In early 2017, The Stafford London in St James’s will relaunch its restaurant under the helm of recently appointed Executive Chef, James Durrant. In the finest traditions of classic British hospitality epitomised by The Stafford, The Game Bird will celebrate the very best of British cooking, but with innovative, modern touches, in a relaxed atmosphere with exceptional service.
James Durrant comes to The Stafford with a wealth of experience from over 20 years at Michelin-starred restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road and Claridge’s. For five years, he was Executive Chef at Jason Atherton’s Maze and Maze Grill before relocating to Hampshire with his family in 2010 to open his own venture, The Plough Inn in Longparish, which was awarded a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand and where his main course was chosen for the banquet on BBC2’s Great British Menu 2014.
The Game Bird’s menus will make full use of the diverse produce of Great Britain and its surrounding oceans: Clarence Court Eggs, Orkney sea scallops, Salt Marsh mutton and Lincolnshire smoked eel – to name a few. With a nod to the chef’s Cheshire upbringing, there will be a changing selection of Pies, Puddings & Stews such as Salt Marsh Mutton Lobscouse and Steak and ale steamed suet pudding, while a traditional Sunday roast will be served from a trolley with “gravy and all the trimmings”. Unsurprisingly, given the restaurant’s name, British game will also feature, with dishes such as Roast grouse, bread sauce and game chips; Rhug estate fallow deer tartar, quail egg, Worcester sauce, and charcoal mayonnaise and Wood pigeon pot au feu; as well as Game pie with port and short crust pastry.
In addition, a dedicated oyster menu will showcase British Isles varieties including Jersey, Colchester, Dungarvan, Lindisfarne and West Mersea, and a bespoke trolley of the finest smoked and cured fish which will be served straight to guests’ tables, with garnishes of horseradish, cucumber and dill pickles, mustard dressing, crème fraîche, and rye bread, while luxurious Oscietra and Keta caviar will also be available.
As well as the many game dishes seen on the menus, the name of the restaurant also pays playful homage to The Stafford’s famous former resident, Nancy Wake, an eccentric female spy who frequented the in-house American Bar during the Second World War and who resided at the hotel during her final years.
The restaurant will undergo an extensive redesign that shows off the original seventeenth century features of the building, clean lines of marble and glass, and the natural hues of leather and traditional wood panelling will be complimented by a palette of brightly coloured velvets.
Speaking of the opening, Durrant said: “I am excited to be returning the Capital with the opportunity to redevelop the culinary offering within one of London’s most iconic luxury hotels. The Game Bird will offer classic British dishes with contemporary touches that I believe will perfectly complement the history of the property.”
Stuart Procter, General Manager of The Stafford, commented: “The Stafford represents the height of informal luxury and exceptional service, qualities that will provide the perfect backdrop for The Game Bird. James and the upcoming launch of The Game Bird signal an exciting new chapter for the hotel, and we are all so excited to share the experience with our clients.”
The Game Bird at The Stafford will take its place alongside the hotel’s existing private dining rooms, 380-year-old working wine cellars, and the award-winning American Bar, with Durrant working together with Bar Manager Benoit Provost, and Master Sommelier Gino Nardella, to elevate and perfect the culinary offering at the hotel. The restaurant will open in early 2017, with further details to be announced in due course.