Chris Peacock relaxes in a historic gem tucked away in a quiet corner of London
In a city where virtually every international hotel brand is represented, particularly at the luxury end of the market, it’s refreshing to find a London property sticking to its roots with gusto. Tucked away on a quaint and quiet lane off St James’s Street, the Stafford London is steeped in centuries of history, offering elegance, intrigue and bags of quintessential British style.
The hotel is spread across three distinct buildings: the Main House, with tasteful, traditional-style decor; the Carriage House, offering country flair within converted stables overlooking cobbled mews; and the Mews Suites, where I stayed, housing more modern accommodation including a super-luxury penthouse suite.
Arriving late on a Friday evening, I headed straight to the Stafford’s renowned American Bar, where more than 3,000 pieces of vintage memorabilia hang from the walls and ceiling. The bar was a gathering place for US airmen in WWII and over the years has become an institution in its own right, with scores of signed celebrity photographs testament to its enduring appeal.
After sinking a gin and tonic, I moved next door for three outstanding courses at The Lyttelton restaurant, which focuses on refined British cuisine (executive chef Carlos Martinez has worked at 18 Michelin-starred restaurants), exceptional service and a world-class selection of wines, thanks to master sommelier Gino Nardella, who’s been with the Stafford for over 35 years.
With several other long-serving staff, plus dozens of historic characters associated with the hotel, it’s not only guests who are charmed by the Stafford.
16-18 St. James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NJ; 020 7493 0111
Mews junior suite from £682 a night, including breakfast for two