Bond Street London: A Luxury Guide
Bond Street, London is world famous for its elegant boutiques, art and antiques. Situated in the centre of exclusive Mayfair, Bond Street is also one of the most coveted properties on the Monopoly board.
Bond Street London – A Luxury Guide
However, there isn’t actually one Bond Street but two. Old Bond Street and New Bond Street are separate roads, collectively given the title of Bond Street.
There was originally a Bond Street, which led from Burlington Gardens to Piccadilly. This was officially renamed Old Bond Street when the latest section of the road, New Bond Street was completed in 1720.
Bond Street is home to some of the most expensive retail outlets such as Burberry, Gucci and Tiffany & Co. Elegant Georgian townhouses have been remodeled into contemporary stores such as Louis Vuitton at 17 New Bond Street.
There are also many renowned art galleries along the street, together with auction houses. The area has a wide range of upscale restaurants and luxurious hotels.
History of Bond Street
The street was originally fields surrounding Clarendon House on Piccadilly, which were redeveloped by Sir Thomas Bond. The area rapidly became one of the most fashionable London areas. Famous former residents include Admiral Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton.
By the end of the century, Bond Street was a popular place for the aristocrats and upper class living in Mayfair to socialize. As a result, many expensive and prestigious shops were established here.
The street declined as a centre of social activity in the 19th century. However, Bond Street has maintained its reputation as a fashionable London shopping hub.
Bond Street is now the most expensive retail street in Europe. At the top end, prices can reach $1,714/sq ft (£1,335/sq ft).
Bond Street Art
Several of the major art auction houses are represented on Bond Street, including Bonhams and Sotheby’s. There’s a fine bronze sculpture by Elisabeth Frink in front of the Ralph Lauren Flagship Store. This Grade II listed sculpture is entitled Horse and Rider.
There are numerous art galleries such as the Halcyon Gallery at 29 New Bond Street, specializing in contemporary art. Eden Fine Art Gallery also focuses on modern art, with artists such as Romero Britto and David Kracov. Richard Green Gallery at 147 New Bond St showcases Old Master and Impressionist paintings.
Gray’s Antiques Market is a short walk away at 58 Davies Street. There are almost 100 dealers spread over 2 floors.
The Royal Academy of Arts is close by on Piccadilly. This art institution is located within Burlington House, a masterpiece of Palladian style.
Bond Street Attractions
Don’t miss the “Allies” statue of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, sitting on a bench having a conversation. Sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener, the statue was unveiled by Princess Margaret in May 1995.
It has been popular with passers by ever since, as you can pose for a photo sitting between the two historic world leaders.
According to some, the distinctive interlocking letter Cs on the lampposts in Westminster are an homage to Coco Chanel from the Duke of Westminster who was in love with her. The council say that the CCs stand for City Council, but it’s a nice urban myth!
At 103 New Bond Street, you can see the main blue plaque commemorating Admiral Lord Nelson, who lived there in 1798. Further down at 147 New Bond Street, there’s another Nelson blue plaque, as he also lived there, but in 1797.
Bond Street in the Media
This famous London street has featured extensively in movies, songs and books, including:
- Bond Street – a 1948 film by Gordon Parry about a bride’s dress.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – a novel by Susanna Clarke.
- Maid of Bond Street – a song by David Bowie.
- Mrs Dalloway – the novel by Virginia Woolf.
- Sense and Sensibility – the novel by Jane Austen.
Bond Street Restaurants
There are actually very few restaurants on Old Bond Street or New Bond Street. However, there are many cafés and restaurants close by. Here are some recommendations that you may find useful:
- Bond Street Kitchen – inside Fenwicks department store, for a healthy light lunch.
- Goodman Mayfair – for steaks on Maddox Street.
- Hush – in Lancashire Court for outdoor dining.
- Ladurée – for macaroons and tea in the Burlington Arcade.
- Sketch – on Conduit Street for afternoon tea or dinner.
- Umu – a stylish Japanese restaurant on Bruton Place.
Bond Street Shops
Considered to be the most exclusive shopping street in London, Bond Street is popular with royalty.
Bond Street Royal Warranty holders include:
- Asprey – jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths.
- Cartier – watches and jewelry. At Christmas time, this elegant building is dressed with a giant bow.
- Daks – menswear and womenswear.
- Smythson – stationery.
There are also many flagship stores for international fashion houses such as Dior and Bvlgari. Some of the most notable include:
- Hermes – in the Grade II listed Time and Life Building at 155 New Bond Street, with a Henry Moore frieze on the facade.
- Ralph Lauren Flagship Store – at 1 New Bond Street, this Art Deco building was formerly home to the National Westminster Bank.
- Salvatore Ferragmo – at 24 Old Bond Street, a Grade II listed building with gilded decoration and the Atkinson Carillon bell.
Rather confusingly, the famous Taylor of Old Bond Street store is not located on Bond Street, but on nearby Jermyn Street in St James’s.
The capital’s most upscale art galleries and high-end antique stores cluster round Sotheby’s auction house and the Fine Art Society towards the south end.
Fenwicks is a fashionable department store, offering cutting edge fashion and a wide range of beauty services. These include Blink Brow Bar and Treatment Room, Chantecaille Healing Spa, Frey-ja Barker, Nails Inc Luxe and La Prairie Beauty Room. There’s also Bond Street Kitchen and Brook Street Cafe and Wine Room for refreshments.
Burlington Arcade lies parallel to Bond Street. There are 46 boutiques, including the men’s shoe store by Manolo Blahnik, the only one in the world.
This historic shopping gallery is one of the longest in Great Britain, at over 196 yards long. It is watched over by the Beadles, the oldest and smallest police force in the world.
The Royal Arcade runs from 28 Old Bond Street to 12 Albemarle Street.
This Victorian arcade has a stunning high glass ceiling. There are some lovely stores such as Charbonnel et Walker for chocolate truffles and Ormonde Jayne for perfume.
For further information on shopping in the area, The Bond Street Association website has an extensive list of shops in Old Bond Street and New Bond Street.
Where to Stay near Bond Street
Browns Hotel on Albemarle Street and The Westbury Mayfair on Conduit Street are both luxurious five star hotels. They’re located a stone’s throw away from Bond Street.
Also in Mayfair, The Beaumont, Claridge’s and The Biltmore Mayfair are all good choices. The latter has a popular restaurant by chef Jason Atherton, The Betterment.
When to Visit Bond Street
You can visit the area at any time of the day or night. However Bond Street stores have specific opening times.
They tend to be open from 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday. Burlington Arcade stays open every day until 8pm.
Getting to Bond Street
Bond Street is located between Green Park and Oxford Street. If using public transport,the closest underground stations are Green Park and Bond Street tube. They’re both just a few minutes walk away.
There are no public car parks on Bond Street, however Q-Park on Old Burlington Street is within easy walking distance.
Have you ever visited Bond Street? What is your favorite Bond Street store?
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