Tucked away on a cobblestone cul-de-sac in the St. James neighborhood sits the prestigious Stafford London, flanked by both British and American flags. Upon arrival, a flurry of white-gloved hands will assist you with your luggage and usher you down a marble laden hallway to a red velvet high backed chair fit for royalty. While checking in, allow your eyes to land on a contemporary portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The lavish lobby feels regal, but comfortable–the perfect preface to the grandeur of the hotel.
Each of the three buildings that The Stafford London is comprised of are dripping in British history from the main house, which dates back to the 1700s, to the wine cellar that was once used as an air raid shelter during World War II. The most intriguing, however, is the former stable-turned-carriage house that faces The Stafford’s courtyard. From the exterior, the Carriage House hasn’t quelled its humble roots as a stable, but the interiors are handsome and warm, while incorporating the modern artistry seen throughout the hotel. A few steps across the plaza brings you to the newest edition to the property, The Mews Suites. Decorated in a soft palette with accents of bold Dorothy Draper-esque wallpaper, The Mews Suites feel airy and effortlessly elegant.
Game season in England is an event the British look forward to all year long and serves as the inspiration for The Stafford’s spectacular dining experience at The Game Bird. If you are lucky enough to be staying with the hotel in the fall or winter, the menu transforms into a novel of seasonal dishes perfectly executed. The impressive smoked and cured fish selection crowns the menu and includes a tableside performance as the waiter carefully slices your selection, dressing it to your specifications. The restaurant’s signature Balvenie Smoked Salmon is the coup de grâce, finished with a whisper of Balvenie whiskey to bring out the sensational flavors in the dish.
For an after dinner drink, do as WWII American and Canadian officers did and seek refuge in The American Bar. Cloaked in American memorabilia, a variety of items ranging from football helmets to college ties playfully hangs from the ceiling. As one of the oldest surviving American cocktail bars in London, The American Bar provides a casual feel while serving creative cocktails comprised of top shelf spirits.
Below, Stuart Procter, the General Manager of The Stafford London, discusses the hotel’s meaningful background and the most popular elements of the property.
What’s the most requested room?
Currently our new Carriage House Rooms and Suites are proving exceptionally popular.
What makes it so special?
The location and history of the Carriage House Rooms and Suites are what make them a favorite. Located in our Carriage House building, the rooms have been designed to perfectly balance privacy and space and offer a one of a kind, captivating take on the hotel’s unique British heritage. The Carriage House building itself surrounds our private courtyard and was originally the stables Lord Francis Godolphin and his famous Godolphin Arabian horses. We’ve kept as many of the features of the building as possible so you will still find the original wooden timbers in the suites.
What is the rate?
Rates in our Carriage House start at £700 per night.
What room is your personal favorite?
My personal favorite room has to be our Gatehouse Suite. The epitome of luxury, this stunning suite, measuring 1625 square feet, serves as a chic and private oasis, right in the heart of London’s most elegant and regal neighborhood. Set over three stories, guests enjoy two spacious bedrooms, as well as an open-plan living and dining space and a private lift. It’s the perfect suite if traveling as a family, as it’s like your own private house in the city!
Any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?
Where to begin! Our 380-year-old Wine Cellar underneath the hotel was used as an air-raid shelter during WWII, our renowned bar The American Bar is decorated with an intriguing collection of artifacts donated by patrons and guests over the years…there are so many stories I could go on and on…but you will have to visit to find out!