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Mayfair,—strictly the immediate neighbourhood of Berkeley-square, but commonly known as the district lying between Park-lane, Picadilly, Bond-street, and Brook-street, is still, from the society point of view, the creme de la creme of residential London. The smallest and most inconvenient house—--and it still contains many to which the term “house” is barely applicable but by courtesy —lets readily at a rent which, in less sought-after neighbourhoods, would provide a handsome establishment. The larger portion of the district belongs to the Duke of Westminster, whose own residence is in Grosvenor-street, and who, as fast as the leases fall in, is rebuilding the old-fashioned houses in more comfortable modern style. In point of ‘fashion” Belgravia no doubt competes with it, but there is a more aristocratic flavour about Mayfair, besides which it stands, topographically, on higher and therefore healthier ground. The church provision is mostly of a very old-fashioned type, consisting chiefly of proprietary chapels, either in their original form or rechristened by the style of district churches, with the services, pews, ‘three-deckers,” &c., differing but little, if at all, from those of thirty years ago. The chief Roman Catholic place of worship is the Jesuit Church in Farm-street, which is one of the Sunday sights of London. There is hardly any dissenting accommodation. The few shops are small, and very dear, but Regent-street, Bond-street, and Piccadilly are close at hand. The three nearest stations—Baker-Street (Metrop.), Portland-road (Metrop.), and Victoria (District) — are each about three-quarters of a mile distant from the nearest point. The omnibus routes of Park-lane. Piccadilly, Regent. street, and Oxford-street, skirt Mayfair on the respective sides.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879