Piccadilly runs from Hyde Park Corner in the West to Piccadilly Circus in the East and is within the city of Westminster. Until the 17th Century the area was known as Portugal, after Portugal street. The name of Piccadilly arises from a tailor named Robert Baker, who owned a shop in the late 16th century to the early 17th century. He earned a large fortune by making and selling piccadills - that were then in fashion. Within his wealth he bought a large area of what was then open country land and in about 1612 built a large house there, which was known as Piccadilly Hall.
Piccadilly is one of the widest and straightest streets in London, however is not as popular to shoppers as other nearby areas. There are a handful of famous shops, as well as the Ritz hotel, spectacular restaurants, offices and chic expensive flats.
Piccadilly is home to Fortnum and Mason, one of the most famous shops in the world, closely associated with the British Royal family. It has an outstanding food hall, filled with both basic and exotic ingredients of the highest quality. It is regal and classic inside, and the shoppers are match the same high class as the products sold.
The Royal Academy of Arts is based in Burlington house which is as stunning as the artwork inside. It was founded by George III in 1768, and was governed by artists to 'promote the arts of design'. It has an unrivalled reputation as a venue for exhibitions of international importance.