A few streets away from Oxford Circus and Hyde Park awaits opulent and stylish Green Street. 


On my way to meeting a friend one evening, I found myself strangely captivated by a series of massive ochre buildings pervading a sense of sophistication that had me stopped in admiration. 

Badly named Green Street, whose only green lies in the facade of a church undergoing renovation, does not really stand out from nearby Dunraven Street. 


Yet for some reason, I was left in awe by the exquisite, though a bit wintry, beauty of its range of uniform Victorian red mansions with their front doors delicately adorned with carvings of Greek gods and chimeras. 

This sophistication could easily be confused with wealth, as the passers-by in their expensive suits and the dozen Maseratis parked along the pavement are not an oddity in that neighbourhood

A classy wine bar, the Roka Mayfair, happens to be the only shop on Green Street. It completes this rich setting, aligning pricey spirits behind its glass window, as a metaphor reminding the commoner daring wander into the area of the frontier between such wealth and reality. 

Apart from a brown-bricked building in its center reminiscent of a less privileged universe, Green Street indeed demonstrates grandeur forever out of reach to most of us. 

But it has more to offer than a mere showcase of unrepentant opulence and carved the image of an old painting of London in my mind, where expensive cars could be swapped with golden horse carriages as well as business men and women with lords in tail coats and ladies in vaporous lacy dresses. 

Oddly enough, it also reminded me of a street directly portrayed out of one of the classic Disney movies of my childhood, as I could picture Cruella DeVil in her furry coat walking out of one of those gorgeous buildings or Peter Pan flying away from one of the windowsills.

This was probably just my fertile imagination but when I left Green Street and found myself facing an all too familiar Starbucks, the bubble burst, bringing back to the land of reality. 

Closest stop: Marble Arch Station 

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