Mayfair is an area of central London, England, within the City of Westminster.
Mayfair is named after the annual fortnight-long May Fair that took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today (from 1686 until it was banned in that location in 1764). Until 1686, the May Fair was held in Haymarket, and after 1764, it moved to Fair Field in Bow because the well-to-do residents of the area felt the fair `lowered the tone` of neighbourhood.
Mayfair is roughly bordered by Hyde Park to the west, Oxford Street to the north, Piccadilly and Green Park to the south and Regent Street to the east. Most of the area was first developed between the mid 17th century and the mid 18th century as a fashionable residential district, by a number of landlords, the most important of them the Grosvenor family. The freehold of a large section of Mayfair also belongs to the Crown Estate.
The district is now mainly commercial, with many offices in converted houses and new buildings, including major corporate headquarters, a concentration of hedge funds, and real estate businesses. Rents are among the highest in London and the world. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some exclusive shopping and London`s largest concentration of luxury hotels and many restaurants. Buildings in Mayfair include the United States embassy in Grosvenor Square, the Royal Academy of Arts, The Handel House Museum, the Grosvenor House Hotel and Claridge`s.
The renown and prestige of Mayfair has grown in the popular mind due to its designation as the most expensive property on the British Monopoly set.