Visitors to London are often overwhelmed by the vast choice of hotels but I can certainly recommend St Ermin's which far exceeded our expectations a couple of weeks ago .....
St Ermin's Hotel is an elegant Grade II listed Victorian building, located in a surprisingly tranquil spot in central London. It's just a couple of minutes from St James's Park tube station and close to Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
Set back from the road, as you enter the grand tree-lined courtyard you sense that this is a hotel full of history.....and I love to stay somewhere with a story to tell!
St Ermin's was originally a mansion block (serviced appartments) built for wealthy Londoners in 1889 on the site of a 15th century chapel(dedicated to St Ermin). Ten years later it was converted into a hotel by JP Briggs, a Victorian theatre architect and designer.
The lobby is glamorous and theatrical with the original curved balcony and rich plasterwork from 1899.........
I was intrigued by the hotel's dramatic and fascinating history involving wartime spies! In the 1930s and through the Second World War it was the meeting place of the British Intelligence Services.
On the left, a silk(donated by a former coder)used by agents to send messages. The silk would have been sewn inside a jacket.
It was here in 1940 that Winston Churchill held a meeting to form the Special Operations Executive. An entire floor of the hotel became their headquarters where they carried out covert operations during World War II and two floors up MI6 had their base.
Our room was stylish with soft furnishings in lovely textures and patterns.....in gorgeous chartreuse and cranberry .....and toiletries from The White Company (a very good choice!)
So many thoughtful touches.......including a bank of international sockets and fresh milk available .....
I was impressed with the complimentary home-made biscuits which arrived with the milk too!
The staff throughout the hotel know how to make guests feel welcome and special too.
This cute corner seat and cushion in the lobby caught my eye....
Unfortunately we didn't have time to sample the St Ermin's Afternoon Tea .... I've heard that it's a very special treat - maybe next time!
Before checking out, we went up to the third floor to see the resident bees from the safety of a viewing window! The hotel is home to 200,000 Buckfast bees. The honey produced is used in various dishes in the hotel and we were able to sample it at breakfast. Now that's what you call 'locally sourced produce!'
I'm sure you will agree that St Ermin's is certainly so much more than just a place to stay in London - a very special and memorable hotel!
PS Next door to the hotel is the former Caxton Hall, now appartments but once famous as a meeting place for the Sufragettes and during the Second World War Winston Churchill gave press conferences here..
For years it was Westminster Town Hall and a popular venue for many celebrity civil marriages including Roger Moore, Barry Gibb Ringo Starr and Elizabeth Taylor........
Finally, speaking of weddings and romance.....I hope you enjoyed a few Valentine's Day treats last week!
* Heart tea light holder and confetti
* Vanilla and strawberry cupcake
(Yummy Cupcake Company)
* Cupcake stand
(Marks & Spencer)