I had just arrived at the historic St. James’s in Mayfair, and hidden away, right in the heart of London, was a red brick building that I could not wait to explore.
The Stafford Hotel was built as a series of private residences in the 17 century. One of the first owners of the private residencies, Lord Francis Godolphin, built an extensive wine cellar under the houses, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, wine cellars in the entire United Kingdom. The 380-year-old wine cellars were also used as an air-raid shelter during the second world war. In addition, the Stafford Hotel served as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas, which also sought refuge in the wine cellars.
I could not wait to get a glimpse and experience this historical building firsthand. Finally, we arrived at the entrance, where our bags were whisked away. We made our way inside over the stunning marble floor and checked in at the reception straight away.
We were escorted to our room which was the Mews Suite which was in a separate building. We passed through the lobby on our way to our room and entered ‘The Game Bird’, the main restaurant at the Stafford Hotel. The Game Bird is a relaxed and modern restaurant that focuses on modern British comfort cooking executed with style and care. They have some of the best chefs working at the Stafford Hotel for over 40 years. Their experience and delicious dishes have been well known worldwide, which is what makes its hot spot for weddings, anniversaries, or honeymoons.
The first thing I noticed as we walked in was the blue velvet sofas that stood out immediately. Across the room were dozens of tables with red and white elegant polestar patterned chairs and roses in the middle of each table. There is a wonderfully glamorous bar on the right side of the dining room, which is well known for its delicious cocktails. It is a stunning setting for a wedding reception as it oozes class, romance, and sophistication with an outstanding friendly staff that would help you with anything you would need.
As we continue to make our way to our suite, we walked through the American Bar. It is one of the oldest American Bars in London and one of the very few still in business. Just the interior proves why it has stood the test of time. The exquisite décor stands out from any other bar I have ever seen; there were classic wooden tables around the room, which came with a set of two brown leather chairs and green lounge sofas, which gave the entire room a classic and glamorous feel.
The walls are filled with photos of famous people that have visited The Stafford Hotel. Hanging from the ceiling were gifts that filled up the entire space. From hats to teddy bears and scarfs, all the gifts are donated by visitors throughout the years, some of which were gifted by relatives of people who had relatives connected to Stafford’s war era. I could not wait to come and have a fantastic cocktail or try some of their world-known Mediterranean-inspired dishes. It is the perfect bar to have an intimate wedding reception and have an outstanding dinner with your guests before dancing the night away.
We exited the bar and walked outside into the courtyard; there was an outdoor BBQ where various guests were having an Al Fresco dining and enjoying the lovely sunny day. Surrounding the courtyard were different types of flowers and plants hanging from the walls; on the left side of the courtyard were the loveliest wooden tables and chairs where you could sit down and enjoy a vast collection of wine or a delicious brunch with your partner.
Each table had a pink flower pot in the middle and comfortable green seating cushions. The entire courtyard has various colourful flowers and plants going around the seating area and the balconies. It is perfect for an intimate and romantic wedding.
We entered our suite and were shown around the room; it was amazing! The room was spacious with a stunning entrance hall, a glamorous guest bathroom, and a massive living room with a desk and two chairs. It felt like my own private apartment.
We found a lovely greeting note saying ‘welcome us home’ along with Champaign, a personal protection kit, and complimentary fruits. The bed looked heavenly with lovely cotton sheets and a silk cover.
On the side was a glamorous vanity table, there were spacious wardrobes, and there is a library filled with classic books. Our bathroom had one of the biggest bathroom sinks I have ever seen. The suite is the perfect place for a bride to get ready for her big day.
I opened the curtains and the balcony doors and saw all the guests at Al Fresco enjoying their lovely meals, relaxing by the bar, and soaking up the sun in the courtyard. The view was breathtaking as you could see all of Mayfair, and despite it being in central London, you could not hear anything other than birds singing.
Weddings at The Stafford Hotel
The Stafford Hotel is licensed for weddings and ready to greet you and your guests for an unforgettable and glamorous experience. The Stafford Park Suite is a favourite for wedding ceremonies and honeymoons. It is two floors with separate living and sleeping areas with an interconnecting staircase, and it has its own private rooftop terrace overlooking Mayfair. In addition, there are a variety of luxurious suites to choose from for wedding receptions or anniversaries banquets, such as the Sutherland Room, which could hold a capacity of 40 people for a wedding reception.
For more information on our weddings and special occasions, please speak to their dedicated events team on:
Right before dinner, Gino Nardella (the Master Sommelier) took us to the iconic and historical wine cellar for a private tour. The Stafford Wine Cellar is over 380 years old and is considered the oldest cellar in the entire United Kingdom. We walked down the stairs and started to feel the humidity as we went lower down.
The cellar is hidden deep below. Finally, we reached the bottom of the staircase, where we entered into a lovely room that felt like we had time travelled 380 years back. There was a stunning large, oval-shaped table in the middle of the room, decorated with a classic white silk table cloth, dozens of wine glasses and dark blue silk chairs. The lighting in the room came from a collection of medieval era chandeliers with real candles that are used to brighten up the stunning room.
The wine was stored in the cellar, which was next door to the dining room. It consisted of thousands of wine bottles dating back to 3 centuries ago, and most bottles have not been touched since. Although the wine cellars are considered a museum, Gino wanted to make it clear that the wine is there for viewing and wants people to experience the beauty of wine tasting. It is an ideal location for a wedding reception as it oozes romance, history and glamour.
After the amazing tour of The Stafford Wine Cellar, we went back to The Game Bird for dinner, where Lucas gave us our own booth area. Again, a beautifully decorated table with shiny silver wear, candles, and a romantic rose in the middle.
I started my diner with the delicious H. Forman & Son Smoked salmon, which was smoked and cured straight off the trolley and was served and garnished with a Free-ranged egg, cucumber, and dill pickle, mustard dressing, horseradish crème Fraiche, and soda bread. It was a mind-blowing combination.
I continued my meal with the ‘Native lobster scotch egg, lovage mayonnaise, celeriac slaw’, which tasted divine.
For my main, I had the amazing Whole Dover Sole Meuniere, which was freshly caught on the day. It was super delicate and melted in my mouth. For dessert, I had the Bitter chocolate tart with Tonka bean ice cream, which was the absolute greatest way to end an amazing dinner. The Gamebird is a stunning, luxurious private dining room perfect for intimate weddings and magnificent food!
Lucas, the wine connoisseur, was super friendly and chose our wine and, as you imagine, was marvellous. So, after our wonderful diner, we put our masks on and went through the courtyard and back to our lovely Mews suite.
I could not wait to try the wonderful high bed and enjoy the comfortable sheets. The next morning I felt like I had slept on clouds and the pillows were extremely soft. The linen silk sheets hugged my body, giving me a cosy feeling. Our breakfast was served in The Game Bird, where my husband had The Stafford English breakfast, and I had the outstanding omelette.
It was an exceptionally great stay; we said goodbye to the wonderful staff who cared for us so well and made us feel at home as we checked out. I would definitely recommend The Stafford Hotel for any occasion. It has an award-winning cuisine, a beautiful courtyard, a historic wine cellar, glamorous rooms, and the friendliest staff. It is a brilliant 5-star luxury Hotel that would serve as the greatest location to have a wedding, honeymoon, or an unforgettable holiday.
The Stafford Hotel London
16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ, United Kingdom