Monday, 21 December 2009

Spark of life in Mayfair

For all its wealth, Mayfair is in one vital area a lot worse off  than cheaper properties around the Monopoly board. Once, the festival from which the area took its name made it a very lively part of London indeed, but, like the fair itself, most of the taverns were booted out in the eighteenth century to make way for grand houses for the gentry, and an institution as democratic and populist as the pub felt very out of place amid all that exclusivity.

So the recent attempt by some Mayfair residents to have Guy Ritchie's Punch Bowl closed was strictly in accordance with local tradition. And the fact that it has failed, with the pub's management ordered only to submit to a few not-very-onerous conditions, is very good news for the pub-friendly, because it's a fine little place in an area that is pitifully short of the best things in life.

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