A stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park on St James lies the lovely boutique hotel The Stafford. Built in the 17th century as a private residence and once the London home of Lord and Lady Lyttleton, the beautiful and ornate buildings (Main House, Mews Suites, and Carriage House) have a rich history of their own.

But imbued with even more fascinating historic significance are the 380-year-old wine cellars lying beneath the Stafford. Built all the way back in the 12th century by Lord Francis Godolphin (yes, we chuckled at that name too), the cellars were utilized as an air raid shelter during the second World War.

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Today the sprawling Stafford Wine Cellars house thousands of bottles of some of the finest wines in the world, and The Stafford hosts regular tastings where guests can sample exclusive vintages in the incredibly ambient candlelit surroundings. Master Sommelier Gino Nardella has over 35 years of experience at the Stafford alone, and he lends his expertise graciously hosting bespoke wine-pairing dinners and wine tastings.

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Wine tasting experiences at The Stafford can be custom tailored to small groups or large, and adding blind tastings can be a challenging and rewarding way to foster social interactions and expand the tasters’ repertoire. Let Gino pour you a taste of something amazing, tucked away in the ancient cellars of Lord Godolphin, while above you, unknowing, the crowds rush by on St James.

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