Here are the businesses and people shortlisted in The Community Awards of Mayfair & St James’s.
We can’t wait ’til the winners are announced at a glittering awards evening later this month.
Only in St James’s
Every martini or personalised cocktail at Dukes Bar is guaranteed to be an occasion. As a regular haunt of Ian Fleming, the bar is said to have provided the inspiration for Bond’s line: “Shaken not stirred.”
Fortnum & Mason
One nominator said: “St James’s just wouldn’t be the same without it.”
Another fan said: “It is incredible that in the current age of impersonal conglomerates, F&M still offers personal service and value for money.”
The Wolseley Combines British heritage with European grandeur.
One nominator said: “The Wolseley ticks all the boxes – the kind of food you want to eat, great service in a glamorous but non-stuffy environment. A St James’s institution.”
Only In Mayfair
A fragrance house since 1760, the opening in Mount Street in 2015 has helped to establish the house’s position in the community. One nominator described Creed as: “A scented haven of luxury and sophistication.”
Founded in 1849, the jeweller has been the sole supplier of the Victoria Cross since 1856. One nominator said: “The oldest family jewellers based in the area. It continues to enjoy an enviable reputation with clients.”
Henry Poole & Co
Established in 1806, the tailor has always been at the forefront of style excellence. One nominator said: “One of Henry Poole’s main objectives has always been protecting and promoting Savile Row and the tailoring craft.
Hadi Aknin (Annabel’s)
Chief operations officer, Hadi (pictured) joined Annabel’s last year, having previously worked at Pont de la Tour and Launceston Place. His colleagues say: “Hadi is an incredible leader and he does so with charm, charisma and finesse.”
One of the world’s best cocktail creators for nearly 40 years. In his illustrious career he’s been known for making headlines including the world’s most expensive cocktail. He can be found at The Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel.
Rita Gilligan MBE (Hard Rock Cafe)
Working at the original Hard Rock Cafe since day one in 1971. A nominator said: “The cornerstone of Hard Rock Cafe is its staff, and the most enduring of them all has to be Rita Gilligan.”
Putting Something Back
Yasko has been volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society soup run, based at Farm Street Church on Mount Street, for more than 10 years. Every Monday night, Yasko and her team hand out essentials to around 50 homeless people.
A nominator of Gemma’s (pictured) said: “Gemma has raised enormous sums for countless charities, but her greatest attribute is to raise awareness of conditions such as breast cancer or lymphoedema to sufferers through her books.”
Lock & Co
The world’s oldest hat shop, the 34th oldest family-owned business and a double Royal Warrant holder. One nominator said: “They have given hundreds of hats to injured servicemen through Style For Soldiers.”
Paula Fitzherbert (The Maybourne Group)
Paula constantly raises the profile of the hotel group on the worldwide stage, reinventing the role of a group director of communications. Widely regarded as one of the very best in the business.
Jay Vaghela (Lock & Co)
Jay Vaghela (pictured) has been working at Lock & Co for more than 10 years, becoming Master Hatter two years ago. He can bring an old hat back to life; can change a fedora into a trilby; and is skilled at advising clients on which hats suit them.
Jerry Vinalon (Heywood Hill)
Jerry is responsible for overseeing the wrapping and dispatch of several thousand books every month. A nominator said: “Jerry never seeks the limelight. His devotion to his job and our customers make him an ideal candidate.”
Doorman of the year
Colin Case (The Beaumont)
Described by broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan as a “legendary London doorman.” A guest of the hotel said “Colin is an absolute credit to his profession, providing service of absolute class.”
Jim Gardner Burns (Athenaeum Hotel)
At the hotel for 27 years Jim (pictured) has greeted everyone from Maggie Thatcher to Nelson Mandela. A nominator said: “He stands out as someone who really cares for guests rather than just doing a job.”
John Thompson (Brown’s Hotel)
John welcomes every guest with his infectious smile as they walk through the doors. One nominator said: “He also recognises that little guests are just as important as big ones.”
At Your Service
An integral part of the community, one nominator said, “Mr Amin and his team are very knowledgeable for people with health complications. Their personal service is an asset to the community and the amenity they offer is indispensable.”
Now in its sixth year, Christie’s Lates are an after-hour series of curated events bringing together experts from the wider community of Mayfair. These free entry events continue to attract like-minded art lovers each year.
John Timms (Smythson)
Having perfected the art of gold stamping in his 20s, John (pictured) is now Smythson’s chief stamper. Having been there for more than a decade he provides that personal touch as well as his unmatched expertise.
The Allbright Mayfair
A women’s private members’ club for entrepreneurs, leaders and trailblazers opened in 2019 to a rapturous reception. One nominator said “It’s the perfect spot for our community of women to work and let their hair down.”
A nominator said Mercato Metropolitano (pictured) is: “A fantastic amenity where people can not only socialise, eat and buy food from artisan producers, but also enjoy a range of community activities that focus on food education, awareness and social responsibility.”
Sabor, meaning “flavour” in Spanish, takes diners on a journey through the regions of Spain. Founded by José Etura and Nieves Barragán Mohacho, formerly of Barrafina, it was awarded a Michelin star within months of opening.
Bright Young Thing
Caroline (pictured) has been called “a breath of fresh air in a rather old and traditional niche, dominated by men”. She is emerging as a highly respected bespoke tailor focusing on traditional British suits for both men and women.
Tom Booton (The Dorchester)
Tom is The Dorchester’s youngest ever head chef at 26 years old, beginning his career at 15 years old. He was head chef at Michelin-starred Alyn Williams at The Westbury before joining The Grill at The Dorchester last year. (Tom is featured in the main picture above)
Adele Williamson (Tricker’s)
Training as the first female bespoke master shoemaker at Tricker’s, Adele was named in the UK’s top 15 young designers in the Cordwainers’ National Footwear Student of the Year Awards.
Michael de Cozar (The Ritz)
At The Ritz for over 45 years. At the age of 24 he became London’s youngest ever head concierge and today he is the longest-serving head concierge in the hotel’s history and is now the longest serving concierge in London.
Tony Higgins (H.R. Higgins)
The tea and coffee merchant (pictured) has worked in Mayfair for 66 years, and can still be found, at 83 years old, serving his customers on Duke Street. A nominator said, “He brings a humility rarely found, and is loved by staff and customers.”
Lance Jefferson (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
43 years at Berry Bros. & Rudd. Lance helped open the store’s first event space. A nomination read: “He is incredibly popular and his involvement in the business knows no bounds.”