Wylde World: The Stafford London
Report by Leanne Bracey
Why stay here?
Quite simply, The Stafford has one of the the best locations in the fight for high-end London hotels. It’s tucked away in a quiet Mews in St James so it's not as bold and brash as theW in Leicester Square but it's still central enough to be just a stone's throw from Piccadilly. Fortnum and Mason's is just around the corner, Green Park can be seen from some of the rooms and it’s nestled in between tube stations on the Victoria and Piccadilly Lines. If you want to shop, or have a theatre show booked and don’t want anything noisy, this is the place for you.
Is there anything special here that you won't find at another London hotel?
Yes. The amazing 380-year-old wine cellar. We bet it’s seen some things in its time, especially as it was used during the Second World War as an air-raid shelter. The space is vast… it needs to be, to hold its thousands of bottles of wine. Gino Nardella, a knowledgeable Sommelier, probably has the best job in London, and his wine knowledge is endless. He will happily show you around too. The wine cellar can also be utilised as a special private dining venue, but look out for their tasting events.
What are the highlights?
Aside from the central location, Stafford’s has an American Bar. Memorabilia from the US covers every spare surface in the bar, including the ceiling, and it was packed on a Thursday night when I stayed. It’s a vibrant space but not in a modern, funky way… there’s an old fashioned feel to it and serves fantastic cocktails.
Will I get good night's sleep here?
Absolutely! I stayed in the Mews Suites outside of the main hotel, just in the courtyard and opposite the Carriage House accommodation. My room was spacious enough for one and even better for someone on business who would rather have a separate lounge room to work in. The suites have a separate entrance, so there’s no need to go through the main hotel too. What's more, the room was so peaceful I didn’t hear a toot or a siren all night. The bed was huge, linen luxurious and I was thrilled to see it had an equally large bathroom, complete with double sink and a separate bath and shower. Of course, I can’t speak for the main house, but as former residence of Lord and Lady Lyttelton, I can tell you it’s grand and very plush. Finally, there’s theCarriage House, again, out in the courtyard. This charming building of just a few rooms used to house the nobility's horses in the 18th century has been made into a series of quirky rooms. Try The Guv’nors Suite for a really homely split-level room, ideal for a small family or an extended stay.
How about food?
The Lyttelton is the Stafford's on-site restaurant and for a classical dining and quiet setting it works but it does have some very tough competition on its hands. London is such a foodie-centric destination, and still continuing to pave the way for some amazing restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs. The hotel's central location can also be the downfall for The Lyttelton as, just round the corner, there are places such asSake no Hana, The Wolsley and The Ritz, a popular place for afternoon tea. And only a 10-minute walk away is Soho, a brilliant place to pick up a quick meal or try the latest food trends.
Is there anything else I need to know?
When I stayed, the staff on hand were great, professional and knowledgeable. They all seemed to be slightly on the older side too, which added charm to the feel of the hotel and they had a definite old school approach to service, which is always appreciated in my book. The hotel has a lot of business guests, and is also rewarded with much repeat custom. Figure out which part of the hotel you’d like to stay in, based upon your needs too. It’s not very often you get to have the choice of not just one, but three possibilities.