William’s Bar & Bistro

Address: St. James's Hotel and Club, 7-8 Park Place, London, SW1A 1LS, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7316 1600
Website: view William’s Bar & Bistro’s website
Door: Members & guests only
Style: Hotel bar
Food: Bar Snacks
Established: 2009


The St. James's Hotel and Club is another of those back street St. James's hotels, along with Dukes and The Stafford, in an area where back streets are shorthand for refined living and upper class style.

You sense the bar knows it is a young pretender compared to such neighbours - despite the hotel being able to trace its history back to 1837 and with a collection of old school A-list celebs frequenting it as guests. However, the hotel's 2009 refurbishment has given the whole place a new lease of life and the bar now boasts a glossy, polished space that feels special and looks - and is - expensive.

The bar mixes contemporary design with traditional elements: a yellow leather-clad bar and neon-ceiling overhead juxtapose with white linen-covered tables. A collection of house cocktails mix some fairly unpredictable ingredients but the bartenders are well able to mix up a decent classic or two and certainly walk the walk with five-star style. The back-bar also boasts a collection of fine old cognacs. Perhaps yet to have its own identifiable USP, we think this is definitely one to watch.