world’s most famous shops and also our local! Every once in a while we do pop in there to treat ourselves to some biscuits for our tea break or an end of day treat. The food hall in the basement makes a mean sandwich and delicious Scotch eggs.
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The Windmill Pub
There used to be a great Irish pub in Cork Street called Mulligan’s. Word had it that they served London’s best pint of Guinness, and I was certainly happy with it! They did a great lunch too.
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Nowadays, if I am after a good pint and some traditional fayre, I will head to The Windmill. They specialise in pies and a mean fish and chips and plenty of tailors can be found there on a Friday lunchtime.
Morris's on Conduit Street
Salt beef sandwiches to die for!
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Paxton & Whitfield
An incredible cheesemonger, right at the centre of Jermyn Street that has been sourcing and selling cheeses since 1797. I can never leave with just one small piece of cheese and have to resist going in too often as it is too tempting. Incredible history and knowledge.
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It is easy to feel a little intimidated by Berry Brothers as it has a phenomenal presence in St. James’s and the wine world. The original shop is remarkable and makes you feel like you are in a Dickens novel, and the new, larger premises on Pall Mall are just simply cool. They specialise in whiskey and wine, and there were 69 cases of their wine listed as being on The Titanic when the ship went down. I love how they offer very affordable wines amongst the big guns, their Good Ordinary Claret is a winner for me.
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I may not be fortunate enough to eat or stay here, but I find the hotel awe-inspiring. The deco hallway gets me every time and the loyalty of so many of its staff is reassuring. I love how they opened their doors to NHS workers during the pandemic, giving them somewhere safe to stay. Just imagine that, you get to live in Claridges for a few weeks! The new Rolling Stones video was filmed there too. It’s a bit like Anderson & Sheppard in that respect, traditional and elegant, but with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
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Well, why not? Famous for its Martinis, I don’t come here often, but it is somewhere I always love when I do. A good place for some quiet people watching too. Late afternoon is my favourite time to come along. I can grab a good table and watch guests arrive post work or day-out. You sense people relaxing in the anticipation of leaving the day behind them and escaping real life for a short while.
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The Red Lion Pub (Crown Passage)
A proper pub that serves real ales and good food. I love that this pub has remained just as it was when I first visited in the 1980s. It is reputed to be the second oldest pub in the West End and comes with all the trappings that I like to see in London; wooden panelling, lead windows, decent beer.
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A bit of a Diagon Alley for grown ups. This is an enclave that unless somebody tells you it is there, you might never discover. Shepherd market is a charming small square and piazza developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd. It comprises a number of small side streets with a variety of boutique shops, restaurants and impressive Victorian pubs. It is tucked behind Piccadilly and Curzon Street. It is a popular haunt for the local hedge funders.
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St. James’s Park and Green Park
Such a beautiful place and a lovely spot for a lunchtime sandwich. I love sitting by the lake in St James’ and watching the ducks. It feels a privilege to have the parks so close by and to be able to enjoy some green space.
Shop Andy's Mayfair Edit for perfect dressing for life in town.