Having experienced ‘The Stafford in the Country Experience’ at Cowdray House in West Sussex, the ancestral home of Lord & Lady Cowdray it was a natural progression to travel to ‘town’ to experience The Stafford London on its home turf and in particular the Game Bird restaurant which has been the reason behind The Stafford forming an alliance with Cowdray to supply the restaurant with fresh game from the Cowdray Estate shoots. This has proved to be a marriage made in heaven as the Game Bird Restaurant has received glowing reviews since its launch in 2017.
Amongst the accolades heaped on The Game Bird is the interesting entitled award of, Most Civilised Restaurant in the Tatler Restaurant Awards 2018 acknowledged for being sophisticated, cultured and refined – all one could wish for your dining experience; and the reviews for the Game Bird by top critics have been full of compliments and praise; Jay Rayner of the Guardian ; Giles Coren of The Times ; Michael Deacon of The Telegraph ; Tom Parker Bowles of The Daily Mail and Ben Norum of The Evening Standard.
It is rare for such well respected critics to be in accord about a restaurant so it is a testament to the talents of James Durrant, the Executive Chef, that he has created an award winning restaurant.
However, having launched The Game Bird to such culinary heights, James Durrant has decided to step down as Executive Chef and move on to pastures new. The reins have been handed to The Game Bird’s Head Chef, Jozef Rogulski who has now been appointed Executive Chef. Jozef’s path to The Game Bird has been by way of Cliveden House Hotel, The Hand and Flowers and The Waterside Inn, so it can be safely assumed that the restaurant will continue to excite its diners with innovative use of the finest produce and in particular that from the Cowdray Estate.
Another new appointment to The Stafford is Ben Tish as Culinary Director whose role will be to oversee the entire food offering, including The Game Bird Restaurant, the celebrated American Bar, private dining, suites and in-room dining. So expect some exciting new projects for The Stafford in the years to come.
However, some stalwarts remain and are thankfully unchanged, retaining the history of The Stafford, The American Bar is a destination for any American or Canadian visiting London to reminisce about an oasis of glamour amidst the horrors of WWII – whilst the bombs were falling on London, American and Canadian officers took refuge in the bar and when the raids became too much, took shelter in the cellars.
Ben Tish has only to maintain the existing excellence of The American Bar and the loyal guests who return year after year will be satisfied. For those who have not yet experienced the unique atmosphere of The American Bar, then a treat is in store. Sitting amongst the celebrity autographs, sailing memorabilia, artefacts and photos of people who simply love the place, one can have the best cocktails in London, fantastic food and service, all carried out under the watchful eye of Bar Manager, Benoit Provost.
Gino Nardella, Master Sommelier and the table laid for guests in the 380 year old cellars of The Stafford London
Alternative dining experiences at The Stafford can be had in the 380 year old cellars which were used as an air raid shelter in WWII and there is still a museum there displaying memorabilia just abandoned by the American and Canadian officers who used The Stafford as a club during their time in London. Special parties and wine tasting can be held here to make an unusual setting for dining with wines served by The Stafford’s Master Sommelier, Gino Nardella, who we met at the previously mentioned The Stafford in the Country Experience at Cowdray House. Over 8,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines are stored here and Gino has tasted each and every wine over his forty years at The Stafford!