St. James’s is a place where, as the saying goes, you’ll have to keep up with the Joneses. There is a lot of old money here and that's reflected in the culture and the high cost of living. Named after a 12th century leper hospital that was built over by St. James Palace (which still houses members of the royal family), this area is considered by many to be "the place to live”.
The streets are lined with beautiful mansions that are passed down from generation to generation. The royal pedigree of the palace extends to many of these homes since they belong to England's aristocracy and influential members of its upper class. Many of the people here do tend to keep to themselves, but there is still a sense of community.
St. James’s is well known for its many gentlemen’s clubs. This doesn't have the same connotation as it does elsewhere: these aren't strip clubs. Rather, they're social clubs where men from the aristocracy, military, and business hang out.
Shops and stores dot the streets of St. James’s, focusing on quality inventory over quantity. You won’t find surplus stores or mass produced items here. There are some interesting antiques stores where you can find actual pieces of history. You'll also find cutting edge art galleries, cigar makers, and bespoke tailors.
It cannot go without mentioning that St. James’s is anchored by what is probably the most popular tourist spot in London: the official home of the Queen, Buckingham Palace.
The City: 2.4 miles / 15-35 minutes by car / 25-30 minutes by transit / 20 minutes by bike
Canary Wharf: 5.6 miles / 25-55 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit
Southwark: 3.3 miles / 20-35 minutes by car / 25 minutes by transit / 25 minutes by bike
Westminster: 1.7 miles / 10-15 minutes by car / 20 minutes by transit / 20 minutes by foot / 10 minutes by bike
Shoreditch: 3.3 miles / 20-35 minutes by car / 30-35 minutes by transit / 25-30 minutes by bike