Berkeley Square: From Bentleys to Banking
At the epicentre of Mayfair is Berkeley Square. Known to many as the hub of private parties at Annabel’s and seafood delicacies at Sexy Fish, it also has a rich cultural past. We take a look behind its storied history.
William Kent’s Architectural Masterpiece
Berkeley Square’s story begins with the visionary designs of William Kent in the mid-18th century. Kent, an influential figure in English architecture, crafted a layout that would evolve into one of London’s most celebrated squares. The name, however, comes from the Berkeley family whose original London home, Berkeley House stood nearby until 1733.
Originally, the grand townhouses flanking Berkeley Square were the London residences of wealthy families. These aristocrats spent most of their year at opulent country estates, using these townhouses as a refined urban retreat. While the architecture and ambiance of Berkeley Square still reflects this grandeur, many of these buildings are now home to offices.
An Arboreal Marvel: London Plane Trees of 1789
One of the square’s most striking features is its canopy of London Plane trees, among the oldest in central London, having taken root in 1789. These majestic trees not only provide shade and beauty but also serve as living witnesses to centuries of history, casting their shadows over the ever-evolving tapestry of Berkeley Square.
Notable Residents and Guests
Over the years, Berkeley Square has been a magnet for influential individuals. Notable residents have included literary giants like W. Somerset Maugham, political figures such as Winston Churchill, who lived at number 48, and the arbiter of men’s fashion Beau Brummell, who lived at number 42.
Today, you might see the well-to-do walking around the LAPADA or PAD arts and antiques fairs held in the gardens. Gazebos pop up and elegant creativity is on display and ready to take home for those who can afford it.
From Bentleys to Banking
Berkeley Square isn’t just a haven for history enthusiasts – it’s a vibrant social hub. Notable private members’ clubs, including the legendary Annabel’s, have become synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. It’s no wonder then, that they are surrounded by boutiques and restaurants offering the finer things in life. Sushi at Sexy Fish, fine Indian dining at Benares, limited edition art at Phillips and fast cars at the Jack Barclay showroom. There’s also a plethora of asset management businesses around this small London oasis.
We service properties just a stone’s throw from this exclusive enclave. So get in touch if you want any more information on how to best maintain the value of your Mayfair property.