A Day Out in… St James’s

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Nowhere feels more old London than St James’s. Defined by its four corners; St James’s Palace, The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, it lies between royal palaces and parliament, which it has been supplying with the finest of goods and services since the seventeenth century.

Today, its architectural heritage, luxury retailing and exceptional dining are the evidence of a village still very much at the centre of London life. It’s also home to some excellent Pilates…


Ten have a network of studios all over London, and this one on St James’s has just opened a beautiful new addition. A hugely diversified offering here features not just their famous reformer Pilates classes, but also TRX, HIIT, and Barre.

We started our day here, tucking, pulsing and extending our way through the hour long class with head of Barre Danilo Caruso. Tough and tiring, we left with our glutes on fire and ready for a treat…

Lower Ground Floor, 6 Duke Street St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN
Photo: The Ritz


And you can’t get much more of a treat than Afternoon Tea at The Ritz! An icon of London dining since the hotel’s grand opening in 1906, and as with St James’s as a whole, its like stepping back in time. The stunning Palm Court with all it’s glitz and glamour makes the whole thing so special. Each delectable morsel served is like a true work of art.

The experience is complete with champagne, a huge tea menu, finger sandwiches and patisserie, as well as the cake trolley… which comes wheeling round just when you think you’re full…Perhaps not the most virtuous but definitely worth it.

150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR
Photo: The Royal Academy


From typical English to the American Dream…We walked a few paces down Piccadilly to The Royal Academy of Arts. The beautiful sunny courtyard leads into the famous gallery, where we were checking out Jasper Johns ‘Something Resembling Truth’.

An honorary member of the academy, Johns is famous for his contemporary pieces using flags, numbers, maps and bulbs. The exhibition is fun and colourful, with huge stars and stripes, and pieces that are part painting, part sculpture.

Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
Photo: Jigsaw


After sitting in the sunny courtyard for a few moments we then headed for a spot of retail therapy at Jigsaw. A staple for both chic work wear and gorgeously casual things. We loved the collection “A by Jigsaw”, which launched at London Fashion Week in September.

Also great for gifts, they have curated some of the coolest home, beauty and tech items. The best bit? Book in for a complimentary styling session, where you will be totally looked after – you can even do this with friends!

22 Regent St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4PH
Photo: Anzu


The contemporary Japanese restaurant sits in the heart of St James’s Market. The newest offering from the team behind my favourite ramen, Tonkotsu, Anzu has a beautifully curated and simple menu. As with most Japanese food there are lots of light and healthy options packed with fresh fish and vegetables.

We loved the crispy dumplings and the udon pot. But the highlight? The King crab leg starter – divine and beautiful. Anzu offers a pre-theatre menu if you wanted to add on a final splash of culture to your day in St James’s.

1 Norris St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4RJ

By Ishbel

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