Afternoon Tea at The Stafford Hotel London

Photographer: Photos supplied by The Stafford Hotel
Afternoon Tea at The Stafford Hotel London
Afternoon Tea at The Stafford Hotel London

The Stafford Hotel in St James boasts a peaceful dining sanctum at the very heart of its premises in Mayfair: the Game Bird Restaurant and Lounge.

The first thing I noticed was that the space affords diners ample room between tables. In a city where venues are oversubscribed as the norm, a little privacy during a meal, or several tiny meals as the case may be here, can be wonderful. We were warmly welcomed to our table and found staff friendly throughout the experience.

We started off with the savouries, which were a little inconsistent: the mustard could not be tasted in the ham and mustard finger sandwiches; the chicken coronation had beautiful flavours and was highly enjoyable; the cheddar and spring onion was pleasant, the Scottish salmon needed some zest; and the egg and truffle mayonnaise bun had a fluffy and delightful texture, and deliciously balanced flavours.

Next, we tried the scones. The flavour of the cheese scone was not very ‘cheesy’. (This is not surprising, as a milder taste is common to British tradition).

The quality of the plain scone was so impressive, I cannot imagine you would find a better one anywhere else in London. The clotted cream, raspberry jam and plain scone trio was brilliant. If the hotel offered a simple Cream Tea, I can’t see how it wouldn’t be the best in town. The fruit scone was quite low on fruit, but shared the perfect texture and taste of the plain scone.

The desserts were alluringly presented. The vanilla and strawberry mousse was very light and lovely, but the raspberry velvet macaron was unfortunately flavourless and dull, and very messy to eat. The chamomile and honey layer cake was delicious with a superb texture, although it tasted like gingerbread more than chamomile. The chocolate hazelnut choux bun was very rich, and the pastry a little tough. The apple, dill and white chocolate mousse cake was the highlight of the experience, after we were wowed by the plain scone. This delicious dainty felt like a departure from the norm at Afternoon Tea, however the flavours were cohesive.

The two teas I sampled throughout the experience were the Queen’s Stafford (a lovely black tea) and the Rooibos orange and cactus fig. The latter had a deep, unique, very pleasing flavour, in fact it was the first rooibos tea I’ve sampled which I’ve really enjoyed.

We learnt a potted history after our experience, delivered with great enthusiasm, in a brief tour of the hotel’s ground floor. The Stafford Hotel was officially born in 1912, after the house changed hands many times. It was the Richmond Club Chambers, Green’s Private Hotel, St James Palace Hotel and Stafford House, as well as a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas who sought refuge in the wine cellars, although 16-18 St James Place was originally built to be the private residence of Lady Lyttelton, daughter of the Earl Spencer, who was a nanny to Queen Victoria’s children. The American bar, hung with various scarves and beanies, is one of the oldest surviving venues (since 1920) of its kind in London.

There are countless transfixing stories of London’s historic buildings. While the history of the premises may not have you on the edge of your seat, the hotel is certainly asserting itself as a competitive player on the Afternoon Tea Scene, with a pastry chef who should be carefully guarded.

You will have a lovely time if you decide to make a booking. Staff are friendly and delighted to serve you, the atmosphere is tranquil, central and private, and you won’t be disappointed in the least by the scones. It is also certainly the sort of place where I imagine one would be looked after beautifully and remembered if they visited regularly with their family.


The Stafford Hotel Afternoon Tea Menu:

Sweet selection
Sweet selection


  • H. Forman & Son Smoked Salmon
  • Montgomery Cheddar, Spring Onion & Tomato
  • Free-Range Coronation Chicken
  • Honey Roasted Ham, Mustard Mayonnaise


  • Truffled Egg & Watercress Brioche Bun


  • Plain & Raisin, Whipped Clotted Cream, Strawberry Jam
  • Paxton & Whitfield Westcombe Cheddar, Soft Cheese & Chives

Selection of cakes from the trolley:

  • Honey Layer Signature Cake
  • Raspberry Velvet Macaron
  • Chocolate & Hazelnut Choux Bun
  • Vanilla & Strawberry
  • White Mouse White Chocolate Mousse, Apple & Dill Tart


Afternoon Tea London – find more experiences in our High Tea Venue Directory

The Stafford London:

16-18 St. James's Place, London, SW1A 1NJ


Afternoon tea is served between 12 – 5.30pm daily


From £70 per person

Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.

Sylvie Woods

Hailing from Sydney, Sylvie Woods is a writer and musician living in London. Sylvie’s day job is Senior Content and Publications Manager at The Royal Academy of Music, and she loves to sing, eat cakes, and generally loaf about.

Articles by Sylvie