Harry Gordon Selfridge had such an interesting life it’s amazing it took so long for a TV series to be made about it. It’s just such a shame that so much of his remarkable life in Mayfair is left out of the TV series. Perhaps the writer though the real story would sound too far fetched!
We start with his store of course and tell you the story of how he built it. And then we see some of the opulent areas where he lived and loved (he was a very naughty boy) whilst we tell you the story of his OTT life in Mayfair, surrounded by the rich & famous. We tell of the real life women on whom the TV characters Lady Mae & Ellen Love are based, along with other femme fatales, some of whom were high achieving women at the top of whatever they did for a living, and who could easily have a TV series about their extraordinary lives too. You’ll also hear of remarkable advertising and publicity stunts. And we tell of how Mr S set the template for how shops “get us in and keep us in” today from market research to window shopping to goods on display to “the customer is always right.” And there’s an incredible story behind why all major department stores now have their perfume counters at the front of their shops. You’ll also see some of the huge mansions that he and some of his circle lived in. And one of Harry’s opulent houses is coincidentally next door to where they do some filming for the series (and for Downton and Sherlock for that matter!). The final part of the walk can vary because we ask you if you want to know what happened to Harry, or would you rather not know to see what happens next in the TV series? We also bring along some great photographs to bring Harry, his shop and his women to life.
Mayfair is a rather neglected part of London where it comes to walks, which is shame because as well as Harry Gordon Selfridge history, it’s an interesting, attractive, varied area to walk through.
Start Bond Street underground station
Finish Charing Cross underground station
Shorter walk alternative – same start and finish points but shorter route