As you know, I went to the Scottish Fashion Awards last week and, during my fleeting visit to London, I stayed at the St James’ Court Hotel.
On arrival at Charing Cross station I literally walked down one street, crossed another and turned up a third to find the St James’ Court nestled amongst grand London buildings and green, leafy trees in a bustling but unobtrusive part of town. The location of the hotel is superb, with Trafalgar Square, The Strand, Buckingham Palace, the Saatchi Gallery and St James’ Park all within short walking distance. Some other attractions nearby include Westminster Cathedral and Big Ben – so if you fancy exploring the sights of London, St James’s Court is an excellent base.
I arrived with only my handbag (new from Bicester Village) and my cabin case, but the eager-to-please doorman swooped in to lighten my load. I went inside and found the check-in desk, where a particularly informative receptionist checked me in before directing me to my executive junior suite, which was swell. Living space? Check. Gigantic bed? Check. Walk-in wardrobe? Check. Luxe bathroom? Check. Happy Daydreamer.
Within ten minutes of arriving, I dropped my bag (and received my luggage) and collapsed on the sofa to enjoy some light local reading for an hour before my reservation for afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea for one is quite a sad affair, especially at the St James’ Court. You know why? Because it’s too yummy and too pretty not to share with someone special. Sadly, Ruth at Crave was unable to join me so I had to indulge in delicate salmon sandwiches, cream scones and pretty little cakes all by myself. Hard life.
My favourites were the coronation chicken sandwich, the fruit scone and the mini Battenburg cake which were to die for, and almost too lovely to bite into. Of course, I got over the dreamy appearance and delved in.
It was very enjoyable, being tucked away in The Hamptons Bar people-watching and eating carbs. A happy place for cake lovers. Not only was the food good, the tea was beautifully presented in a silver and glass teapot (I chose English breakfast but also fancied the jasmine green tea) – it was as just how tea should look and taste; golden amber in colour, strong but not bitter, with a nice aroma. You can tell so much about a place by how good its tea is, don’t you think? And, at the St James’ Court hotel, it was super, super good.
A junior executive suite at the St James’ Court is around £200 a night, but you can book a standard room for around £100. Afternoon tea is priced at £27.50 per person or £39.50 per person with Pimms or champagne.