Christmas is the time of year across Prime Central London when retailers transform their shop exteriors with wonderful lighting and sophisticated decorations and tempt passers-by and shoppers inside with evocative seasonal smells and treats. There is a mood of festive cheer with shop owners and shoppers taking time to stop, chat and savour the time of year.
Where are the villages of Prime Central London?
Across Prime Central London, you will find areas that have evolved into relaxed village settings. This did not happen by accident but from strategic design on the part of innovative landlords recognising that their biggest asset was on their doorstep via the shop front. Howard de Walden provided the template for a ‘destination street’ with the transformation of Marylebone High Street. Since then, we have seen the same process unravel across some of London’s key post codes. Mount Street and Elizabeth Street under the guidance of The Grosvenor Estate, Chiltern Street with The Portman Estate and most recently, Pavilion Road with Cadogan Estates.
Eat, shop and drink – and enjoy Christmas
In each case, a careful strategy has been implemented which has seen independent retailers opening specialist shops, cafes, bars etc and as a result, these streets have become increasingly desirable with both a domestic and international crowd. And as they have become more appealing as places to go to eat, shop and drink…so too have they become more popular as places in which to live and that has led to steady price increases in each of the local areas. These carefully crafted areas really come into their own during the Christmas period.
Mayfair now a characterful London ‘village’
Mayfair has undergone and continues to undergo a radical transformation creating a unique characterful ‘independent village’ backed by the major landlord – the Grosvenor Estate, which is committed to creating a bespoke shopping and social hub with a distinctive character. As you walk around Mayfair you will often see the front façade of a listed building being propped up by scaffolding, yet behind everything has been knocked down only to be reconfigured and inside everything is brand new creating a perfect layout designed to entice and appeal to the discerning shopper, the happy ‘moocher’ or the fortunate resident.
Green spaces – public and private
At this time of year hidden gardens and private green spaces come into their own in Prime Central London. Mayfair and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea are particularly good for secluded garden squares and private communal gardens, many are decorated with attractive Christmas lights and a meeting place for carol singers and yuletide gatherings. These tucked away pockets of relaxing outdoor green space within a busy cosmopolitan area bring a certain village charm and calm. However, houses and apartments that overlook a communal garden can enjoy a pretty wintery view at this time of year.