London Luxury Quarter Insider

Fourth Issue



‘…London Luxury Quarter…is a wonderfully exciting place to be as a person who loves food and a wonderfully challenging place to be as a chef.’  Hussein Chalayan 2016.

Back to top



Food Revolution in LLQ

I think one of the most exciting things about being in London, both as a chef and a person who loves good food, is the wonderful food that is being created as a result of the symbiotic relationship between chefs and customers. There is a huge range of chefs in London today, such as Angela Hartnett of Murano and Jason Atherton of Pollen Street Social with different backgrounds and different styles who are influencing each other to experiment and try new ideas and ingredients. Customers are enjoying eating new food presented by their favourite restaurants and are inspired to try different cuisines and venues because of this. When dishes or restaurants are popular, chefs and restauranteurs look to see what is driving the popularity and try to not just copy it, but to add their own interpretation to it. This once again inspires other chefs and sets customers looking for experiences outside of their comfort zone.

In London Luxury Quarter, I have definitely noticed an increase in Asian cuisine. Of course, it’s innate for me to notice any new Japanese restaurants, but there are more and more Asian restaurants serving wonderful food. These new restaurant openings are using new, interesting ingredients and styles of cooking that are affecting all restaurants in London Luxury Quarter. One place that stands out is Umu in Mayfair, the sashimi is prepared with fish killed in the ikejime style. This is a style used in Japan and makes a great difference to the texture of the sashimi.

For me, the big influence from Asian cuisine on the culinary stage is the concept of Umami – the “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter. With the general acceptance of Umami as a taste, there has been a wave of innovation across all areas of the London food scene as chefs experiment with different ways of increasing the Umami in their food. However, influences come and go in the restaurant scene, especially in London.

Food trends can often be perceived in very different ways by different customers. It seems to me that a lot of the latest food trends are being driven by a greater demand for healthy food. As a chef of Japanese food, my ears naturally perk up when I hear people talking about Japanese ingredients. Of late, I have noticed a lot of conversation about fermented foods and seaweed, both of which are very healthy and help address people’s concerns of maintaining a healthy diet. One fermented food that is very beneficial for supporting the bacteria in the gut that I am experimenting with is Nukazuke, Japanese bran pickles.

The London restaurant scene is as busy as ever, especially across London Luxury Quarter so all in all, it is a wonderfully exciting place to be as a person who loves food and a wonderfully challenging place to be as a chef.

Back to top



Property News

Caprice Holdings – owner of The Ivy Group of restaurants – has acquired a new 6,132 sq ft. site in North Audley Street, Mayfair, with a view to adding to the Group’s luxury restaurant portfolio. Owned by Richard Caring, Caprice Holdings has invested in a lease running until March 2024 and aims to open in Summer 2016.

Also on North Audley Street, Grosvenor has been granted consent to restore St Mark’s Church to provide 14,500 sq ft. of shops and restaurants.

Currently receiving substantial attention is the news that the US Embassy is to be converted into a luxury hotel as part of a £1billion restoration of Grosvenor Square. Developer Qatari Diar, controlled by the Qatari Investment Authority Sovereign Wealth Fund, has called in British architect Sir David Chipperfield to draw up redevelopment plans. The site will emerge as a 137-bedroom, 5 star hotel with spa and ballroom for 1,000 guests. Three international luxury hotels brands are vying to operate in the former US Embassy. The scheme will also provide six high-end shops and five restaurants. The Qatari owners promise to create an open, extensive green space on the site for visitors and residents to enjoy.

Tech media and telecoms arrival, M&P Silva has let 15,000 sq ft. at Park House in Mayfair while global private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, will be occupying new offices at The Crown Estate and Oxford Properties’ £400m St James’s Market redevelopment.

The redevelopment of St James’s Market is creating 210,000 sq ft. of new, modern office accommodation, five flagship stores for best in class lifestyle and fashion brands and seven new restaurants, all set within over half an acre of revitalised public spaces, including a new public square. Through the redevelopment of two historic blocks, St James’s Market is kick-starting The Crown Estate’s long term vision to re-create Regent Street St James’s as a world-class destination for high quality fashion and lifestyle shopping in the 21st Century. The Crown Estate’s wider investment strategy for its St James’s portfolio will continue to include a focus on regenerating Regent Street St James’s and attracting even more world-class brands to the street.

