Make The Stafford London Part of Your Story in 2016
22 Dec 2015
- The Stafford London is one of London’s ‘Grande Dame’ hotels dating back to the 17th Century
- Independently owned, The Stafford London is full of personality and each room has a story to tell
- The main house of the hotel was originally the residence of the aristocratic Spencer family (ancestors of Diana Princess of Wales and her brother Earl Spencer)
- Raise a glass with Master Sommelier Gino Nardella with themed Wine Journeys in The Stafford Cellars
- During WWII, the hotel served as a club for American and Canadian officers
- For two years the female war hero who inspired Cate Blanchett’s character in the film, Charlotte Gray, made The Stafford London her home
An independent historic hotel, The Stafford London is as timeless as the city it belongs to and regarded by many as one of London’s great ‘Grande Dame’ hotels. Founded in 1912, it has 104 individually decorated bedrooms and suites split across the Main House and the Carriage House. The hotel – which stretches across numbers 16, 17 and 18 St James’s Place – has the feel of a private residence. Not surprising when back in the 17th century it was one of London’s finest town houses. Number 17 (today the hotel’s grand Main House) was most famously owned by Lord and Lady Lyttelton (ancestors of Diana Princess of Wales and her brother Earl Spencer).
With an unparalleled concentration of listed buildings and conservation areas, St James’s is the capital’s grandest quarter. It is the birthplace of the coffee house and the English restaurant. And now the Crown Estate’s facelift of St James’s has effectively created a new village south of Piccadilly – bringing into the area over 70,000 square foot of retail space as well as new offices and restaurants making this a must visit destination for 2016. The Stafford London is the perfect address to stay at, dine at and drink at. The American Bar, The Lyttelton restaurant, several private dining rooms, The Lyttelton Lounge and The Stafford Wine Cellars, all accessed by two entrances on St James’s Place and Blue Ball Yard (off St James’s Street), are all available to guests and visitors daily.
Whilst celebrating history at the hotel, today guests can enjoy the former dining room and drawing room of the Lyttelton family. And to mark the fact that, for 300 years, the Spencer family have included rather extraordinary women dedicated to the arts, politics and charity, The Stafford’s signature afternoon tea is dedicated to Lady Lyttelton.
After the Lyttleton-Spencer family left Number 17, the house changed hands many times; becoming the Richmond Club Chambers, Green’s Private Hotel and St. James’s Palace Hotel. The Stafford Club, originally housed in number 18, was added in 1886; and in 1912, the hotel was extended to include number 16. The Stafford London Hotel was then born. During World War II, the hotel served as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas. This led to the formation of the Better ‘Ole Club (where membership was given to guests recognised for services to The Stafford, like HRH the Prince of Wales).
During air raids the guests sought refuge in the Wine Cellars and today an authentic collection of WWII items is housed in a little museum in the Cellars. In turn the iconic American Bar (named after its famous war guests) is decorated with a collection of memorabilia, started by an American guest who donated a wooden carving of an American eagle. A year after WWII ended, highly decorated war hero Nancy Wake (nicknamed the “White Mouse” by the Nazis) came to stay at the hotel for two years, enjoying several GTs in the American Bar every day. Like many former secret agents, she was lured to the bar by the hotel’s then-general manager, Louis Burdet, who had also worked for the Resistance in and around Marseilles. Today the hotel remembers Nancy with the signature ‘White Mouse’ cocktail, made with Saffron Gin shaken with lemon juice, honey and Champagne, garnished with star anise. More recently Nancy was the inspiration for Cate Blanchett’s character in Charlotte Gray (based on Sebastian Faulks’s best-selling novel).
In the 1990s the hotel saw the final phase of its expansion, as The Carriage House (the 18th-century mews and stables block) was transformed into luxury accommodation, featuring split stable doors, wooden beams and a chic countryside interior.
Steeped in 350 years of English history, The Stafford London has so many fascinating stories to tell. Make 2016 a year where you tell your story at The Stafford London.
16 – 18 St. James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NJ 020 7493 0111 www.thestaffordlondon.com
Accommodation is priced from £379.00 per room per night