Travel

Mayfair

Establishment neighborhood
Ikoyi
1 St. James's Market, Mayfair
Ikoyi is named for the swish Lagos neighborhood cofounder Iré Hassan-Odukale grew up in. The cooked-to-perfection West African fare is prepared by Hassan-Odukale’s school friend, Chinese-Canadian chef Jeremy Chan. Chan, who hails from the kitchens of Noma and Dinner, and Hassan-Odukale have put a great deal of thought into every detail, from the incredibly sleek, almost mid-century modern dining room to the unusual and fascinating cocktail list. Then again, this is St. James's—there is no room for error. Order the suya beef blade with rich, smoked bone marrow and jollof rice, get a side of the sweet buttermilk plantain, and if nothing else, order the Guinness Stone Fence. Guinness is popular in Nigeria, and this cocktail, with cacao-nib-infused rum and lime flower, elevates the humble pint to a sublime creation.
Indian Accent (Closed)
16 Albemarle St., Mayfair
Indian Accent started in Delhi, moved to New York, and settled, as all the cool kids eventually do, in London. As always, the Indian treatment of seafood hits the spot with perfectly cooked, aggressively flavored fish. (You will try to decode the mashup of spices so you can re-create the dishes at home—don’t bother; you can’t). Portions are small, but it’s mostly a tasting menu, and each course packs a serious punch. Order a few plates and share—this is the kind of food that suits a table of three or more. We humbly suggest the roast lamb with assorted chutneys and flaky roti, and the mixed medley of kulcha (breads stuffed with cheese, nuts, even black pudding) is absolutely necessary.
Aman Spa at The Connaught
Carlos Place, Mayfair
Hands-down one of our favorite places to stay in London, the Connaught in Mayfair manages to strike a balance between charming and yet totally modern. The hotel's 5,000-square-foot spa (the only Aman Spa of its kind outside of the resort group), is just as incredible as you'd imagine swathed in floor-to-ceiling marble. At just five treatment rooms strong, there's a welcome intimacy here—all treatments start with an herbal infusion to help you unwind and then treatments take from Chinese, Indian, and Thai influences. (Each of the treatment rooms has its own private steam room.) During the week, the spa hosts a 20-minute lunch meditation at 1 p.m. that's free and open to the public.
East by West (Closed)
41 Conduit St., Mayfair
They brought bone broth, chaga tea, and cauliflower rice to the UK, they brought us the spiralizer, and now, Jasmine Hemsley of the Hemsley + Hemsley sister duo is breaking out on her own and bringing Ayurvedic cuisine to London. Being a Hemsley means she’s doing it with panache, presenting her take on traditional rotis, ladoo sweets, and Pakti hot salad bowls at her own three-month "pop in" café, East by West, inside Maiyet’s first London concept store. On weekdays, breakfast, a three-course lunch, and a small dinner—according to the rules, dinner should be a light snack and lunch your biggest meal—is served on a communal, gold "Mass" dining table by Tom Dixon. It’s all beautifully done, open from early 'til late all week long, and makes a perfect debut for this wellness powerhouse.
Maiyet
41 Conduit St., Mayfair
This ethical fashion label debuted a pop-up in Mayfair (open through December), and what's even better is that they've gone down the concept shop route, sharing the love with other brands that hold their same ethos. This means that when you drop in to peruse their collection, you can stay for a while and enjoy some of Jasmine Hemsley's Ayurvedic nosh at her "pop in" shop East by West, try out Tata Harper's beautiful cosmetics, and take in Tuk Tuk Flower Studio's artful arrangements. (Maiyet's permanent flagship store is in Soho.)
Sketch
9 Conduit St., Mayfair
Using bold décor choices and a selection of art from some of the city’s youngest talents, Mourad Mazouz has transformed the two floors of this restored 18th century building into an important cultural destination, complete with three lounges for tea and cocktails and two full-fledged restaurants. The Lecture Room, the space’s more formal restaurant, holds two Michelin stars, and the Gallery (famous for its plush pink chairs) features a rotating program of artworks—right now, the walls are covered in more than 200 of David Shrigley's quirky sketches. If you’re not up for a full meal, lounges East Bar and Enchanted Glade (which has exactly the décor you expect) are perfect spots for early evening cocktails. Note: Take a trip to the restroom, as the egg-shaped toilet pods and colorful ceiling make for a pretty unforgettable trip to the loo.
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