Explore the royal treasures of St James's
2023 marks a special year, as His Majesty King Charles III was crowned as King during his coronation in May. To commemorate this historic moment – the first Coronation for 70 years - we've curated a guide to your very own royal day out, inspired by the King himself.
Home to St James’s Palace, a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and mere footsteps from several of London’s beautiful royal parks, no other location feels more fitting to plan the ultimate royal day out in London. St James’s is home to many of the Royal Family’s preferred vendors and suppliers, who hold official Royal Warrants. So, one needn’t stroll far to discover the traditions, artisans and craftspeople that continue to bring majesty and tradition to the throne. Here are our suggestions to help you plan an itinerary full of majesty.
Start your morning with a royally good breakfast at Fortnum and Mason’s 45 Jermyn Street restaurant. Pick from a fuelling favourites, such as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or a full English; or stick to the regal theme with Burford Brown Eggs Royale - all served from the Royal Warrant holder’s kitchen.
Then, stroll onto Piccadilly and step inside the main entrance of this iconic department store to stock up on Buckingham Palace-approved provisions. The 'piccalilli' is a must-try, or take away a scotch egg for later, invented right here in 1738. Make sure to look out for special keepsakes and foodie delights that form part of its limited-edition King Charles Coronation Collection.
Next, walk towards Piccadilly Circus and while away the latter half of the morning in Hatchards, the capital’s oldest bookshop. This time-honoured literary hotspot has stayed put on Piccadilly since the Georgian era and is a long-time supplier to the royal households of Britain and Europe. You’ll soon realise why, as you browse its vast collection of classic and contemporary works housed across five pretty stories.
With your literary and literal appetite whetted, it’s time to discover the brands and makers responsible for the Royal wardrobe — whether that be boots from John Lobb, shirts from Turnbull & Asser or Burberry and Barbour outerwear.
The magpies amongst us should not miss a trip to Mappin & Webb on Regent Street, Royal Warrant holder as silversmith to His Majesty. But it doesn’t end there…at present, its master craftsman, Mark Appleby, is the crown jeweller of the United Kingdom too.
Afternoon surely means only one thing… afternoon tea! There are numerous delicious options in the area, but The Ritz’s offering, served in the opulent Palm Court to the soundtrack of piano recitals, will make you feel like royalty. Enjoy, moreish scones and delicate finger sandwiches accompanied by tea recommended by its very own tea sommelier – there’s also a special option for kids to allow them to pretend to be princesses and princes.
After working your way through the sweet and savoury treats, turn right out of The Ritz and stroll down St James’s Street, walking through St James’s Palace to arrive at The Mall. No royal day out in London is complete without a nosy at Buckingham Palace. Whether you visit its State Rooms during the annual summer opening (14 July to 24 September) or prefer to take a look from the outside, catch a glimpse into life as a Royal at this iconic building. Don’t miss out on spotting St James's Park's other famous family: six pelicans, whose ancestors first made St James’s their home in 1664 during the reign of Charles II.
Before rewarding yourself with a well-earned drink, visit Berry Bros. & Rudd, the King’s purveyor of wine and spirits, for some advice on his favourite vintages. Then, it’s time to raise your glass to the King’s health at The Stafford’s American Bar – Charles would feel right at home here, with its stylish interiors and vast whisky selection. If whisky’s not your tipple, enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine from its wide-ranging menu.
Wander along Pall Mall for dinner at the environmentally focused Wild Honey St James’s. Matching the King’s ethos for sustainability, this Michelin-starred eatery aims to use only seasonal ingredients sourced from within a 400-mile radius, and even uses honey from beehives on its rooftop. By now, you might be feeling the call to bed and, thankfully, you can just head upstairs to Sofitel London St James. As with its restaurant, the hotel has green credentials, having removed all single-use plastics from its rooms and ensuring refills of its Diptyque toiletries – with more eco commitments to come. So, sleep soundly knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment as your reign — sorry, day — comes to a close.
Make sure to follow our top tips for shopping sustainably in St James’s – a cause that’s close to the King’s heart. Or find more top tips for days out in the neighbourhood, from family friendly activities to alfresco ideas.