Nothing is better than feeling welcomed and having an easy check in when you get to a hotel and at Conrad London St. James we certainly felt this. Located in Queen Anne’s Chambers the 19th century building previously used as Government offices is rooted in the heart of the British capital. The 5-star luxury Conrad London St. James is only a five-minute walk from the most iconic landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.
Arriving in a world-famous London black cab, we were greeted by the doorman who helped us with our luggage as we entered the marbled lobby. We then met Greg on reception who ensured our check in was smooth and pleasurable as he offered refreshments and explained about the hotel and the amenities. One additional extra for us included the executive lounge; which we had access to due to our executive room and we would highly recommend a visit, we were treated like royalty by Malik when we went for a pre-dinner beverage.
The lobby is very light and airy which interestingly has the same flooring as the House of Commons, which is located nearby. The colour scheme is bright white with splashes of marble and interesting sculptures and artwork scattered around the different levels of the hotel. The General Manager Beverley is often seen in the hotel checking both the smooth running of operations and asking her guests how their stay is going. Beverley is super proud of her staff and quite rightly so, she was a pleasure to talk to and made us feel even more like we were at home.
We took the lift up to our home for the night; a beautifully appointed spacious King Executive room. The hotel’s 256 rooms have refined, modern decor, luxurious marble bathrooms like a mini spa with separate bathtubs and rainfall showers. Our room was spotless, the air conditioning silent, the bed was super comfortable with the best ever pillows guaranteeing a good night’s sleep. Other features include a large mirror wall with a built-in 42″ Smart Television, Nespresso coffee machine, mini bar, bathrobes, slippers and Shanghai Tang products as well as a variety of other items that guests may have forgotten to bring along, this was a nice gesture. Connectivity in the room is good with the wall by the desk offering a home to various inputs that allow guests to connect devices to the TV as well as power outlets that can be used by devices from a variety of countries, this saves packing those pesky adaptors. Our room overlooked the inner courtyard making this a quiet room which was pleasant in the busy city.
We had our evening meal in the gastro Blue Boar Pub which is situated in the hotel, in addition they have a fine dining restaurant called The Pem also by Chef Sally Abé’. The innovative menu is a celebration of the best of British produce including cod from Cornwall, Wye Valley asparagus and Lake District Farmers sourced Sunday Roast.
The pub has an extensive history and one should take a bit of time looking all around, it has some interesting artwork, both wall-mounted drawings and small sculptures. It is filled with political cartoons by Gerald Scarfe CBE, caricaturing both major parties and their members from the wall art, to the coasters on the bar – political cartoons everywhere! The Division Bell hangs on the wall and was used to call members of the House of Commons back to chambers when their votes were needed.
At the Blue Boar Pub we were looked after by lovely Jorge and the fantastic Zoltan. After looking at the menu and listening to Zoltan’s suggestions we settled on the beer battered cod and thick cut chips, crushed peas and chip shop curry sauce and the Blue Boar Burger made from fallow deer and pork with shredded celeriac and bone marrow remoulade, bread and butter pickles and onion rings. The fish was delicious, light and fluffy with the crispiest batter ever tasted and thick cut chips all in a neat line and instantly devoured. The burger was equally as tasty and succulent with generous portions of thick cut chips and very thinly cut onion rings that tasted crisp and delicious.
The dessert choices are limited but well worth the try! We settled on the Earl Grey and chocolate mousse with salted caramel, this was velvety smooth chocolate with hints of Earl Grey essence and a salted caramel taste to die for, surprisingly this was served warm but still a delight. The other choice we made was apple and almond tartlet served with vanilla pod ice cream and this was a delicate sweet taste with handmade shortcrust pastry and both these desserts gave a nice finish to the meal.
The food paired well with Zoltan’s suggestion of gin and tonics, we tried two new gins for us. Renegade distilled in London was a particularly punchy expression that would work wonderfully in cocktails and mixed drinks. The second the Cambridge is a classic dry gin of elegant complexity that will elevate your drinking experience. The bar is well stocked with plenty of unusual spirits, wines and cocktails plus a good choice of beer on tap. The Blue Boar Pub has a cool vibe and you could definitely waste a few hours enjoying the ambience of this unique pub with attentive staff and plethora of tasty food and drink.
After a restful sleep, we awoke to breakfast at The Blue Boar Pub, a great selection with a la carte options including eggs benedict and avocados on toast and the usual full cooked English breakfast and fruit and buttermilk pancakes. Tea and coffee were topped up and the toast never ending! It was nice to start the day with freshly squeezed juices while reading a copy of The Financial Times to prepare for another day in the City. The morning weather was lovely and sunny and being in a top location like Conrad London St. James we were able to stroll to St James’ Park and Parliament Square and take in a tour of Westminster Abbey.
What truly makes this Hotel experience fantastic is the staff, they are dedicated professionals that draw guests into a truly inviting atmosphere. You’re greeted with a smile and a wonderfully warm welcome which is there throughout your entire stay. Everyone from front desk to housekeeping and in between is a star, no request whether big or small is an issue at all. We look forward to returning once more to this very friendly and excellently positioned hotel. If you are looking for somewhere in London to celebrate a special occasion or just want to spoil yourself with some luxury, we can highly recommend the Conrad London St. James.
Conrad London St. James