If you're thinking of booking a hotel near Grosvenor Square with Lasminute.com you may wish to pay a visit to the 9/11 Memorial which commemorates the victims of the terrorist attacks in 2003.
Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in Mayfair and is significant for the long American presence here. This began with the establishment of the first American mission to the Court of St James in 1785. During World War Two Dwight D Eisenhower established a military headquarters at 20 Grosvenor Square and there is a statue of him, of Franklin D Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
The American embassy is also located in the square and was the focus for protests in the 1960s during the Vietnam War. But did you know that Grosvenor Square is referenced in both plays by Oscar Wilde including The Importance of Being Earnest and in the lyrics to a Grateful Dead song?
Arts and culture
Explore 18th-century painting at The Wallace Collection, a short journey from Grosvenor Square. The museum which is located in an historic London town house is home to fine and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th century across 25 galleries. It also showcases furniture and a world-class armoury. Painters featured include Fragonard, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Poussin and Velásquez.
And Grosvenor Square also hosts a number of cultural events during the year including an open-air film festival in July with sound being transmitted directly to wireless headphones. July also sees a
free Summer in Grosvenor Square Festival which features theatre, stand-up comedy, classical, jazz and folk music. There is also a games area, a quiet area, foodie pop-ups and a cocktail bar.
Things to see and do
One of London's less-frequented but fascinating attractions is The Hunterian Museum which is free. The museum is named after John Hunter who was one of the first people to apply scientific procedures to surgery. The museum has a collection of skeletal remains, diseased organs and other medical curios. Not for the squeamish. Over the road from the Hunterian and very different is Sir John Soane's Museum, the former home of the architect of the Bank of England. This has been a museum since the 19th-century. The splendid interiors showcase his collections which include period furniture, fine art by painters such as Hogarth and the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Set I.
Eating and drinking
You don't have to look far for great places to eat. Gordon Ramsay's Maze is in the square. This smart boutique restaurant offers French classics blended with Asian flavours. Diners are encouraged to swap the a la carte menu for a selection of six to eight taster dishes. Book well-ahead.
Or for something a little easier on the bank balance sample Bar Trattoria Semplice in Woodstock Street, the budget companion to the more upmarket Ristorante Semplice. Try the pasta lunch.
For drinks in style you can't do better than The Connaught Bar at The Connaught Hotel. Splash out and order the house Martini which arrives on a stylish trolley. You'll be both shaken and stirred.
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