London is an aspirational city whether you’re just passing through, enjoying a sight-seeing vacation or eyeing up a move to the busy capital city. And for a flavour of what it’s like to live the high life in London, few places have the prestige of St James’s.
Nestled in the heart of London, St James’s is a prestigious district renowned for its luxury shopping, dining and experiences. Surrounded by royal palaces and parks, St James’s exudes an air of opulence and refinement that has endured for centuries.
Home to prestigious brands, Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class culture, St James’s spoils visitors with the finest that London has to offer.
For a taste of British decadence, follow this itinerary and immerse yourself in the luxurious delights of St James, London. Scroll down for a few pointers on the best places to stay in St James’s.
Start Your Day with a Boujie Breakfast
Begin your day a Ole & Steen, a popular Danish bakery on Haymarket, St James’s. They offer freshly-baked goods at reasonable prices, perfect for your morning meal on the go; for a more substantial breakfast, try O&S’ brunch menu.
For a leisurely sit-down breakfast in an elegant setting, visit 45 Jermyn St. This stylish brasserie offers a range of classic breakfast dishes with a twist. Try the Welsh rarebit with poached egg or kedgeree with smoked haddock and curry spices. Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am so you have plenty of time to linger over freshly-brewed coffee or leaf tea.
If you’re in a hurry and need a quick breakfast on the go, stop by Pret A Manger. This popular chain offers great value breakfast options with meals prepared daily at each shop using fresh ingredients. Choose from porridge with toppings, croissants, muffins, breakfast sandwiches and more.
Indulge Yourself Luxury Experiences in St James’s, London
Wet Shaves and Haircuts: After breakfast, begin your morning being pampered at Truefitt & Hill, the world’s oldest barbershop. Established in 1805, they offer traditional wet shaves, haircuts and beard trims with master barbers using exclusive fragrances and products.
Spa Treatments: Afterwards, visit the Sofitel London St James’s for an indulgent spa treatment. Their spa is an oasis of tranquillity in central London offering facials, massages and beauty treatments using luxurious products.
Luxury Shopping: Tucked away in St James’s, Princes Arcade is an exclusive shopping arcade housing many prestigious luxury brands. Offering haute couture clothing, shoes, jewellery and chocolates, Princes Arcade is a boutique shopper’s paradise in the heart of London.
Jewellery: Finally, visit Daphine for elegant jewellery handcrafted using precious metals and gemstones. Browse their collection of necklaces, rings, earrings and cufflinks or work with their in-house designers to create a bespoke piece as a memento of your luxurious visit.
St James’s Best Attractions
Begin exploring the heart of London at Piccadilly Circus, marvelling at the giant electronic billboards and LED advertisements that have illuminated this junction for decades. Take a selfie with the famous statue of Eros before strolling down Piccadilly to Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket department store that has been a royal grocer since the 1700s.
Just next door are two world-class art galleries, the National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts, home to many masterpiece artworks. For a breath of fresh air, visit the lush greenery of Green Park and St James’s Park – home to Duck Island which has housed pelicans since 1664.
On the eastern edge of Green Park stands Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the Royal Family, and its grand approach, Pall Mall. At the southern end of the Mall stands the Duke of York Column, with its towering statue of Prince Frederick, Duke of York atop a granite column.
Where to Eat Lunch and Dinner in St James’s, London
Fine Dining Options in St James’s, London
For lunch, visit Saint Jacques for classic French fare in an elegant bistro. Alternatively, Scully’s serves artfully plated dishes inspired by global flavours, in a stylish but more relaxed dining experience.
In the afternoon, indulge in the grandest of British traditions – afternoon tea. The Ritz, Fortnum & Mason and The Dorchester are renowned for sumptuous afternoon teas and require a dress code. For a more contemporary take, The Rose Lounge offers afternoon tea with a modern twist.
In the evening, experience innovative cuisine made from carefully sourced ingredients at Fallow. Or opt for upmarket French-British fare at Seven Park Place, an intimate Michelin-starred dining room. Quaglino’s is an Art Deco brasserie perfect for seafood and people watching, with live music and cabaret acts providing entertainment into the evening.
Wallet-Friendly Dining Options in St James’s, London
Whilst St James’s is renowned for its luxury dining, sustaining such indulgence can strain your budget. Fortunately, the area offers delicious options for the more value-conscious visitor.
For classic Italian fare at reasonable prices, visit Al Duca. They serve pizza, pasta and grills in a stylish terracotta dining room. Richoux is an elegant all-day diner offering breakfast, light lunches, afternoon tea and dinner at a lower cost than upmarket hotels.
If pub fare is more to your taste, visit the Three Crowns or Chequers Tavern. The Three Crowns is a convivial theatre pub serving traditional Sunday roasts and real ales. The Chequers Tavern has an old-fashioned vibe and outdoor patio, great for typical ‘pub grub’ such as burgers and sandwiches at value-for-money prices.
Enjoy St James’s at Your Own Pace
Whether you crave luxury, culture, cuisine or history, St James’s delivers in spades. With royal parks, world-class galleries, exclusive shops and gourmet dining, immerse yourself in the best of British traditions. From prestige to thrift, St James’s spoils and surprises – allowing you to embrace all that this iconic district offers.
Where to Stay in St James’s, London
Though renowned for its luxury, St James’s offers accommodation to suit most budgets. Here we provide options across 3 price ranges: boutique and upscale hotels, 3-star alternatives and budget-friendly hostels.
Luxury Hotels in St James’s, London
DUKES London – an opulent 5-star hotel that was a regular haunt of James Bond author Ian Fleming. Unwind with a cocktail at the bar, which inspired the phrase ‘shaken not stirred’.
St James’s Hotel – Michelin-starred dining, plush rooms and Buckingham Palace views.
Arlington House Apartments – exclusive serviced apartments, ideal for longer stays, in a premier Westminster location.