Managing to get your hands on tickets to a top West End play is a lottery. You never know when your luck is going to change.

It means I missed Andrew Scott’s Hamlet and Sienna Miller’s Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, so when I heard that Christian Slater was returning to the stage, this time in Glengarry Glen Ross, the gloves were off. I had to go.

A friend took up my cry and secured two golden tickets to what is now the surprise hit of the season. It was a good move because the critics are still raving about it and it has become a must see performance.

But where to stay? The Playhouse Theatre is situated next to the Embankment tube station, a two minute walk from Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery.

And then I remembered people raving about the recently reopened Trafalgar St James Hotel, which is within spitting distance of Nelson’s Column.

Classic but contemporary, with a wonderful brasserie style restaurant and bar, sleek rooms and a location to dimply die for, we booked in.

Arriving on a resplendent autumn afternoon, we were shown to our room which showcased an eclectic mix of funky, comfortable, contemporary and sophisticated style.

Pictures of Mick Jagger framed the bed, we had our own iPad, magazines on the separate lounge style table and views framed by the London Eye.

It was a perfect base and bolt hole. Even booking a table in the brasserie after the show at 10pm was no problem, so we got dressed leisurely and sauntered up the road to watch David Mamet’s play about greed, capitalism, and office politics; a death of a salesman pastiche which gathered pace as the characters slowly revealed their true colours, sacrificing everything for their slice of the American dream, including their morals, soul and principles. Oh and the swearing. It made Gordon Ramsay look like the Angel Gabriel. Brilliant then and well worth the trip.

But instead of trooping back to Oxford and trying to catch the last train home, we were in the wonderful position of sitting down for dinner on the blue velvet banquettes to dine from the wonderfully refreshing menu.

Zesty, international, light. inclusive, we tried the sardines and the courgette fritters with broad beans and tahini, which were tiny hot soft balls of middle eastern heaven. The burrata with tomatoes was fairly self explanatory, washed down with a pineapple and champagne house cocktail.

Then salads and sides - goats cheese with broad bean cucumber, avocado, mustard seeds and halloumi. Shaved artichokes with rocket and a lemon dressing, a dessert of rhubarb tart and almond ice cream and a buttermilk panna cotta. It was relaxed but stylish dining.

Then up to the rooftop, a new open air bar with some of the best views of London, staffed by some well wrapped up mixologists proffering cocktails and guest blankets, as we sat and marvelled at the views and the experience.

It’s the little things at St James’ that make all the difference; the thoughtfulness, the attention to detail. Professional but fun.

We finally retired and folded ourselves into our incredibly comfortable beds, sleeping like logs.

Waking in a hotel of this calibre means only one thing ‘breakfast’. A wonderful selection which included Nutella croissants, yoghurts, breads, cheese, cereals and juices, with a further menu offering everything from bacon and maple syrup pancakes to Benedict Arnold omelettes with cheese and smoked haddock or a full fry up.

Leaving our bags at the hotel reception we dived straight into The National Gallery opposite to see the Degas exhibition; a magnificent retrospective of the famous French painter’s work. A real treat. Then the Pre Raphaelites as informed by Van Eyck, from Hunt and Burne Jones to Rossetti and Millais. And then home from Embankment to Paddington, and back in Oxford within an hour.

And all that was packed into 24 hours. It’s not difficult if you know how. Or you know where to stay.

The Trafalgar St James

2 Spring Gardens, London


Rooms from £315

Glengarry Glen Ross runs until Feb 2018.

Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites runs until April 2018. Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell runs until May 2018.