The five-star hotel is tucked away on a corner of St James that’s soaked in history, peppered with heritage blue plaques and protected from the chaos and clamour of the city. It feels like stepping back in time and the gracious, gloriously polite staff reinforce this period drama fantasy.
Welcomes are warm yet formal and waiters have a knack for arriving before a glass is ever left empty. Food arrives on traditional serving tables, adding a touch of ceremony and flamboyance to the carving or filleting.
The design is elegant with a few flamboyant flourishes, such as peacock prints and turquoise velvet. Lighting is low, and, despite an almost full restaurant, there’s a lulled intimate atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to date nights or long, lingering catch-ups.
Chef James Durrant (who worked with Jason Atherton at Maze Grill before setting up his own Bib Gourmand-winning restaurant) focuses on decadent British dishes with an emphasis on game and a superlative selection of British-sourced fresh fish and seafood.
Master sommelier Gino Nardella is a well of wine expertise who offers bespoke suggestions based on your tastes and chosen dishes. It's well worth handing over wine ordering to him and exploring the
The Belvenie smoked salmon, cured on site, is cut through with a rich sweetness from the whiskey and served with theatrical flair and all kinds of condiments. For the adventurous and carnivorous we heartily recommend starting with Rhug estate fallow deer tartar, served with a soft-yolked quail egg, Worcester sauce and charcoal mayo.
You won't be disappointed by the signature dish – the titular Game Bird, which changes with the season. For us it was pigeon, shot in France, stuffed with offal and served with a braised leg. The Dover Sole in a silky lemon butter sauce has a similar wow-factor
Oh and the pistachio souffle loaded with white chocolate ice-cream is airy, silky proof that British desserts are far sexier than soggy spotted dick.
|The Game Bird at The Stafford Hotel review
|16-18 St James' Place, SW1A 1NJ | MAP
|St. James's Park (underground)
17 Mar 17 – 31 Mar 20, 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|Visit The Game Bird's website to book