Retail News

Italian Influence in LLQ

The newly designed Bulgari store at 168 New Bond Street has once again raised the bar in luxury with the reopening of its London flagship store; a marble-clad, spectacular two-storey display designed by architect Peter Marino, previously responsible for the redesign of Bulgari’s flagship store in Rome. The interiors are a sumptuous blend of old and new, inspired by the house’s rich heritage; Italian classicism filtered through a London lens. There is a gentleman’s area, built to resemble a 1950’s gentleman’s club, where sophisticated timepieces are neatly presented in glass vitrines hung above checkerboard floors. Upstairs, the accessories area pays tribute to the seductive glamour of the 1970s. The VIP lounge honours patron Elizabeth Taylor and is built to resemble the Roman boutique famously visited by the actress during the filming of Cleopatra.

Italian luxury fashion house Valentino has opened a new flagship store in London. Located at 39 Old Bond Street, the new store is spread over three floors and is entirely dedicated to women’s wear and accessories, including a VIP area.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland announces that Frette, the Italian luxury linen and home furnishing brand, is set to open its first UK store at South Audley Street in Summer 2016. Frette, which operates over 100 boutiques worldwide, is launching a new store concept in London designed by Dimore Studio, the renowned Milanese interior designers. Frette linens can be found in many of the world’s most prestigious hotels, from Claridge’s to the Peninsula, and historically at the altar of St Peter’s Basilica and in the dining car of the Orient Express.

British Brands at their Best

Sophia Webster’s new boutique opens on Mount Street this Spring, joining industry titans Christian Louboutin, Oscar de la Renta and Céline. Sophia explains how she wanted the store to reflect “the same feminine sensibility as my shoes”. You can therefore expect lots of playful, fun-loving touches in the design, from the “beautiful pastel pink onyx running throughout” to the “intricate flamingo detailing” on the cornices (the bird has become an iconic symbol of the brand, having arisen from the designer’s love of the bird’s unusual shade of pink).

Premium fashion brand Jigsaw is set to open a new luxury concept store at the St James’s Market redevelopment later this year, offering its full range of premium men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. This new concept store, offering around 3,000 sq ft. of trading space, is the natural home for the new Jigsaw bespoke Emporium.

Moncler Arrives on Old Bond Street

The new Moncler flagship store opens with 330 m2 of retail space over three floors on Old Bond Street. Designed by Gilles and Boissier, the new London store is designed in an Alpine style with smoked oak floors and white Calacatta marble and will showcase the Moncler Gamme Rouge, Moncler, Moncler Grenoble, Moncler Enfant and accessory collections.

Back to top



Restaurant Round Up

Leading Michelin-two-starred Nordic restaurant, Aquavit, is to open its first European offering in St James’s Market later this year. This is the first restaurant to be announced for St James’s Market and it will also be the largest at 9,000 sq ft. with double-height ceilings. The new restaurant will offer an informal and contemporary Nordic cuisine for all-day dining, matched with the very best in modern Scandinavian interior design.
Many businesses across the area are celebrating HM Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday including Veeraswamy, the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, which is also celebrating its own 90th birthday this year and, in joint celebration, has launched a special royal menu.
Flemings Restaurant at Flemings Mayfair Hotel relaunched the 80-cover restaurant by Shaun Rankin with a Mediterranean focus in May.
In July, Raw and BBQ comes to W1 – a new Mayfair restaurant from the owners of Sushi Samba and Duck & Waffle, specialising in raw bar-style cuisine and BBQ. Hammersmith’s legendary Italian restaurant, The River Café, is to branch out after 28 years with a second site in a building below the Gagosian gallery on Grosvenor Hill, expected to open in 2017.

