St. James’s Hotel and Club is a 5 star hidden gem tucked away in one of London’s most desirable addresses, only moments from Mayfair, Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace, the exclusive shops of Jermyn Street, the Burlington Arcade, Bond Street, The Royal Academy of Arts, and only a short stroll from the theatres and night life of the West End.
St James’s have perfected luxury in every way. From the moment you arrive till the time you leave you are surrounded in finery and outstanding service.
We had a smooth check in and were shown to our suite. We had the treat of staying in their Westminster Suite. Access to the suite is gained by using a key in the lift, which takes you to the top floor. Only the two suites on the top floor have access to this level, offering exclusivity and privacy.
I could not help but be immediately impressed upon arrival in the suite. It is stylish and elegant, finished with handmade silk wallpaper in soft neutrals, black lacquered furniture and handcrafted Murano glass chandeliers. Amongst the ornate décor the suite contains two flat screen televisions, docking station, free WiFi and a nespresso machine. It has the perfect balance of retaining history with a contemporary feel. With 45 sqm it is a generous, comfortable space split evenly between the living room and bedroom. The stylish bathroom, in black and cream colours is beautifully fitted with polished natural stone and chrome glass fittings, a large bathtub with bath-side television and a walk-in rainforest shower. The toiletries are from the high-end luxury Etro and Penhaligon’s range.
To my absolute delight, the suite has a large private rooftop terrace that measures 50 sqm and offers panoramic views of London. This is a fabulous area which is furnished with comfortable outdoor furniture. A serene and tranquil space, with just a hint in the distance, of the buzz of London.
Back downstairs, concierge inform us of a shortcut through to Green Park. It is accessed through the back entrance of the hotel which is down another level. By the door of the back entrance there is water, towels and fruit provided, ideal for joggers wishing to take advantage of the surrounding parks. We went out and had a stroll around the area and the shortcut makes the walk to the park less than two minutes from the hotel.
That evening we arrive in the bar for pre-dinner cocktails. It is a handsomely decorated area, sophisticated and elegant but relaxed. The bar has an expert Mixologist, Zdenek Zemen. As well as providing the fabulous cocktail menu, he also offers regular cocktail masterclasses at the hotel, giving participants a chance to learn the history of the cocktails and produce their own. The service is beyond expectations in every part of the hotel. The staff are attentive, polite and very helpful. Always there when needed but not intrusive. We sit at the bar and sample a few of the delightful champagne cocktails. We are also given a selection of nuts and a welcome addition of some tasty salted caramel popcorn.
For dinner we had reservations in the hotel’s Michelin Star restaurant, Seven Park Place, which is overseen by executive chef, William Drabble. The restaurant is intimate, with just 9 tables spread through two rooms. The fabulous, informative sommelier helped us choose our bottle of wine, Domaine de la Vieille Tour Rosé, which was fresh and crisp. We opted not to have a different wine for each course but at a nearby table the sommelier talked the couple through their wine for each course of their tasting menu, providing information on each.
Our taste buds are awakened with an amuse bouche of chilled tuna loin, seared to perfection with the centre a dark red, served with avocado puree. The combination is deliciously moreish. For starter I had butter-poached native lobster tail, jersey royals, asparagus and hollandaise sauce, a luscious and indulgent plate of food with rich flavour. My companion had seared hand-dived scallops with courgettes and basil puree, which perfectly complimented the dish.
The presentation is faultless and delicate. William Drabble has designed these dishes with the upmost refinement. My main course is roast duck breast with seared foie gras and spring vegetables confit in Muscat. Rich and well-seasoned, it is a delectable dish. My companion’s dish is an exquisitely put together plate of food; fillets of John Dory, parsley crumb, jersey royals and a fricassée of new season vegetables. The dish has strong, bold flavours and is cooked to perfection
The added extras kept coming, a perfect array of petit fours, coconut marshmallows and coconut sorbet with dark chocolate crisps. Astoundingly, we still managed to squeeze in dessert. Mine was a pistachio parfait with raspberries, which was light, fresh and crisp and my companion’s mango cream and sorbet with passion fruit and peppermint syrup, this was served in an impressive meringue ball. We left feeling extremely full, satisfied and very impressed with both the food and the service.
We had a restful sleep in our suite, the hyno mattress was divine. Breakfast is served in the bistro, which is also overseen by William Drabble. We both have smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and a basket of freshly baked pastries served with homemade jams, the lemon curd that was served was the most delicious I have ever tasted and the whole breakfast was fresh and of exceptional quality.
Our stay at St. James’s Hotel and Club was an absolute pleasure, offering ultimate luxury, high end service, indulgent surroundings and attention to every single little detail.