St James's (District)

St James's still retains much of its 17th century exclusiveness and although no longer a community of courtiers and Royal hangers - on, is famous for discreet gentleman's clubs, high-class retailers, art and antique galleries. Brooks's, Boodle's, and White's on St James's Street are among those clubs to have originated as coffee houses, and were once notorious centres of 'society' gambling; the Athenaeum, Reform, RAC and Travellers on Pall Mall are other eminent clubs. St James's Street and Jermyn Street are the address of bespoke makers of hats, shirts, shoes and boots; of Berry Bros & Rudd, wine merchants established in the 17th century; of Paxton & Whitfield renowned purveyors of cheese and provisions.

The development of St James's Fields was begun by Henry Jermyn soon after the restoration of Charles II in 1660, and many fashionable houses were built on his layout of streets around the spacious St James's Square.

See Also: St James's Palace, Spencer House, Pall Mall - SW1

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