WE ASK THOSE WITH A FOOT IN MAYFAIR AND MONACO WHAT THEY LIKE ABOUT BOTH PLACES AND TO REVEAL THEIR HIDDEN GEMS  

 

As told to Selma Day and Jonathan Whiley 

EVELYNE GENTA, MONACO’S AMBASSADOR TO THE UK

What do you love most about Mayfair and Monaco and what similarities do you seen between both places?

 What makes a place lovely are the people. I see a lot of similarities between Mayfair and Monaco; the people living or working there are very cosmopolitan, they come from all over the world, they are cultured, curious, always eager to try new things and visit new places; it makes both places vibrant and exciting.

How have Mayfair and Monaco changed since you took up your role as ambassador?  

Mayfair I think has become more of a residential place than it used to be when I first became ambassador and a lot of buildings have been turned into houses or flats. Monaco has these last ten years seen a new type of resident coming. They are much younger and come with their young families. It is now  a place where people really live, where they bring up their children and participate in the community much more than a few years ago. 

How does the cultural scene differ? A few Mayfair galleries are now opening in Monaco, for example, Hauser & Wirth. What’s the attraction?  

Absolutely. The interest in art is constantly growing in the Principality. Every year we have a truly remarkable exhibition at the Forum Grimaldi – this year it is about Giacometti.

We have a lot of important art collectors in Monaco and they can meet and share their passion quite easily there.

 What are the priorities for Monaco post-pandemic. How will things change? I see sustainability is high on the agenda. 

Like everywhere else Monaco is going to face the challenge of adapting and definitely the pandemic has affected us. There will be much more emphasis on technological strategies. The idea to make Monaco a smart city had been started before but now, of course, it has become a priority with remote work, digital health services, if necessary online learning etc… 

Yes Monaco has always been at the forefront of sustainability and the Prince Albert Foundation is a very good example of the very strong will to go towards lessening emissions, be it in our public and private buildings or in our transport system.

 Favourite hidden gems in Monaco and Mayfair?  

In Monaco I would say the gardens , we have the Princess Grace Rose gardens – the Saint Martin gardens which are just peaceful little heavens; Can I leave it to you to find something in Mayfair ? 

Favourite restaurant in Monaco and Mayfair and why?  

In Mayfair I love the Japanese restaurant at the Arts Club and breakfast at the Wolseley and in Monaco the lovely Maya Bay with its Japanese and Thai restaurants and there is no better soufflé in the world that the one they make at the Grill of the Hotel de Paris

Favourite hotels/bars/clubs? 

I love Harry’s Bar, of course, and the Yacht Club in Monaco where eating on the terrace feels like you are on a beautiful boat ready to set off around the Mediterranean.

ALEX LEWIS, INTERIOR DESIGN MANAGER OF SUNSEEKER

How do you split your time between Mayfair and Monaco? 

Much of my time is spent in our head office in Mayfair. Fortunately, I have the luxury of regularly travelling to Monaco to meet with our friends, clients and prospects to discuss their Sunseeker motoryacht purchase and design.  

How important is the Mayfair and Monaco market for you? 

 Our Sunseeker yachts appeal to the most successful entrepreneurs and VIPs worldwide.  Monaco and Mayfair have become synonymous with their lifestyle whether it be owning homes in each of these amazing locations or simply visiting these exclusive playgrounds on a regular basis. Typically, a Sunseeker owner would be positioned Internationally in the top five percent of personal wealth. 

What has been your most memorable event in Mayfair/Monaco?

 The pride attending my first Monaco Yacht Show displaying Sunseeker motor yachts is a memory that I savour.  Mayfair is perceived as an exclusive location set in London and it may be likened to Monaco as ‘The Principality of Mayfair’. For me and our marketing team to be empowered to arrange the opening party of our Sunseeker London head office was a memorable event. From our original first office at 22 Grosvenor Street, opening this new head office was a reminder of the growth of our company over the last 28 years. 

 What is your hidden gem? 

 In Monaco La Pêcherie, in the heart of Port Hercule is hard to beat – serving the freshest fish. Behind a simple unmarked black door is Alfred’s Private Members Club located in Bourdon House Mayfair. With a very limited membership this haven of quintessentially British hospitality empowers me to shelter from the day-to-day bustle of London and Mayfair life. 

 Where do you go to party in Mayfair/Monaco? 

In Monaco, Sass Café is an institution. A perfect place for dinner, this family-run establishment always extends the warmest of welcomes. This has to be followed by a few hours partying in Jimmyz. Lou Lou’s at 5 Hertford Street is an amazing ‘party’ club. Whether it be at 10 in the evening or three in the morning it’s always full of exciting and vibrant international partygoers. 

 

 

Who do you call when you want to have a good time? 

