Hotel & Restaurant Review: The Stafford Hotel and The Game Bird Restaurant, St James’s, London
Veering off the perimeter of Green Park we dive down a narrow tunnel, not quite expecting where we’ll find ourselves at the other end. Situated on a hidden street in the heart of St James’s we quickly come across The Stafford Hotel; a five-star sanctuary cunningly hidden from the disorder of Piccadilly. Classically luxurious with a welcoming boutique ambience, The Stafford Hotel has been decadently discreet since 1912. A collection of 107 individual rooms mirror the charming character of the lobby and are located within the modern Mews building; The Gatehouse and the heritage of the Carriage House – achieving a dynamic and unexpected format to this undeniably chic property.
Weaving our way deeper through this handsome hotel, we pass the restaurant and quirky American Bar and are led into the hotel’s courtyard. Originally stables with an open space designated to horse and cart – the foundations of the building’s rich heritage inhabit with the original stable blocks. Up into the Mews building we are left to our suite. It is contemporary and effortlessly encapsulates English style throughout the living space, bedroom and en suite bathroom and boasts a bed that you would expect from a hotel of this calibre: easy to get into, harder to get out of!
Aside from submerging ourselves within The Stafford Hotel’s suite, I was also eager to spend the evening at its award-winning restaurant: The Game Bird. It’s not every day that a restaurant can position a hotel on the hospitality radar, but this one certainly has. Informal (as much as you would expect from a five-star hotel) – The Game Bird’s ethos is to serve diners the great taste of the finest British comfort food, executed with style and panache.
We slide into one corner of this relaxed but refined space within the centre point of The Stafford Hotel and quickly the exuberant sommelier familiarises us with a Chilean 2014 Escudo Rojo which is is as smooth as it sounds. Head Chef of The Game Bird, James Durrant has put style back into British dining: accomplishing a ‘theatre of the senses’ complete with uncomplicated excellence, he is dedicated to the produce of our changing seasons – supporting family owned farms and crafting loved classics. As the name would suggest, meat takes centre stage of this culinary show and handcrafted trolleys glide through the space abundant with meat crafted dishes. These include a collection of meat & game, own smoked & cured, pies, puddings & stews and a Sunday Roast of all roasts.
To start a refined and elegant dish of deshelled Cornish mussels in cider and bacon with treacle bread and a 2018 interpretation of steak tartare with charcoal mayonnaise, egg emulsion and Worcester sauce. We are then drawn in with a dish that is a roast for kings – the Côte de Boeuf for two accompanied by an equally regal line-up of giant Yorkshire puddings, crispy beef dripping potatoes and bordelaise sauce. With a collection of side dishes, this spectacle easily fills the table – pioneering the quality of James Durrant’s capabilities to make classic dishes shine.
Concealed from the hysteria of Green Park and Piccadilly, The Stafford Hotel and its Game Bird restaurant champion London’s hospitality scene. Balancing discerning elegance with astute service – the two concepts come together as one, catering to sophisticated individuals who appreciate great hotels and even better food.
The Stafford Hotel: 6-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ, 020 7493 0111, thestaffordlondon.com