fbpx Mayfair, London

Mayfair, London

Tom, Sarah

and the professor hurried through a tunnel under Park Lane and up Mount Street past Scott’s restaurant, its seductive aroma reminding them of their hunger. Located on the corner was the Connaught Hotel, its ever-present doorman standing by the iconic entrance. Dressed in his familiar tan topcoat, dark blue hat, and white gloves, he was a stylish landmark of this quintessential British establishment. He looked over and gave a friendly wave as they hurried by.

          “What part of London is this?” asked Sarah.

          “Mayfair, one of the most civilized sections,” answered Hainsworth, a glimmer of nostalgia in his eyes.

Tom, Sarah

and Hainsworth crossed Berkeley Square, walked up Burton Road, and over to Old Bond Street, an opulent cascade of luxurious shops and cafés. Taking its name from the developer Sir Thomas Bond, this boulevard is the Rodeo Drive of London. Every well-known clothier and brand-name store is represented: Asprey, Burberrys, Cartier, Harry Winston, Hermes, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren, Smythson, Sotheby’s, Tiffany & Co., among many others.

Hainsworth spotted his favorite clothing store, England’s oldest, and confidently walked in.

Located in

the West End of London, Bond Street has been a popular retail location since the 18th century, home to numerous prestigious and expensive shops. Old Bond Street is the southern section and New Bond Street is the northern section. The street was built on fields surrounding Clarendon House on Piccadilly, which was developed by Sir Thomas Bond. It was built up in the 1720s, and by the end of the 18th century was a popular place for upper-class Mayfair residents to socialize. During the 18th century, the street began to be popular with the bourgeoisie living around Mayfair. Shop owners rented their upper stories out as apartments, attracting lodgers such as Jonathan Swift, William Pitt the Elder and Laurence Stern.

          Thirty minutes later, all three left the shop. Dressed in what would be considered classic yet conservative attire, they looked like a picture straight out of Town & Country magazine. Sporting a rugby sweater and blazer, Tom appeared more suited for an exclusive prep school than an ominous stroll through the back streets of London. Sarah was dressed in a cashmere cardigan and a Black Watch pleated skirt, her hair pulled back into a ponytail. And Hainsworth was wearing a crisp, grey pinstriped suit, as if ready for a heated debate in the House of Parliament.

          They searched the area for policemen and cautiously proceeded down Bond Street.
Appearing on the opposite side, a group of officers were looking in stores and questioning nearby shoppers.

          “Let’s go, quickly,” urged Hainsworth, leading the way to Albemarle Street. “There’s only one place in Mayfair for tea, the Brown’s Hotel,” replied the professor adamantly.

          “That’s fine with me,” said Tom enthusiastically.

          They ducked inside the famous hotel and sat at the first available table.

          Established by James Brown in 1837, the English Tea Room, with its cherry paneled walls and white coffered ceiling, was a favorite destination among London’s sophisticated elite.

The Brown’s Hotel is noted for its traditional English Victorian sophistication fused with a contemporary feel. Celebrated Victorian writers Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and JM Barrie were all regular visitors. The hotel has also hosted Alexander Graham Bell, (who made the first phone call in Europe from the hotel), Theodore Roosevelt, Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie.

* * * *

Determined

to thoroughly interrogate Philip, Gowerstone drove over to New Scotland Yard, 10 Broadway, Westminster. While his men systematically searched Mayfair, he hoped to find out what the butler was hiding.

          After parking in front of the modern steel and glass high-rise, Gowerstone stormed through the main entrance and down to the holding cell two floors underground. He had called ahead to make sure Philip was prepped: handcuffed and sitting in an isolated room with a table and two chairs.

     “What’s the plan, Professor?”

         wondered Sarah aloud.

         “First we need to find a place to stay.” Hainsworth glanced at his watch. “It’s now two o’clock. I’ll call Dr. Beagleswick to see if we can meet him later. Perhaps he’ll know what this whole thing’s about.”

         “Why don’t we stay here?” asked Tom, surveying the room and lobby.

         “If the police start calling the hotels, it could cause a problem. We should also leave Mayfair.” He continued thinking. “But there’s one place in St. James that might be perfect, at least for now.”

         “Whatever you believe is best, but we should leave soon,” said Tom anxiously, pointing to an officer walking by a window.

         Without hesitation, they sprang to their feet. The professor hastily paid the bill, and all three left by the back entrance onto Dover Street.

         Mayfair was now a beehive of police activity, teeming with officers and law enforcement personnel.

         Although Tom, Sarah and Hainsworth had changed their clothes, they were still conspicuous: a boy, a girl, and a tall older man walking together.

         Realizing the obvious, they carefully sneaked along side roads and quickly crossed Piccadilly Street. They passed the Ritz Hotel and hurried down St. James Street to one of the oldest areas of London. The main avenue was dominated by historic buildings, upscale restaurants and a variety of prominent shirt-makers.

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