MATTHEW EDWARDS discovers the numerous delights of a night at the Sofitel London St James

THE saying goes that the streets of London are paved with gold and admiring the luxury hotels that line its most prestigious pavements, it is easy to see why.

On my last visit to the capital, the place I was born and raised, I was fortunate enough to stay at one of its finest hotels and boy, I was not disappointed.

I would like to take this chance to add a disclaimer. If you are looking to find a budget hotel to stay in London on the cheap, then you may as well read no further.

For a stay at the Sofitel London St James you will need deep pockets or a special occasion to be marking, but it is worth every penny.

The hotel is on the corner of Regents Street and Pall Mall, a stone's throw from St James’ Park and it has all the elegance you would come to expect from that part of town.

As you walk in off the busy streets, you are immediately greeted with the warmest of smiles from the door man.

The heat of his grin penetrated through into the entrance hall and had a knock on affect to the hotel porter and the reception staff waiting to greet us.

This autumn, a touch of Paris has made its way across the channel and embedded itself into the hotel.

“La Parisienne by Sofitel” pays homage to La Parisienne style and culture throughout the decades, celebrating the women whose enchanting elegance and innate sense of style symbolises the City of Lights.

Whilst being taken care of at the front desk, a tray of fruit juice arrived over our shoulder to welcome us and take the edge off the journey across town.

On our return from a long afternoon of dining and catching a West End show, Kate and I were ready to collapse when we returned to the hotel and had already started to form pictures in our mind of what wonders awaited in the bedroom considering the stunning initial impression we got from the reception hall that was themed with autumnal colours and flowers.

Once in the room, we were greeted by a sumptuous looking bed that had me itching to jump on and be wrapped up in the thick duvet that lay on top.

As was expected from a building of such stature, the ceiling in the room was high above my 6' 3'' head and gave the room the perception it was bigger than it was.

However, the size was plentiful for a double bed, two small armchairs, a TV on top of circular mini bar and a desk.

In the hallway leading back to the door, there were two double wardrobes, more than sufficient, even for Kate's extensive collection of clothes.

Through a double door lay the bathroom which, like the room, was immaculate.

In it was a sizeable bath, a shower with the power of an F1 engine, the toilet and a wash basin that was lined with all the essentials.

After a quick refresh and resisting the temptation to slip into the bath robes provided and slump into the depths of the bed, we made our way downstairs to the bar where we were treated to complimentary cocktails.

The 1920s-inspired St James bar, which draw inspiration from Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment, was snug and full on a Saturday evening. We were shown to the last remaining table.

I sank into the sofa seat as I looked around the walls donned with unique artwork, the biggest was adorning the ceiling - a cockerel looking down on the entire room.

We were soon attended and chose the two Parisian cocktails, a combination of Cointreau, Citron vodka and Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur muddled with lime juice,

homemade ginger-mint and berry syrups, topped off with orange bitters, and after a little wait we were presented with two delicate glasses of a colourful concoction that looked like they could be finished in one mouthful but packed a real punch.

At this point, I was rather pleased that the cocktails were complimentary as they would have set us back £16 each, with an £8 service charge.

After meeting friends for dinner, we were desperate to get back to the room and get into the bed that had looked so enticing earlier on. I am pleased to say that it lived up to all expectations as we dived head first in.

Needless to say it didn't take us long to find our passage to dream world and when we woke in the morning we could have easily drifted back again, as the curtains had kept the room pitch black.

However, we were stirred by the thought of what could be waiting for us in the dining room for breakfast.

Again we were not let down. The smell of freshly baked bread wafted into our nostrils as we entered the extravagant Balcon restaurant that was bathed in the morning light courtesy of its large windows.

We were shown to a seat and were quick to delve into the vast range of pastries, cold meats, cheeses and fruit as well as a juice bar that had delightful shots of smoothies and juices to rejuvenate and some even boasted anti-ageing capabilities.

After rolling out of the dining room we knew a walk was in order to burn off some of the calories, so we headed for the parks and as the weather wasn't quite sure what it was doing, the doorman handed us an umbrella just in case.

On our return we were ready to sit down to fill our faces for one final time.

The weekend was capped off by afternoon tea in the Rose Lounge.

As we sat and glanced over the menu we were joined by iconic images of Charlize Theron and Sophia Loren on the wall as part of an impressive exhibition of the strong female figures previously mentioned.

We were treated to the bottomless champagne version of their afternoon tea (£49) and they stuck true to the description as our glasses were not allowed to go empty before they were being refilled by one of the attentive waiters.

The choice of teas was enormous so we let our server recommend and we were wowed as the pink liquid poured out of the spout and into the dainty tea cups.

A stack of sandwiches and scones were then brought to the table and the smell was divine.

This returned us back to a full state but we had to find room as we were taken over to the cake display which encased a selection of perfectly formed little treats from lemon meringue pie to macarons.

The time soon came to say no more to the champagne and slowly make our way back home.

And as we stepped from the hotel lobby on to the street, it was us rather than the surface below that was left feeling golden after a wonderful stay.


Sofitel London St James

6 Waterloo Pl, St. James's, London SW1Y 4AN

"The “La Parisienne by Sofitel” package is now available to pre-book at, starting from £595 for stays up until November 17, 2016, subject to availability, and includes:

An overnight stay in a superior room at Sofitel London St James including breakfast for two

Afternoon Tea in The Rose Lounge for two

A La Parisienne cocktail in the St James Bar for two

La Parisienne by Sofitel is opening at Sofitel London St James from 27th September 2016 until 16th November 2016. Admission free"