Modesta Vžesniauskaitė is the long-term partner of my dear friend John Caudwell, founder of Caudwell Children Charity and she hosts the annual Butterfly Ball in Monaco each year. Having lived in Monaco for much of her life, Modesta has amazing connections with Monaco’s movers and shakers. 

In London, international events organiser, author, editor and exclusive lifestyle guru Liz Brewer is a dear friend of ours. Having mingled internationally with Kings & Queens, high profile individuals and UHNWs, she has exceptionally high standards on what constitutes a fabulous evening out. 

 

 What is your favourite hotel?

 Having first travelled to Monaco in the 60s and staying at the Hotel de Paris, it is without question that I continue to treat it as my favourite hotel in the Principality. It has recently been refurbished in an art deco style and the attention by the staff at the hotel is most welcoming and discreet. 

Located just a few metres from our Sunseeker head office in Mayfair is Claridge’s hotel and entertaining clients for afternoon tea has become a regular event for me. Sunseeker is a British product and Claridge’s for the right reasons is typically British, serving afternoon tea in the most sumptuous and luxurious of surroundings. 

What is your favourite restaurant?

La Petite Maison in Brooks Mews is a restaurant that is always buzzing with life and activity and incredible French cuisine. In Monaco, Gaia serves superb Greek food just off Casino Square. 

What is your favourite bar?

Without question The Connaught Bar in Mayfair, which has a brilliant atmosphere. I always suggest to my guests to try the signature Connaught martini. It’s truly incredible. The American Bar in the Hotel de Paris is probably one of the most glamorous places on the planet. Their live music and fantastic cocktails are very hard to beat. 

 Having first travelled to Monaco in the 60s and staying at the Hotel de Paris, it is without question that I continue to treat it as my favourite hotel in the Principality. It has recently been refurbished in an art deco style and the attention by the staff at the hotel is most welcoming and discreet. 

Located just a few metres from our Sunseeker head office in Mayfair is Claridge’s hotel and entertaining clients for afternoon tea has become a regular event for me. Sunseeker is a British product and Claridge’s for the right reasons is typically British, serving afternoon tea in the most sumptuous and luxurious of surroundings. 

 sunseekerlondon.com

JONNY DOGE, FOUNDER OF MY OCEAN COMPANY AND CEO OF GPM EXPERIENCES, JOHNNY HAS BEEN DUBBED ‘THE SUPERYACHT INFLUENCER’

How do you split your time between Mayfair and Monaco?

As with many of us, Covid made me realise life isn’t about living in the office. So in March last year, I escaped to Monaco to make it home. I’ve spent so much time there running F1 events and chartering yachts for more than 10 years. So now I spend summers in Monaco and split my time in the winter between Mayfair and Dubai.  

What made you choose Mayfair/Monaco? 

Mayfair has been my home since I moved to London to take my masters’ degree. It’s also where I’ve had my businesses; from my nightclub to my F1 and incentives company, GPM Experiences and my yacht charter and sales company, MyOcean [both based in Regent Street]. Mayfair has a magic to it; it’s the heart of London, and feels like a little village too. Monaco has so many friends from Mayfair, it felt like home when I moved down there and of course it’s a hub for both my F1 and yacht businesses.

What has been your most memorable event?

So many, but our annual supercar rally, The Dodgeball Rally, has started from Mayfair for many years, ready for an adventure across Europe. In Monaco, The Monaco Grand Prix 

is one of the highlights of the global social calendar, and with GPM we always have our yacht trackside for the F1 weekend so it can’t get much better.

What is your hidden gem?

In Mayfair I love Kitty Fisher’s in Shepherd Market; perfect for a little date night and hidden out the way. As for Monaco, Wine Palace is the perfect spot on the port to unwind and catch up with friends. 

Where do you go to party? 

In Mayfair, you will find me between Annabel’s, 5 Hertford Street and Little House; my favourite members’ spots. In Monaco, I love a day party so nothing better than Nikki Beach or Anjuna on a Sunday where you have the chance to bump into an F1 driver or even Prince Albert on occasion.

What is your favourite hotel? 

In Mayfair I love The Connaught, but I’m super excited to see the opening of the new Rosewood hotel; that is going to be incredible. In Monaco, I can’t think of anything better than chilling by the pool at the Hotel Hermitage. 

What is your favourite restaurant?

In Mayfair, it’s Roka, which is right next to my house. You will find me there every Tuesday when I’m in town. In Monaco, COYA has amazing food and a great vibe. 

What is your favourite bar?

In Mayfair the secret bar under Amazonico is a great little spot for late night drinks. In Monaco, I love an evening on the terrace at Buddha-Bar with a shisha.

ISABELL KRISTENSEN, HAUTE COUTURE DESIGNER WITH SHOPS IN LONDON AND MONACO

What do you love most about Mayfair and Monaco? 