Spring Dining from Hakkasan

Until 18th June, Sake no Hana, the Japanese restaurant owned by Hakkasan Group, will be celebrating the arrival of Spring with the return of the sakura cherry blossom garden in the Sake no Hana bar. By day, the bar will be transformed with intertwining cherry blossom branches, falling petals, a grass floor, and blossom entrances, while by night, lights will twinkle within the blossom to create an intimate yozakura atmosphere, yozakura literally meaning ‘night sakura’. Inspired by hanami which literally means “flower viewing”, Sakura at Sake no Hana offers guests the chance to enjoy the transient beauty of the cherry blossom flowers in the heart of Mayfair.

Suite Success for Rocco Forte

After a three month renovation, Brown’s Hotel on Albemarle Street – part of the Rocco Forte group – has unveiled the new Kipling Suite, redesigned by Olga Polizzi, Director of Design. The Kipling Suite is the first of the ‘Forte Suites’ to be unveiled by the group, part of the newly launched Suite Experience programme of benefits for guests. Named after Rudyard Kipling, who wrote The Jungle Book following one of his many stays at Brown’s, the pièce de résistance in the Kipling Suite is a framed hand-written letter from Rudyard Kipling, penned and sent during a stay at the hotel.

Back to top



HM Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday

To celebrate HM Queen’s 90th birthday, London Luxury Quarter and several West End partners, are lining the streets with giant Union flags throughout the summer. A West End Guide to celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday launched last week, with the help of LLQ’s very own fashion royalty; Alice Temperley – detailing the top royal-themed activities for domestic and international visitors in Her Majesty’s 90th year. Written by Time Out editor Andy Hill and distributed in both print and digital formats, the Time Out-style listings guide includes a diverse mix of limited and evergreen West End offerings – from limited edition royal-themed products, store displays and food and beverage offers, to installations, special events, ceremonies and famous landmarks.

We look forward to welcoming you to our next issue of the Luxury Insider in the Summer.

Film and Fitness in LLQ

The Grosvenor Film Festival, presented by The Nomad Cinema in association with Chestertons, returns to select outdoor locations in Mayfair between July and September. Screenings will be held at locations including Grosvenor Square and Brown Hart Gardens and will include films such as Stand by Me, The Breakfast Club and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. For more information and tickets, visit Grosvenor London.

Grosvenor is also hosting a new exercise initiative – Fitness in the Community – in partnership with White Room Fitness. Sessions, including Pilates and circuit training will take place Monday – Friday at Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair and will be open to the public for £5 per class.

Fashion in LLQ

On 11th June as part of London Collection’s Men St James’s will be closing Jermyn Street to traffic and hosting open-air catwalk shows featuring clothing and accessories from the brands residing in St James’s. Over 30 brands will be showcased in a show styled by the Fashion Editor of British GQ, Grace Gilfeather. As well as catwalk shows, the street will be populated with street food vendors and a pop-up mini-cinema, showing specially curated video content from style influencers. Tickets are now available to register for, free of charge, at St James’s London.

Vogue comes to Burlington Arcade

A spectacular new installation featuring twenty 10 foot-high prints of the most stunning illustrated Vogue covers from 1918-1950 launched in May at Burlington Arcade, in partnership with Vogue, to celebrate the publication of the magazine’s centenary edition. Featuring some of the most beautiful illustrated and photographic covers from the Condé Nast archives, Vogue 100 at Burlington Arcade are being displayed along the length of the 200 year-old arcade to create a narrative of the history of 20th Century sartorial fashion, while reflecting the diversity of the contemporary styles offered by the Arcade’s current tenants.

Alongside the exhibition, there will be a three month programme of events running until 31st August. The highlight of which will be an exclusive Summer evening of shopping, style and cocktails on 8th June where many famous brands will be offering exclusive craftsmanship demonstrations and gifts with purchases – complimentary to readers of the centenary edition of Vogue Magazine.

