St James is one of my favourite London areas, it’s one of the most traditional and is home to some really stylish restaurants and independent stores. The Sofitel London St James is perfectly in keeping with this elegant vibe. Located on Waterloo Place, it’s a stone’s throw from the shopping in Regent Street and my favourite London green space, St James’s Park. We were recently invited to a staycation in order to experience the Sofitel London St James for ourselves.
First Impressions of The Sofitel London St James
The elegant stone facade of this Grade II listed building cuts an imposing figure. The building used to house the Cox and King’s bank and was completed in 1923. These days, this five star hotel is part of the international Accor group. I recently had the pleasure to experience a tour of some of their London properties as well as their chic MGallery Windsor.
The lobby is very spacious, with a double-height ceiling. We checked in quickly and headed to our Premium Luxury room.
Accommodation at The Sofitel London St James
Our sizeable bedroom had a fantastic view towards the Institute of Directors, a beautiful 19th century edifice designed by John Nash.
It was well equipped with a safe, tea and coffee making facilities, the obligatory flat screen TV and complimentary WiFi. The black and white bathroom was very stylish and had a separate bath and fantastic rain shower. I enjoyed padding around in the cosy slippers and bathrobe provided. The Hermés toiletries smelt divine.
The bed was extremely comfy, thanks to a padded topper and there was a handy seating area. My only suggestion for the bedroom would be to introduce more of the quirkiness that you can find elsewhere in the hotel, or some colour from a contrasting throw.
Extra touches at The Sofitel London St James
We savoured some delicious homemade chocolate truffles, which highlight the skill of the hotel chefs.
Before heading out to explore the rest of the hotel, I used my handy new ISA Mirror Titanium hair straighteners to inject some life into my locks. They’re so lightweight that I often slip them into my overnight bag for a quick restyle.
Facilities at The Sofitel London St James
The very stylish So SPA is the place to come when you’re looking for some pampering. It specializes in treatments by the luxurious French brands Carita and Cinq Mondes.
We were also impressed with the So Fit 24 hour gym, that has Techno-gym equipment and an unusual multi-sensory relaxation bed, AlphaSphere by Sha. We couldn’t get it to work but I’ve been on it previously and found the combination of changing colours and massage movements to be very relaxing.
The Rose Room, on the ground floor of the hotel, is a glamorous place in which to enjoy afternoon tea and to listen to the harpist playing. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the real one rather than an impostor in a pink dress 😉
Dining at The Sofitel London St James
The Balcon is one of those places that manages to successfully blend traditional and contemporary design.
It’s an all day dining room, open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The double-height windows give you a great view over Waterloo Place and Pall Mall.
Head Chef Matt Greenwood is originally from New Zealand and has worked in some prestigious restaurants there as well as in Australia and London. I’ve eaten here before so knew that we were in for a treat. We started off with a glass of chilled champagne, served in very smart glasses.
Of course I couldn’t resist climbing up the stairs to the top of the balcony!
My starter was a tantalizing mix of unctuous goat’s curd, fig, marcona almonds and pomegranate honey, serve with your choice of Bayonne ham or melon. I went for the melon and it worked perfectly with the rest of the dish. It’s always a pleasure to enjoy fresh figs when they’re in season.
Paul tucked into the seared foie gras served with pak choy, coconut, black garlic and oyster sauce – it was a heady combination.
For our mains, I sampled an unusual Arctic char fillet with cauliflower, white beans, turmeric, dill and coconut salad. I’d never tried this fish before but it’s a tasty member of the salmon family. Paul loved his Grilled Longhorn sirloin with a rich oxtail jus, smoked mashed potatoes, wild garlic and bone marrow butter. For dessert, I chose the chocolate mousse with salted caramel, popcorn and mandarin segments. I really liked this although for me the popcorn was superfluous. Paul’s pineapple upside down sponge served with szechuan pineapple, creme de cacao caramel and a refreshing yuzu sorbet was equally scrumptious.
Breakfast at The Sofitel London St James
The next day we feasted on the huge spread of pastries, cooked dishes and cereals on offer. I liked the fact that it’s spread over several different areas, thus avoiding any queues. There’s a clever healthy eating station where you can fill up on vegetables, salad and fruit for a guilt-free start to the day. We also tried the cooked dishes, I had a superb kedgeree whilst Paul had his usual full English. It was a lovely finish to our staycation and really set us up for the day.
For the perfect blend of old and new in a really central location, you can’t beat Sofitel London St James.
Are you a fan of staycations?
Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AN