Marylebone: Artisan food and chic boutiques with a new high-glam appeal
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For years something of a secret among locals who loved Marylebone High Street for its independent boutique spirit a mere stone’s throw from Oxford Street, the area has been thrown into the spotlight recently with a series of high-profile openings drawing the hip crowd to the area in droves.
Marylebone is in the City of Westminster in the Westminster North parliamentary constituency. It covers areas of the W1 and NW1 postcodes.
Council Tax bands
Band A properties in the City of Westminster pay £451.16, average Band D properties pay £674.74 and Band H properties get a bill for £1,353.48.
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The average price of a two-bedroom flat in Marylebone is £1,157,990, while a terraced house costs an average of £2,589,334. The area’s housing stock is a mixture of large Georgian terraces, often divided into flats; mews houses; and mansion blocks.
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Hampden Gurney CofE Primary School is a small voluntary aided school that received an Outstanding Ofsted rating. Fee-paying Wetherby Preparatory School provides education to boys in years 3 to 8 and is rated Good by Ofsted.
Francis Holland girls’ school has a branch near Regent’s Park and is a high-achieving independent school. Sylvia Young Theatre School is a fee-paying mixed gender school specialising in performing arts. Its alumni include Emma Bunton, Denise Van Outen and Kara Tointon.
DLD College is an independent sixth-form college offering GCSEs, A-levels, BTEC or International Foundation programmes.
Marylebone is situated in Zone 1 on the London Underground. Nearby stations include Marylebone Station, which is served by the Bakerloo line; Baker Street on the Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Circle, Jubilee and Bakerloo lines and Bond Street on the Central line.
The area is served by multiple bus routes travelling further into central London as well as several mainline rail connections from Marylebone station.
Landmarks and history
Marylebone is bounded by Oxford Street to the south, Marylebone Road to the north, Edgware Road to the west and Great Portland Street to the east. The area gets its name from a church dedicated to St Mary, which was built on the banks of a small stream, or ‘bourne’.
The street layout of much of the area dates from the eighteenth century when the land was owned by Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles and her husband Edward Harley. The pair commissioned a master plan setting out the streets around Cavendish Square. This area eventually passed to the widow of the 6th Baron Howard de Walden.
The western part of Marylebone was constructed by the Portman family and is known as the Portman Estate. It is still owned and run by members of the family today, while the Howard de Walden Estate continues to own, lease and manage the area covering Marylebone High Street.
The area around Harley Street became a hub for medicine in the mid-nineteenth century, thanks to its quality housing, central location and good transport links, and now boasts hundreds of private clinics.
Major shopping areas
Marylebone High Street is the major shopping hub in the area with the main street and side streets boasting a tempting array of high-end boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Book lovers will be in heaven with a visit to Daunt Books, the first in the small chain, which offers an extensive travel section, as well as attractive displays of literature and non-fiction in the atmospheric, wood-panelled shop. Food shopping is also a delightful affair with La Fromagerie selling all sorts of European goodies alongside its speciality, next door to organic butcher The Ginger Pig, and Rococo Chocolate across the road.
For those who need to create a suitable environment in which to enjoy these treats, a range of interiors and clothing shops will provide – try Cologne and Cotton or the White Company for crisp bedding, Brora for cosy cashmere and the Conran Shop for fashionable furnishings, with a trip to VV Rouleaux for enough ribbons and trimmings to keep a Jane Austen heroine in bonnets for life.
Take a break from shopping at one of the areas many cafes. The Monocle Café sells sticky cinnamon buns served by terrifyingly good-looking staff, while the Chiltern Firehouse is the restaurant of the moment; swing by for a drink, if you can get a table. A more down-to-earth option is Paul Rothe and Son, a family-run deli straight from an old fashioned story book.
Seymour Leisure Centre has a pool, climbing wall, gym, nursery and a spa and beauty salon. The outside space and sports facilities of Regent’s Park are also just on the other side of Marylebone Road.
For culture, classical concerts at Wigmore Hall or a visit to the Wallace Collection can’t be beaten. Or go undercover as a tourist to the Sherlock Holmes Museum near the detective’s Baker Street address.