Is there a city that’s in such a state of constant flux as London? Restaurants come and go every week, with some beloved places shutting their doors for good. That’s why it’s always fantastic when a place stands the test of time and is lovingly revitalised with a facelift. The Trafalgar St James Hotel has been there as long as I can remember, with a prime position over looking Trafalgar Square. Right on the corner in London’s famous pigeon filling piazza it’s both a convenient and stylish place to rest during a day of sightseeing.
The Trafalgar Dining Rooms is the new restaurant and gone are the dark interiors, replaced with caramel coloured booths, bright mirrors and blue walls. It’s stylish but also feels like a relaxing sanctuary away from the crowds outside.
The new bar is gorgeous too, brass fittings and marble counters are utterly elegant with beautiful art deco elements reflected in the menus typography.
Taking a comfortable seat in one of the banquettes, we’re right by the window with the square in view. We ordered up a few things from the nibbles menu. Pitta bread has just the right amount of salt and oil and it’s served with a trip of delicious dips: taramasalata, tzatziki, and a spicy sun dried tomato. More bread (cos you can never have too much) is served with a beautifully fragrant oil.
The menu at Trafalgar Dining Rooms is billed as Mediterranean with a London twist, as ingredients are as fresh as possible and mostly local. Choosing three starters to share, we loved the rich flavours of the the sardines, perfectly enhanced with a drizzle of oil, green chilli and just the right amount of garlic.
I’m a huge fan of aubergine and I really enjoyed these wraps stuffed with a romesco sauce. I loved the drizzle of balsamic but personally the apple batons didn’t work for me and I would have preferred it without.
My favourite dish of the day was the courgette fritters, I really recommend ordering these. Warm and crisp on the outside with the mild taste of courgette inside these were perfection especially alongside the broad bean and garlic yogurt.
My salmon and brocolli was beautifully cooked, but the jury was out on the chraimeh sauce, a tomato based accompaniment which I personally found too sweet.
There’s plenty of choice for the side dishes and we went for raw artichoke and herb salad as well as broccoli with garlic and chilli, both lovely.
Mr S pulled lamb burger seriously looked the part but it was in reality quite dry. The sweet potato fries were excellent though – a reason to return alone!
Desserts ran the spectrum from light and refreshing to more hearty. A palate cleansing roasted pineapple with coconut and lime sorbet was the virtuous option whilst buttermilk panna cotta with clementine and granola was my favourite providing a satisfying contrast between silky smooth and crunchy.
I didn’t try the warm date and walnut cake but Mr S found it reminiscent of a sticky toffee pudding- one of those perfect cold day comfort desserts.
Now one thing the Trafalgar St James has always been famous for is The Rooftop bar and this has also undergone a stunning transformation. On this occasion it was too busy for us to get a seat so I thought I’d share some photos we took a few weeks ago on a night out.
The bar has an uninterrupted view of Nelson’s Column, probably the closest Rooftop bar to this famous landmark, but you can also clearly see the London Eye and the Shard. For cooler evening blankets are provided but they’ve also added a covered area so the Rooftop can be enjoyed whatever the weather. ROOM is the brand new private dining room which is takes the form of a glass box with space for 14 people – needless to say the view is spectacular.
Mr S and I really enjoyed our lunch at The Trafalgar Dining Rooms which is now so much more than a hotel restaurant. With it’s fantastic location, right on the corner of Trafalgar Square, I can see it attracting tourists and Londoners alike!
The Trafalgar Dining Rooms
The Trafalgar St James
2 Spring Gardens
I was invited to review.