As summer reaches full bloom, its parks take centre stage. As well as the popular Royal Parks, the city is patchworked with smaller garden squares, each with a unique history and character. These immaculately tended enclaves offer cool respite from the bustle of the surrounding city, and are usually only frequented by in-the-know locals. Fortunately for guests staying at The Chesterfield Mayfair, some of the most beautiful green spaces can be found on the doorstep in Mayfair. Here’s our pick of the best gardens to visit in London.
Brown Hart Gardens
In its former incarnation, Brown Hart Gardens was a grassy stretch frequented by rascals of ill repute. However, much to the consternation of the surrounding residents, an electricity supply company commandeered the site to construct a substation in the early 20th century. To appease the aggrieved locals, the park was recreated on the rooftop. The aforementioned rascals were warded off by a strict set of rules that banned the idle, unclean and intoxicated from entering. Brown Hart Gardens is a departure from London’s typically grassy garden squares, but it is a beautifully tended space, with ornamental plants and a tranquil, above-street-level location making it one the best gardens to visit in London. Find it just off of Duke Street.
Mount Street Gardens
Those craving a moment of shaded tranquillity should seek out the leafy environs of Mount Street Gardens. Flanking one of Mayfair’s most prestigious shopping precincts, this immaculately kept square was established in the 19th century upon the site of a former burial ground. It’s a popular patch among the area’s well-heeled residents. Join local dog-walkers and joggers for a stroll beneath the plane trees, stopping to admire the incongruous but thriving collection of palms, and keeping an eye out for the resident robin.
Grosvenor Square Garden
No list of the best gardens to visit in London would be complete without a mention of Grosvenor Square Garden. This broad, handsome stretch of green is among the largest gardens in Mayfair, and is a precious inclusion in the Royal Parks portfolio. It has enjoyed its fair share of fame, having featured in four of Oscar Wilde’s works, as well as receiving a cursory mention in Grateful Dead’s Scarlet Begonias. Poetic prestige aside, Grosvenor Square is a charming place to enjoy a cappuccino to go (the legendary H R Higgins is within easy reach), and, for sporty types, a few laps around the perimeter delivers a rewarding morning run.
The heart of Mayfair’s boutique financial district, Berkeley Square is a smart 18th-century garden square that’s generously shaded by immense plane trees. These were planted in 1789, making them among the oldest in central London. The square is replete with some lovely sculptures, including Alexander Munro’s beautiful Grecian drinking fountain. There are some excellent cafés, boutiques and restaurants surrounding the square, as well as the Royal Academy of Arts, just a few minutes’ walk away.
The best gardens to visit in London are all within easy strolling distance of Red Carnation Hotels’ The Chesterfield Mayfair.