London beckoned us again this month, along with a little shopping (well you can’t come to London and not do a little retail therapy), and the compulsory glass (or two) of Champagne at Searcys Champagne Bar, we were heading to Sofitel St James.
Originally built as the opulent headquarters of Cox and Company Bank in 1923 and now a grade II listed building – Sofitel St James is a 5-star luxury hotel in an exceptional location, just a stones throw from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Piccadilly Circus and practically everything else a tourist would want to see when in London.
The hotel blends old and new together effortlessly and has a distinctive French feel about it.
Stepping into the lobby, with its opulent colours adorning the walls, deep red sofas and gold hues dotted around along with beautiful displays of blooming flowers it’s hard to believe this elegant lobby was once a banking hall.
Check in was smooth and efficient, with a welcome drink to sip on whilst filing in the relevant paperwork. Then it was off to explore our room – a Premium Luxury Room, looking out onto Waterloo Place and the Crimean War Memorial, a perfect vantage spot to people watch.
The room itself was much more modern, though no less luxurious than the rest of the hotel, with high ceilings, dark contemporary décor and furniture with of course a
King Size Sofitel MyBed™ (a famous innovative combination of a bed base, mattress and a featherbed, plus a downy soft duvet and generously sized pillows all coming together for a great nights sleep – I’ll let you know if it works later). The bathroom definitely had the French influence with Hermes toiletries, opulent black marble surroundings, a walk in shower and a chequered floor. It was hard to believe that the hustle and bustle of a busy London street was just outside.
Time for tea I do believe, so we headed down the Rose Lounge with its subtle colours of pink and cream, feature fireplace, book cases full of books and even more gorgeous displays of flowers (this time roses). Guests can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, Parisienne pastries, and scones all whilst listening to the relaxing music from the resident harpist. Here is somewhere you could sit and relax for hours, Unfortunately we had a dinner engagement awaiting us so after a freshen up back in our room we headed down to dinner.
Dinner is served in The Balcon, a French brasserie-inspired restaurant. Airy and bright with flattering lighting, wooden floors and two spiral staircases, which lead up to a wooden balcony (thus The Balcon) overlooking the restaurant. We order a glass of wine to enjoy whilst we browse the menu, a selection of French and traditional British dishes with a twist. Lamb Wellington and Pan Seared Foie Gras arrive as our starters, both were beautifully presented and tasted delicious – the skinned salmon fillet, with mussels, chorizo, grilled cauliflower and chickpeas that followed was an amalgamation of different flavours that proved a real treat and the coast Dover sole Meuniere with potatoes and brown shrimps couldn’t have been fresher.
I opted out of dessert (only because I was too full), but hubbie didn’t let the side down and he chose the apple and quince tart tatin with a port and prune ice cream; this not only looked delightful, but was the perfect end to a French/British dining experience.
Time to retire for the night and see if the Sofitel MyBed™ lived up to its reputation – Yes it certainly did! It was incredibly comfy and I felt as if I’d been wrapped in my own fluffy cocoon whilst I slept. I could have stayed in bed all morning but word had reached me how good breakfast was.
Served in The Balcon the smell of homemade pastries and breads greet you as you take your seat amidst food stations that are dispersed around the restaurant – Fruit juices and smoothies, breads and pastries, fruit, yoghurts, meats and cheeses and a hot buffet all have their own spot – you really are spoilt for choice and then there’s the option of ordering something from the menu.
Breakfast here is a truly indulgent treat making it a perfect end to a memorable stay at a hotel that manages to combine English heritage with French hospitality.
Prices start from £434 for a Premium Luxury Room for 2 people including breakfast. Prices start from £348 for a Superior Room for 2 people including breakfast.
*Prices based on a stay in March 2017