A couple of months ago I wrote a luxury guide to Victoria, in which I described how the area isn’t just a train station or a business hub any more. Actually ongoing developments in the Victoria and St James area have made the area more and more exciting with new restaurants, bars and shops opening frequently, and a more varied and exciting night life developing. I know all this because I’ve lived there for years and witnessed these big changes as they’ve happened
Victoria and St James’ is not only a great place to stay for the central London location and transport connections but for all the amazing things that you can do in the local area. When The Conrad St James (previously the Intercontinental) sprung up a few years ago, it was clearly the perfect location for both sightseeing, history and great local restaurants. The hotel is also literally a stone’s throw from St James station, making it well placed for just about everything.
Mr S and I frequently pop in for coffee or a glass of wine and I’ve actually reviewed both tea and brunch at the hotel before. When we were invited to stay over for a review; we were excited to spend the night in one of our favourite local haunts for our most local ever staycation. In fact the hotel is so close to us it was only a two minute walk to get there.
One thing I love about the hotel is the the sense of history from the local area. As you enter the hotel through the large spacious lobby you can move straight into Emmeline’s Lounge. A beautiful and feminine seating area, named for the 19th Century British Activist Emmeline Pankhurst.
The pretty light and bright lounge is always full of fresh flowers and it’s the perfect place to enjoy Afternoon tea.
In fact, I’ve had Afternoon tea twice, sampling both the Chelsea Flower Show tea
and the Christmas tea
. It’s one of my favourite teas in London with its innovative themes, intricate pastries and it’s great value for money at £49 with free-flowing champagne.
Adjacent to the lounge is this crazy sculpture containing villains, beasts, heroes and cartoon characters; given the other themes present in the hotel and the proximity to Westminster, I would guess it’s a parody of parliament. For English Lit grads out there it also reminds me of Pandemonium in Milton’s Paradise Lost – any way who knows but it’s weird and cool anyway!
To the lift and up to our room…
Our King Deluxe room was modern and spacious…
And Mr S particularly like the built-in 42 inch TV! Isn’t that the great thing about a staycation? You can still keep up with your favourite TV programs 😉
There was also a large marble bathroom…
Check out Mr S upside down in the mirror 🙂
The Blue Boar restaurant is a family favourite of ours…Mr S and my dad go there for the ribs alone! I really recommend it for great British food that uses seasonal produce, farm-sourced meat and fish from the Devon and Cornwall coast. But as it was Sunday night, the restaurant was closed and Mr S and I headed down for a casual dinner at the bar.
The bar has a rather lovely, relaxed and informal feel to it…
With lots of comfy sofas and private nooks to catch up in…I love the cool trumpet lamps too!
And the political theme is extended here with models of former prime ministers. Hello Tony! With large windows looking out on the streets of Westminster you really know you’re in London’s political heart. Fortunately, we were still able to order from the main restaurant’s menu, though the bar also has a full menu of sandwiches, sharing platters and British classics all using seasonal ingredients.
We shared a steak tartar which was excellent and beautifully prepared, so good that Mr S and I had to fight for it! We definitely should have ordered two.
I had my old favourite sea bass with Mediterranean vegetables, the fish was perfectly seasoned with a crispy skin but a tiny bit dry. I still very much enjoyed it though.
As did Mr S, his epic veal chop and roasted vegetables.
After our delicious dinner we headed back up to the room so I could watch Big Brother…yes, I’m probably the only person that still watches it but I’m addicted!
The next morning I headed back down to The Blue Boar restaurant where there’s the option of a buffet or a la carte breakfast.
And after breakfast it was simply a hop, skip and a jump back to my flat in Victoria!
The Conrad is a hotel that’ll return to again and again, whether it’s for coffee, afternoon tea, dinner or a drink. It’s perfect for tourists wanting to see the sights, business men… and of course politicians!
The Conrad St James
Mr S and I were guests of the Conrad Hotel