St James's, London
Althoff St. James´s Hotel and Club
Secret Celebrity Hideaway
What it is
A 60-room Mayfair refuge that doubles as a (very tony) private club.
What it isn't
Snobby. The staff welcomes even short-term guests as if they own the place.
What we think
Though St. James’s was originally established in 1857, this latest iteration is anything but stuffy and staid. Guest rooms are stocked with Handy phones (gratis international calls and limitless Google map and data usage), Hypnos mattresses (which have earned a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) and luxe design touches (silk wallpaper, Murano chandeliers). We particularly love the bragging rights that a stay at this hotel supplies—because yes, Ian Fleming, Winston Churchill and Henry James were club members.
You're here because
The hotel offers a Masterclass in cheese and wine taught by their resident sommelier that includes a three-course luncheon made by Chef William Drabble, who led the hotel’s restaurant to a Michelin star (among his signature dishes: braised stuffed oxtail with wild mushrooms and bone marrow).
Among the many afternoon teas available in this town, none is quite like this: prepared as it may have been by Queen Victoria’s staff, and based on their recipes. One bite of the sherry-soaked Tipsy Cake and the scones made from the oldest-known British cheeses, and you’re feeling like a royal yourself. Or is that the champagne talking?
Restaurants & Bars
Seven Park Place - Fine Dining, French Cuisine with local ingredients used
William's Bar & Bistro - Comfortable, unhurried and sophisticated atmosphere
Afternoon Tea - Offers an historical themed 1840 Afternoon Tea, designed by Executive Chef William Drabble of in-house Michelin Star Restaurant Seven Park Place
Adjacent to St. James Street (where else?), with a hush-hush entrance fronting Green Park. Buckingham Palace is a 12-minute saunter away, which will put just the right amount of flush in your cheeks before your meeting with Harry.