Both represent cultural, business and social centres of excellence. There is a reason why Mayfair draws some of the world’s most talented and hard-working people to live and invest there. Despite this, it has not lost its soul, its standing as exemplary of the very best, nor its sense of the utmost in high standards. Likewise, Monaco, a tiny, micro-country, with hardly any land, natural resources, or large-scale national industry has managed to develop its identity and export a dream, the basis for which is a well-founded reputation for quality, excellence and perfection in all things. 

Hidden gems? 

Monaco – I am a foodie, so immediately hidden local delicacies spring to mind. There is a tiny baker off Place d’Armes where you can find tasty Monegasque barbajuan and one of the only places where you can find delicious Socca year round.  

Mayfair – Crown Aspinalls Club, I enjoy a cheeky game of roulette now and then and its new roof terrace is divine.  

Favourite restaurant in Monaco and Mayfair and why? 

In Monaco, Castelroc, a lovely restaurant built in part of the historic fort structure protecting the palace one of the only places in the principality where one may find original Monegasque food, with some of the best freshly-caught fish. In Mayfair, HIDE – a short walk from my boutique. Every dish is perfection.

Do you have similar clients in Monaco and Mayfair?  

Almost identical in that they are all equally fabulous! 

Any famous names you can mention? 

 Nicole Kidman wore a divine fuchsia pink dress we prepared for a shoot for ELLE magazine, together with Ewan McGregor.  Dame Shirley Bassey has been a long-standing client and worn countless designs, including those for her Oscars and Royal Variety Show performances. She always sings when she is happy during fittings. It is such a treat. Katy Perry wore a beautiful red fringe dress on stage for a European concert tour   

Favourite bar in Monaco and Mayfair and why? 

In Mayfair, Sketch, I love the colours and its cocktails and in Monaco, Blue Gin – one cannot get closer to the water, just the waves and your friends.  

Favourite hotels? 

In Monaco, The Hermitage. It is where the concierge first told me there was no couturier in Monaco back in the 90s. It was the lightbulb moment that led me to establish my own couture house in the principality.  

In Mayfair, there are almost too many to decide but, again, being a foodie I’ll decide with my tummy. Many factors make it a delightful place to stay, but I’ll readily admit it is the quality of its afternoon tea that pushes it over the line. Brown’s Hotel.

Where do you go to party? 

In Mayfair, Lou Lou’s is a close winner over Annabel’s and in Monaco, Coya followed by Jimmy’z 

 

FAWAZ GRUOSI, KNOWN AS THE ‘MODERN MSATER OF DESIGN’ HAS JUST OPENED HIS FIRST FAWAZ GRUOSI BOUTIQUE IN MAYFAIR’S BERKELEY SQUAR

Why did you decide to open a boutique in Mayfair?

I have always loved the creativity and vibrant energy of London and my children and grandchildren are settled here.

Where is home for you?

My work has always involved me travelling constantly. I live mostly between London and Geneva where my atelier is based but travel frequently all over the world to meet my clients.

Do you spend much time in Monaco?

I try to come most months for a few days.

 

 

 

What kind of women buy your jewellery?

I do not target any specific kind of client or woman. Proof is my brand’s first visual campaign through which I wanted different muses, veiled in shadows, to enable each woman to see herself as part of this dreamscape universe. Adorned with sumptuous creations, in assertive and voluntary attitudes, sometimes informal and sometimes glamorous, they are modern, audacious and confident.

What are the similarities between both places?

Both destinations are at the very top of the list in Europe for glamour, exclusivity and real estate. Both cities also have a strong association with their respective royals, the Windsor and Grimaldi families.

What do you love most about Monaco? 

The Mediterranean coast

Do you have similar clients in Monaco and Mayfair? 

Yes, my Monaco clients love to spend time in Mayfair and vice versa

How does the cultural scene differ?

Of course the size of a city usually dictates the cultural offering, however, Monaco’s presence in the arts is exceptional for a small principality and here you can find the highest standards of all the arts.

Hidden gems?

Hôtel Cap Estel in Èze

Favourite restaurant in Monaco and Mayfair and why?

Cipriani and Gaia in Monaco and in Mayfair Harry’s Bar – it’s elegant, serves fantastic food and the service is always immaculate. I love Annabel’s garden restaurant and it’s conveniently in front of the boutique. 

Favourite bar in Monaco and Mayfair and why?

The American Bar in Monaco and in Mayfair, I have a few. Mark’s Club for my business meetings, the Connaught Bar and 5 Hertford Street.

Favourite hotel in Monaco?

Hotel de Paris

Where do you shop in Monaco and Mayfair?

I’m not a huge shopper but I am very loyal. Avenue de Monte Carlo in Monaco and for 40 years I have worn my bespoke shirts which are from Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street and my shoes are from John Lobb.