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Floris on Jermyn Street

And while the legendary street has catered to Marie Antoinette (who wore jewellery from Mappin & Webb) and Prince William (whose cologne of choice is from Penhaligon’s), the history of St James’s – just down the road – is as glittering as its decorative lights, come Christmas time. Step inside Lock & Co. Hatters, inventors of the bowler hat. Peruse fine wines at Berry Bros and Rudd, whose cellars hosted the secret meetings of an exiled Napoleon III. Get booted up at John Lobb, Frank Sinatra’s legendary cobblers, before being suited up at Turnbull & Asser, the very same tailors who provided Sean Connery with his dress shirts (and shallow turn-back cuffs) during his stint as Bond in 1962. Don’t skip a visit to wood-panelled, designer spectacles shop, Cubitts, either – autumn in London sees enough blue-skied days that you’ll need its modern-retro sunglasses to beat the rays.

Deliciously diverse dining

When it comes to autumnal eats, these elegant postcodes have it covered. Begin with one of the lightly laminated cinnamon swirls at Ergon Deli on Maddox Street (or, if you’re hungrier, its Greek peinirli – pastry filled with feta and cheddar, shakshuka sauce and served with poached eggs). If a more immediate pick-me-up is needed, go for a frothy latte at nearby Perks & White, in St James’s Market – the preferred caffeination station of St James’s darling day-trippers. That’s not all this market – home to eateries and boutiques alike – has to offer. Here, chef Ramael Scully – frontman of his eponymous debut, Scully – serves up a Malaysian-inspired tasting menu that may soon have Michelin knocking, while Toba lays on world-class Indonesian delicacies. Nearby Fallow’s brunch menu is not to be missed and, come 5pm, the foodie hot spot buzzes with pre-theatregoers.

Fallow in St James’s Market

If you plan to be one such patron of the arts, try out this duo for size: a prix-fixe dinner at Maison François before the show, and a trip up to The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St James for the debrief afterwards and a game of eye spy with some of London’s most famous monuments.

Now let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it’s raining (this is England, after all). Where might one shelter in these golden streets? Regent Street Cinema is an obvious choice. Widely regarded as the ‘birthplace of British cinema’, this is where the Lumière brothers’ first unveiled their cinématographe – one of the very first motion-picture apparatuses – to a paying audience here in 1896. Now, it plays a classic flick at the weekly special matinée (Mondays) and offers tickets for just £6 on Tuesdays. Prefer to part with no money at all? Work up a sweat at Gymshark – the fitness giant hosts up to 30 free classes each week – although we can’t guarantee you won’t be tempted to treat yourself at neighbouring Joe & the Juice once you’re done.

If gallery-hopping is your preferred sport, St James’s provides, being home to the highest concentration of art spaces in the UK. White Cube at Mason’s Yard will soon be showing Doors, a multimedia exhibit from visionary artist Christian Marclay until the end of September, while the Royal Academy of Arts has plenty of workshops for kids and permanent displays for grown-ups. Gallery 8, too, is a non-stop revolving door of thought-provoking pieces.

Finally, while you’re in the neighbourhood this autumn, make sure to check out Future of Food, a week-long festival of sustainability-led culinary experiences from 18-24 September. To get here, simply stroll over from a choice of local Tube stations, including Piccadilly Circus, Green Park or Oxford Circus.