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Tucked away in a rare quiet part of central London, and accessible through an unassuming alleyway from Green Park, the Stafford London is a real hidden gem. Despite being one of the finest luxury hotels in London, the surroundings are marvellously quiet as the hotel is set back from the main roads, offering guests a more relaxed atmosphere than the hustle and bustle London usually offers.
After looking at the website and reading previous reviews, I knew this hotel was special, but I had no idea how much so until my mum and I walked through the front doors, which were held open by two very dapper doormen. As soon as we set foot inside we were greeted by big smiles and welcoming voices. Our check-in was quick and painless and we found out that we had been upgraded from a Deluxe King room in the Main House to a Master Suite in The Mews, which was situated in the hotel’s private cobbled courtyard.
After a personal welcome from Mark, the hotel’s Executive Assistant Manager, receptionist Elizabeth showed us to our suite which included a sitting room, Juliette balcony, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, toilet, and cloakroom. Our suite was lavish and elegant, but felt homely at the same time. We were also treated to a Nespresso machine and two huge widescreen HD TVs, the latter I got very excited about as they had a message displayed which welcomed me to the room – a lovely personal touch!
A room with a view…
Our balcony looked out over the superbly kept and wonderfully secluded courtyard, including a spiral staircase to the wine cellar, which was beautifully lit up at night by hundreds of fairy lights. The generously sized bedroom and ensuite were also very impressive. The bathroom was big enough for two sinks, a large bath, and a shower room and offered an array of Floris toiletries that smelled fabulous.
The attention to detail in our suite was wonderful, the bed sheets, pillows and bath robes all had the Stafford London logo beautifully stitched onto them, which gave the room a luxurious feel, and not a thing was out of place or anything less than spotless.
The American Bar at The Stafford London
During our stay we were treated to a cocktail in the American Bar and a three-course meal at The Lyttelton restaurant. One of the most unique bars in the capital, every bit of wall and ceiling space in The American Bar is taken up by an extensive collection of signed photographs and memorabilia from friends, patrons and even a few famous faces. Most notable are the sea of ties and baseball caps hung on the ceiling as you walk through to the bar – you really can get lost in it all as you stand there gazing upwards!
While sat at the bar, we watched barman Lionel mix our cocktails as we tucked into the complimentary bar snacks of green olives (which I’m not usually a fan of, but these were lovely and I ended up eating the lot!), crisps and Japanese crackers. I could have devoured the second plate we were given too, but it was time to make our way over to the Lyttelton restaurant for an evening of culinary delights.
Elegant dining at The Lyttelton
The Lyttelton restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence and provides a most elegant setting to dine in. Restaurant Manager Maciej greeted us and sat us at our table and ran through the menu with us. I played it safe at first and asked for the smoked salmon to start, but he pointed out that you can get that anywhere and I should pick something a bit different – he was right!
I went with his suggestion of the beef carpaccio and I am so glad I did. It melted in your mouth and the horseradish cream it came with was sharp and complimented it wonderfully. My mum went for the leek and potato soup which had black pudding running through it, and said it was the nicest she’d ever had – so much so that she’d finished before I even got to taste any!
We were also treated to a complimentary glass of wine each with our meal, but Maciej very kindly allowed us to have half with our starter and half with our main course. Not being connoisseurs we were happy to take his suggestions of what would work best with our food choices, and we weren’t disappointed.
I chose the fish of the day for my main – herb crusted cod with ratatouille – and my mum plumped for the pumpkin risotto. Both were faultless and completely delicious. For dessert we ordered the white chocolate crème brulee with dark chocolate ice cream and milk chocolate espuma, and the rhubarb and Madagascar vanilla panna cotta to share between us. Both were delightful and not too heavy to finish off our meal, but the rhubarb was my favourite. While waiting for our desserts to arrive, Executive Chef Carlos Martinez came over to introduce himself and make sure we were enjoying the food. This was a really nice touch and showed they cared about what they were creating. We were also paid a visit by Gino Nardella, one of only a few Master Sommeliers in the world, and who has 35 years experience at the Stafford. As well as looking after the wine cellars, he also oversees the wine service in the restaurant and very kindly gave us one glass of red and one white wine each to try. Both were delicious and as he talked us through the different notes and flavours of each, it really showed that Gino is a seasoned connoisseur.
We returned to the American Bar for another cocktail before we turned in for the night (the Stafford’s Garden was definitely my favourite – a mixture of gin, apple, mint and cucumber, bliss!). As our waitress brought more bar snacks for us to enjoy (I wasn’t even slightly hungry, but those olives were just too tempting!), she also brought a selection of sweet treats with compliments from Maciej.
Breakfast fit for a king
After our blissful night’s sleep in our king-size bed, we headed down for breakfast and again were greeted by the smiling faces of Luca and Susanna at the desk. We were seated quickly and gawped at the selection of things on offer at the breakfast buffet in the centre of the room. Over the two days we were lucky enough to stay here I tried the pastries, yoghurt with honey and walnuts and fresh berries, and the eggs royale. All were delicious and my eggs were presented beautifully. The staff were very attentive, but never overbearing. They even brought over a box of tissues as my mum was getting over a cold and had a cough – they really couldn’t have been lovelier. Later that day executive assistant manager Mark gave us an exclusive tour of the prestigious wine cellars, which I’ll share with you in more detail soon, so be sure to come back!
The Stafford London – Review
I have never been better looked after at a hotel. We were never left wanting for anything and every query we had was taken care of with ease and a big smile. A stay at The Stafford London is expensive, but the service you receive is truly excellent. If you are looking to impress, I would recommend The American Bar for a social gathering, or The Lyttelton restaurant for a special occasion. The restaurant also offers a very decently priced afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes starting at £32.50 per person.
Our time at The Stafford London was complimentary for the purpose of review, but all opinions are our own. To find out more about the hotel, bar and restaurant, visit http://thestaffordlondon.com/.