Home / Hotel reviews / A stay at St James’s hotel and club in London: Michelin star in Mayfair hotel

A stay at St James’s hotel and club in London: Michelin star in Mayfair hotel

St James’s Hotel in London might be five-star luxury but thankfully it has none of the formal starchiness you might expect from a super-posh hotel. The staff are so cheerful and relaxed that I found myself having all sorts of random conversations with bartenders, doormen and managers during my stay, which made the hotel feel more like a very friendly club.

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My rather plush suite at the St James’s Hotel in Piccadilly

St James's Hotel

St James’s Hotel in London’s Piccadilly

[Note: this review was first published in 2015 so some of the details might be out of date]

However there’s no disguising that St James’s is a luxury hotel in one of the most expensive areas in London. While London is hardly famed for its cheap hotel rooms, the £1,600 price tag of my suite managed to top my previous record, the £1,500-a-night Prince of Wales suite at iconic country house hotel Cliveden. However the 300-year old Cliveden comes with 376 acres of Grade I-listed formal gardens, a maze, a spa and two swimming pools (including the famous outdoor pooll), while St James’s, well, doesn’t.

But if you want to stay in a luxury five-star hotel in the heart of London, one of the closest hotels to Buckingham Palace, then you do have to pay a premium. Tucked away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac off St James’s Street, the 60-room hotel does have cheaper rooms, with prices starting at £300 a night.

The tasting menu at Seven Park Place

However while I might not typically spend thousands of pounds for a luxury suite, the tasting menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant Seven Park Place was excellent value (£126 for six courses, with a different wine per course) and made for a really memorable evening.

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To book directly with the hotel, go to: St James’s Hotel and Club
To compare prices for St James’s Hotel and Club click on: HotelsCombined – Expedia – Hotels.com
To read more reviews or for the latest prices click here to go to St James’s Hotel and Club on TripAdvisor
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st james's hotel

The Seven Park Place is London’s smallest Michelin-starred restaurant

st james's hotel

Cocktails before dinner

The restaurant itself is tiny, just a handful of tables (26 covers) tucked around the back of the hotel bar – ‘We like to say ‘intimate, rather than small’ hinted the manager – and decked out with striking black-and-white wallpaper. Seven Park Place was awarded its Michelin star just a year after opening in 2009 and chef William Drabble‘s modern-French meets British produce style of cooking means it has held onto its star ever since.

Me and my friend Lisa had been worried that we wouldn’t be hungry enough for a seven-course menu having been unable to resist the toffee popcorn that came with our pre-drink cocktails.

However each course, while delicious, was so perfectly-sized that we were able to work our way through the whole lot without feeling we would have to be carried out of the restaurant afterwards. Each dish came with a different wine, served with great panache – although I could have done with an abbreviated version of each explanation of grape variety, vineyard, soil type and so on by the extremely knowledgeable sommelier – and we were never rushed or bothered by too many ‘Is everything all right?’s which made for a very agreeable evening.

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Poached lobster tail with carrot and ginger

We started off with scallops with samphire and lemon – the scallops were done ceviche-style, raw and marinated, rather than the usual pan-fried approach, which made them fresh and zingy, and then had lobster tail, followed by ravioli of rabbit with langoustines and girolles.

Each dish was small but exquisite, while the wine was as good as the food – my favourite  was a stunning New Zealand sauvignon blanc which was served with the lobster tail – and there was soon quite a number of wine glasses on the table as I wanted to savour and return to each one throughout the meal.

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The bar and bistro where breakfast was served the next morning

Possibly the best souffle in London (England, the world)

The crowning glory of the evening was the dessert, a bubble-light passion fruit souffle with dark chocolate sauce which, proclaimed Lisa, was ‘the best dessert I have ever tasted,’. She sang its praises to the manager for about ten minutes while I ordered another glass of the delicious Graham’s fine white port to take with me up to my room as a nightcap.

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The bedroom at in the St James’s suite

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My posh bathroom

Just eight hours in a £1,600 suite – much of which was spent asleep – isn’t really enough to do it justice but it certainly looked the part: a massive lounge with views over to Big Ben, a separate dining area, a large bathroom and walk-in shower (there was also a slightly odd separate loo which had two sets of opaque saloon-style doors, none of which locked) and a bedroom which wasn’t large but perfectly adequate. Most people staying in a luxury hotel in central London wouldn’t be spending much time in their suite anyway but it certainly contained everything you’d want from a top hotel suite in the capital.

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The roof terrace at one of the neighbouring rooms

Bedrooms at St James hotel and club

There were three TVs (in the lounge, the bathroom and one in the bedroom which rose from a cupboard at the touch of a button) and framed photographs and art work everywhere.

At that price you expect nothing less than perfection and so any tiny fault seemed magnified: for example the blinds didn’t completely cover the windows, so I was woken up at dawn by the bright sunrise (not often a problem in London to be fair, but still annoying).

However the bath was massive and filled up within seconds, and there was no shortage of plug points, fluffy towels, magazines and all the essentials of hotel life.

After an excellent breakfast of haddock and poached eggs, I had a tour of several other rooms, some of which had their own roof terraces which was a real treat in London, and one of those rooms is less than a thousand pounds a night. A bargain! But for special occasions, the tasting menu at Seven Park Place was certainly something worth forking out for.

St James’s Hotel and Club, 7-8 Park Place, St. James’s, London SW1A 1LS 
http://www.stjameshotelandclub.com
020 7316 1600

St James’s Hotel and Club is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group

————————————————————————————————————
To book directly with the hotel, go to: St James’s Hotel and Club
To compare prices for St James’s Hotel and Club click on: HotelsCombined – Expedia – Hotels.com
To read more reviews click here to go to St James ‘s Hotel and Club on TripAdvisor
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MENU GOURMAND

Carpaccio of hand dived scallops with samphire and lemon

Poached native lobster tail with carrot and ginger

Ravioli of braised rabbit with langoustines, rosemary, leeks and girolles

Griddled fillet of seabass with braised fennel,haricot coco and sauce vierge

Roast breast of duck with a seared foie gras and summer vegetables confit in Muscat

Selection of British cheeses by Paxton & Whitfield (£13 supplement)

Passion fruit soufflé, dark chocolate sauce

MENU GOURMAND £87.00

MENU GOURMAND WITH MATCHING WINE £142.00

If you like reviews of luxury five star hotels in central London then you’ll love reading about a night in top London hotels:

One Aldwych hotel London: a Lion King-sized bite of luxury in a West End hotel

Discovering hidden treasures at The Stafford luxury hotel, St James’s

Luxury on a grand scale at the five star Corinthia Hotel London

 

 

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