Back to top



When Luxury Meets Culture

LLQ started its events programme in style at the Royal Academy of Arts on 10th May with an insightful and topical debate on the subject of “When Luxury Meets Culture.” Attended by over 40 guests, the discussion captured the emerging trend for luxury brands to collaborate with cultural institutions and analysed the purchasing demands of the ultra high net worth shopper and how this influences the shopping experiences brands provide. Many thanks to the panel Tom Meggle, Managing Director of Louis Vuitton UK, Ireland and South Africa; Ahlya Fateh, Managing Director of Amanda Wakeley; Charles Saumarez-Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts; and the Chair, Will Gompertz, broadcaster, writer and Arts Editor at the BBC, for their involvement.

Royal Academy of Arts Presents

May saw the unveiling of a monumental public artwork ‘RA Family Album’ by Royal Academician Yinka Shonibare, which covers the entire scaffold hoarding on the façade of Burlington Gardens whilst the building undergoes a transformative redevelopment in the lead up to the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary in 2018. Led by the internationally-acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield RA, the plans will link Burlington House and Burlington Gardens for the first time, uniting and revitalising the two-acre site. 13th June sees the official opening of the 248th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, coordinated by the leading British sculptor, Richard Wilson RA.

Brown’s London Art Weekend

Experience the unrivalled quality and diversity of art in LLQ as over 60 galleries and auction houses open their doors to the public for Brown’s London Art Weekend, 1st to 3rd July 2016. With free talks, walks, and Brown’s renowned art tours, the event offers a unique opportunity for art lovers to explore the capital’s greatest private galleries. Visit Brown’s London Art Weekend for the full programme and details of the exciting ‘Gallery HOP’ on Friday 1st July (6pm-8pm).

In association with Brown’s London Art Weekend and with Yinka Shonibare’s temporary artwork as both backdrop and inspiration, the Royal Academy Burlington Gardens Festival on 2nd July from 12pm to 6pm will include artists’ installations, workshops and performances, accompanied by innovative street-food and drink, music and entertainment. Involving Royal Academicians, students from the RA Schools as well as artists who would often not have the opportunity to present work in Mayfair, this promises to be a lively day-long free arts festival.

Japanese Influence in LLQ

Following on from the Japanese sakura cherry blossom garden in the Sake no Hana bar, the Japanese influence continues with Blain|Southern’s first exhibition with Bosco Sodi. Running until 12th June, it features new volcanic rock sculptures and large-scale impasto paintings made with layers of pure pigment, water, glue and natural fibres. Sodi’s relationship with crude raw materials and the constituent elements of nature draws from wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that embraces imperfection and reveres natural authenticity above all.

Bonhams also curated two auctions in May of fine Japanese and fine Chinese art and modern and contemporary South Asian Art. Upcoming sales include “The Russian Sale” on 8th June, “Fine European Ceramics” on 15th June, “Impressionist and Modern Art” on 23rd June and post war and contemporary art on 30th June.

Phillips Auction House will also be showcasing the work of internationally-acclaimed artist Joana Vasconcelos from 15th July to 28th August. Joana Vasconcelos: Material World, features over 40 works of art representing various periods of Vasconcelos’ career to date and will coincide with the upcoming publication of a monograph on the artist, published by Thames and Hudson.

Back to top


April and May have been extremely busy months for London Luxury Quarter. Launching our new BEACON OF EXCELLENCE report at Maison Assouline on Piccadilly presented us with an opportunity to showcase the growth and success of the area and to provide members with an invaluable tool to help promote London Luxury Quarter to new investors, occupiers and consumers as the undisputed global centre of luxury. In one written asset, this report encapsulates all that makes the area so unique internationally.

The six chapter report showcases London Luxury Quarter as being at the very heart of London’s luxury economy and as the leading global destination for luxury and delves deeper into unique aspects of the area including an analysis of the resident and visitor profile and a review of each of the occupier categories from hospitality and leisure and retail to offices and culture and heritage. The report also demonstrates the commitment of the area in combining tradition with innovation and presents London Luxury Quarter as a dynamic force set for continued growth offering a fantastic opportunity for investors.

I’d like to thank the many brands and businesses that contributed to the report and for taking the time to provide case studies and information which have added great richness and depth to the content. For a copy of the report, please contact or view it here in your browser.

Back to top