Kicking around in Mayfair

Photography courtesy of london_and_travel

Story

I was walking down Bourdon Street the other day and Icaught a whiff of some food that smeltdivine …French,richand buttery. I was in Mayfair and I’ve been lucky to have quite a few classes in thisstunningpart of London recently. It’s great because it’s rightin the thick of itbut away from all thehubbubof Oxford Street, Piccadilly and Regents Street. Yes it’sswankyand maybejust a tadhoity-toitybut it’s also elegant,steeped inhistory and quitequintessentiallyBritish. I love the red-brick houses, the hiddenmewsand the opulenceof the Burlington Arcade. It’sbrimming withart galleries, fashion houses, antique dealersnot to mentionmystique. Apparently, it's just had a'a golden decade'and 'a new identity is evolving' with 'an intertnationalbuzz'as it transitions back to aresidentialneighbourhood after being mainly commercial sincethe forties(The Telegraph). I still remember the joy of ‘having it’ in Monopoly… theluxuriousblue card!

Questions

Why not practise some of the vocab in the comments section below....

  • Have you been to Mayfair? Do you like it?
  • Have you been to any of the art galleries, fashion boutiques or antique shops there?
  • What are your favourite and least favourite areas of London? 
  • Are there any parts of London that you know that are changing?
  • How do cities in your country compare to London? How are they similar/different?

Glossary

  • kicking around (phrasal verb)

To spend time in a place without particular plans, similar to 'hanging around. This phrasal verb has many other meanings.

  • to catch a whiff (phrase)

To smell something

  • divine (adj.) 

Amazing/ wonderful

  • rich (adj.) 

Food that is contains a lot of oil, butter, eggs or cream

  • stunning (adj.)

Something that looks very good

  • in the thick of it (phrase - informal)

In the centre of the action. This phrase is often used to mean that someone is completely involved in something, often illegal or criminal. 

  • hubbub (noun)

A place that is very noisy

  • swanky (adj.)

Posh and expensive

  • just a tad (phrase)

A little

  • hoity-toity (adj.)

Acting as if you are better than other people

  • to be steeped in (phrase)

To have a lot of a particular quality

  • quintessentially (adj.)

typically

  • mews (noun)

Small streets with houses that used to be stables (buildings for horses) in the past.

  • opulence (noun)

Impressive because it shows expensive things.

  • to be brimming with (phrase)

To be full of something

  • not to mention (phrase)

A phrase that is used to add a comment that emphasises what you have just said.

  • mystique (adj.)

A sense of mystery

  • golden decade (adj. + noun)

People talk about a 'golden age', which is a period of time in the past that was very successful. A decade is 10 years so this phrase means 10 very successful years.

  • To be evolving (verb - passive)

To be developing

  • a buzz (noun)

An exciting feeling

  •  residential (adj.)

A place where people live

  • The forties (phrase)

1940 - 1949

  • Monopoly (noun)

A board game

  • luxurious (adj.)

Something that is expensive and comfortable