Situated right in the heart of London and just a stones throw from St James’s Park, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament is the 5 star luxury hotel Conrad London St. James. Converted from government offices in 2012 it boasts a 19th century facade within the historic Queen Anne’s Chambers and having been taken over by Hilton in 2014, is the epitome of elegance and style.
You literally fall out of St James tube station and the Conrad London St. James is in front of you,walk through the glass doors into the sleek skylit lobby,where a soft floral fragrance fills your nose and a life size Tom Clarke Sculpture “The Ladder to Bronze” greets you.
Artwork has a very strong presence at the Conrad London St. James, none so much as in the lounge area where evil robots are battling each other in “The House Always Wins” a unique piece of art that contains hand crafted octopus tentacles surrounding the House of Commons along with some of the most iconic fantasy characters of our time – think Daleks and Batman and you’re on the right track – Love it or hate it, you have to see it.
The political influence is evident all around the hotel, with the elegant and sleek Emmelines lounge being named after the 19th century British political activist Emmeline Pankhurst, and the Blue Boar Bar with it’s deep masculine colours, intimate corners, deep leather chesterfields, Gerald Scarfe cartoons on the wall and spitting image like former Prime Ministers looking down at you, this is the place to visit for morning coffee, lunch, a drink or bar snack – the place to meet friends, do business or just relax.
The hotel boasts 256 rooms and suites, and it was time to head up to ours, a King Grand Deluxe room that gave us access to the Executive Lounge (more on that later) a lovely space with a colour palette of light greys and soft neutrals. I always say it’s not just the room that makes a fabulous hotel it’s also the finishing touches, something The Conrad London St. James is very good at, from the welcome tray of homemade Jammie Dodgers, to all the extras you might need in the bathroom, including a toothbrush, hairbrush and razor. The bathroom itself has a sink and bath that are encased in marble and a heavenly walk in rain shower all carefully designed and hidden away behind a sliding door.
Back in the bedroom, the floor to ceiling large mirror wasn’t just a mirror it housed the 42 inch HD TV, technology doesn’t usually impress me, but I have to admit even I was impressed!
Mid afternoon and time to check out the Executive Lounge, a place that can only be accessed if your room category is Executive or above (or you can pay to get access) a place to catch up on work, read the papers, or simply relax, It is open 24 hours for complimentary tea, coffee, wine, beer, snacks, soft drinks and more – Between 3pm and 5pmits time for afternoon treats and what a treat it is – it’s just like an afternoon tea, the only difference is you help yourself to the fresh delicious finger sandwiches, delightful cakes, mini desserts and homemade scones and biscuits, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is what tea to choose! Thenfrom 5.30pm – 7.30pm it’s time for canapés – something you don’t want to miss!
So, after a quick freshen up, curling of the hair (me not hubbie) and change of clothes we found ourselves back in this exclusive lounge, with its comfy sofas, quirky camera lamps and elegant glass chandeliers to enjoy a pre dinner aperitif and a selection of canapés that included a pumpkin puree with taleggio cheese, a prawn pot with asparagus puree, a croquette aubergine with ricotta and oregano mousse and a potato salad with chicken sauté, all washed down nicely with a glass of prosecco and red wine – I’m not sure I have room for dinner!
Dinner was served in the Blue Boar restaurant. The wooden floors, dark wood walls and soft lighting create the perfect ambience for us to sample the delights of what looks like a delicious menu, offering contemporary British dishes with a slight twist. And the food certainly didn’t disappoint, smoked mackerel pate with pickled cucumber and sourdough and seared scallops with butternut squash and chorizo were our starters, both dishes were full of flavour and a real treat on the tastebuds. These were followed by Cornish hake on a bed of asparagus and garden peas, it was so fresh and literally melted in the mouth, and the Angus beef fillet wastender and juicy and cooked exactly as hubbie requested – Our food was accompanied by wine that complimented the food perfectly.
Now the million-dollar question – dessert? Just the one for hubbie (purely for research) coconut rice pudding, a coconut sponge topped with yoghurt wrapped in a mango jelly and mango sorbet, the sweetness of the coconut was a great accompaniment to the fresh fruity mango, and to finish off what had been a delightful dining experience we ended our meal with a glass of port and petit fours.
I love London at night, the hustle and bustle, everything lit up, there’s something magical about a city that never seems to sleep. So we took a short strollaround Parliament and its surroundings before retiring for the night into the most comfy bed ever.
Having dragged myself out of bed it was time for breakfast, which can be taken in the Blue Boar restaurant or in the Executive Lounge, the choice is yours. We chose the restaurant, which was a hive of activity witha mix of business meetings and hotel guests. Offering fresh fruits, creamy yoghurts, rich smoothies, juices, teas, coffees, a hot and cold buffet and freshly cooked items from the menu, definitely the right way to start the day.
Our stay had been one of indulgent luxury; the Conrad London St. James ticked all the right boxes. Whether you want to explore London, or just want a little relaxation and escapism in elegant surroundings, with impeccable staff, then a stay at the Conrad London St. James is a must.
Top Tip: It is worth spending a little extra and booking a room that allows you complimentary access to the Executive lounge.
Prices start from £299 per night, per room for 2 people sharing on a Bed and Breakfast Basis in a King Superior Room in November 2017.
Prices start from £459 per night, per room for 2 people sharing on a Bed and Breakfast Basis in a King Executive Room with Lounge Access in November 2017.
*Prices may vary to those quoted