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28


“What I like about Mayfair is that ultimately, it’s the centre of London. It has this nice mix of very traditional and quintessential Englishness, with all the elegant shops and restaurants, but at the same time, it’s very contemporary and fresh with new things popping up left, right and centre.” Constantin Bjerke, Crane.tv


JOHN ROCHA CAN BE FOUND AT 15A DOVER STREET


the energy, the eclecticism and the cultural history for us to respond to and take part in.”


And this month sees the opening of the David Zwirner Gallery on the corner of Grafton Street and Dover Street, with 10,000 sq ft of exhibition space, kicking off with an exhibition by Belgian painter Luc Tuymans (see Art, pages 18-19). No feature on Dover Street would be complete without mentioning The Arts


Club. It’s difficult to believe that four years ago, the club – now one of the hottest spots in Mayfair – was on the edge of bankruptcy. But new owners, a major restoration and an A-list advisory board and A-list clientele have transformed its fortunes. Yet, amid all the glitz and glamour and the paparazzi who frequently wait outside the doors to snap some celebrity or other, it’s easy to forget the club’s impressive arts credentials. Originally founded in 1863 by Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and Lord Frederick Leighton among others, its past members include Millais, Whistler, Kipling, Monet, Rodin, Degas and Turgenev. It’s still a showcase for international artists and a meeting point for the movers and shakers of the art world. “There’s stuff going on but people don’t know about it. It’s very difficult to compete against a photograph or David Beckham or Prince Harry,” says Brian Clivaz, who as managing director of the club until last month (he remains a consultant) has been instrumental in its success. Constantin Bjerke is the founder and CEO of Dover Street-based Crane.tv, which he describes as “a video-based Condé Nast for the 21st century – a media business that is focused on contemporary culture around the globe”. With around 1.5 million visitors to the site a month, the aim is to be a one-stop shop for culturally curious global citizens and feed them with information about the coolest bars, restaurants, galleries and shops, not only in London, but other cities around the world.


He says: “What I like about Mayfair is that ultimately it’s the centre of London. It has this nice mix of very traditional and quintessential Englishness, with all the elegant shops and restaurants, but at the same time it’s very contemporary and fresh with new things popping up left, right and centre. You’ve got Bond Street and the Royal Academy around the corner and now here in Dover Street, we’re building our own little creative pulse going straight through Mayfair. For me, it’s a massive concentration of different creative inspirations that all just happen to be here. You get a little bit of everything, which I find you don’t really get anywhere else in London.”


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