I have just been to a breakfast meeting in which the Grosvenor Estate discussed its plans for the future. The maps which were provided of their estate confirmed what I have increasingly realised as I have paid more attention to the surroundings of the Royal Academy that London, and particularly Westminster, is still very much dominated by the landholdings of the eighteenth-century aristocracy, particularly the Grosvenors who acquired 50o acres of land west of the city by a judicious marriage in 1677. Thomas Grosvenor, the third Baronet, had been on the Grand Tour and returned to marry Mary Davies, the 12 year old daughter of a city scrivener. It was a smart move. The swampy meads which she owned became Mayfair. Now they face the issue of how to maintain the distinctive – and very profitable – character of the estate in an era of a rapidly rising city population, changing patterns of retail, bicycling, Crossrail and autonomous vehicles.