The great thing about London is after years of living in the city, there’s always something new to explore.
Last weekend I discovered a new hidden away hotel, which made for a pretty plush staycation.
If you’re looking for a slice of luxury, something discreet and refined, then the St James’s Hotel and Club is the place to land.
For my mum’s birthday, I checked us into the 60-room former gentlemen’s club after hearing about its new wellness package from Perfect 10, which complements stays with healthy breakfasts and in-room massages.
Mum’s not a fan of massages – I’m not sure why! – so we skipped that part, but we were soon transported into a state of calm after a matter of minutes in our sumptuous room.
Diving into our giant bed like two big kids, mum and I found it difficult to get back up from the dreamily soft mattress.
The golden silk wallpaper, matching bed throw and summery breeze wafting from our room’s private balcony further induced a heavenly feeling.
We had just walked to the hotel from the National Gallery after seeing the Michelangelo and Sebastiano exhibit and were flagging a little.
Conveniently, we didn’t have to venture far for dinner.
The St James’s Club and Hotel boasts two restaurants – one being London’s smallest Michelin star, Seven Park Place.
We checked out top chef, William Drabble’s Bar and Bistro.
The small restaurant had a nice buzz, with a spread of diners and good music playing.
I admired the eclectic mix of art on the walls – St James’s boasts an impressive collection – and we both commented on how spongy our seats were.
There was a small army of staff on hand to help and all very attentive.
The William Drabble boasts a rather fine cocktail list. My vodka martini came stacked with three buttery olives and it was perfectly shaken with a clean finish, while mum’s Casino Royale champagne concoction was nicely balanced with a punchy kick.
To start we shared a selection of antipasti – spicy nuts, olives and a mountain of melt-in-the-mouth hams.
For main, mum went for the 8oz rib eye steak while I went for the chicory and Stilton salad, which was the perfect plate for the sunny evening we dined.
We were positively stuffed after our starters and main and decided to take a night cap up to our room instead of dessert. The kind waitress said she would bring it to our room instead, so mum and I hopped in the elevator back up to our 4th floor lair.
We changed into our pajamas and there was soon a knock at the door with our cocktails sauvely served on a sturdy silver tray. It didn’t take long for us to turn the television off and turn in for the night. The bed was so dreamy, we instantly drifted off.
Apparently St James’s uses the same mattress supplier as the royal family.
Before snoozing, we ordered a wellness breakfast in bed – and what a treat it was to wake up to.
At 9:30am there was a knock at the door, with a giant tray burgeoning with a mix of treats.
The waitress brought it into the room and mum and I lay in bed, gradually dissecting the morning meze plate by plate.
Hero dishes included oatmeal and cottage cheese pancakes with smoked salmon and avocado, porridge oats soaked in almond milk with mixed berries and nuts, quinoa crumpets with baked banana and coconut yoghurt, and a glowing green smoothie.
The smoothie was created by Drabble especially for burlesque icon Dita von Teese after she stayed at St James’s Hotel & Club and was in need of a revitalising boost ahead of event-filled days.
Mum couldn’t drink hers, as the coriander, grassy taste wasn’t to her liking.
Admittedly, the thick green sludge was a little hard to stomach at first but it gradually warmed on me.
After devouring our morning feast, mum and I took it in turns to soak in the deep whirlpool bath and lather up with an array of sweet-smelling Penhaligon’s potions.
We were ready to roll into a new day.
The doorman bid us a farewell and away we sauntered through the streets of St James.
I was thrilled to have discovered this sparkling gem of a place.
St. James’s Hotel and Club Mayfair
7-8 Park Place
St. James’s, London, SW1A 1LS
To book a stay or make a dining reservation at St James’s Hotel and Club visit www.stjameshotelandclub.com or call +44 (0)20 7316 1600.
To book a Wellness on the Move package visit www.stjameshotelandclub.com/discover/wellness.