Mayfair, the most expensive property on the Monopoly board, takes its name from the annual May Fayre, a 15 day celebration that started in the 13th century in the days of Edward I to mark St James Day.
Over the years it became a hugely popular annual gathering and entertainment came in the form of theatre, puppet shows, jugglers, fencers and boxers, swings and roundabouts, puppet stalls, gambling tables and general revelry. But it became an annual nuisance for residents in the area who complained about the ‘unsavoury and lewd’ happenings, so eventually the May Fayre was closed in 1708.
Shepherd Market, the site where the Fair used to take place, was developed in the mid-1700s, resulting in the area’s paved alleys, two-storey market, theatre and a duck pond. Today the neighbourhood maintains its village feel and boasts an array of intimate restaurants, art galleries, Victorian pubs and excellent art-house, the Curzon Cinema.
The area remains fashionable and is still one of the best addresses in London with it’s variety of architectural styles whilst retaining the air of a well-bred Georgian neighbourhood.