8 of London’s best new restaurants for wine

2. The Game Bird at The Stafford

The Game Bird opened in March of this year, offering informal dining within the grand surrounds of The Stafford Hotel in London’s St James, under the eye of decorated chef James Durrant in March. Having spent 20 years in the trade, Durrant’s previous posts include stints at Royal Hospital Road, Gordon Ramsay’s three-Michelin-starred Maze, Claridge’s, again under the tutelage of Ramsay, and again at Maze, returning as head chef working alongside Jason Atherton. In 2010 James left Maze to pursue his ambition of opening his own restaurant, temporarily working as a Private Chef for the Rothschild family, and later launching The Plough Inn in Longparish, Hampshire, in 2012, which has since closed.

The Game Bird sits alongside The Stafford’s existing private dining rooms, its 380-year-old wine cellars, and American Bar, with Durrant working closely with Master Sommelier Gino Nardella to bring its wine and food offer together. The 600-strong wine list, while vast in its scope, offers a careful balance of new and old world wines with prices ranging from a comfortable £39 Chardonnay from Chile’s Aconcagua, to a wallet-busting £3,450 for a Château Mouton-Rothschild 1982, as well as a robust by the glass offer.

The historic wine cellar’s main purpose is to house back vintages of Bordeaux, Burgundy and beyond, but at its very depths is a ‘secret’ collection of WW2 memorabilia, left behind by visiting soldiers in the 1930s and 40s, which Nardella will show you if you ask nicely.

Expert Picks

• Gosset, Grand Millesime, 2006, Champagne – France – Sparkling – £158

• Frog’s Leap, 2014, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – USA – White – £52.00

• Domaine Thibert, Saint Veran, 2014, Mâconnais – France – White – £52.50

• Armand Rousseau, 1999, Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru, Burgundy – France – Red – £765

• Cousiño Macul, Lota, 2006, Maipo Valley – Chile – Red – £98.50

Wine List Confidential overall position: 14

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