I've been following their progress for a while. From when the scaffolding first went up outside Manzi's on Leicester Square, every day twice a day I've been peering at that facade, willing it to hurry the hell up and open. Don't get me wrong; I'm not some sort of weird restaurant stalker, it's my route to and from work. Honest.
Sadly, our early December booking was cancelled as the hotel was late to open. Similarly our January reservation. And then hooray! Finally, our day had come.
The room is very white and very simply decorated. We walked in at 8:15am, the only patrons, and it remained that way for a good half hour.
The breakfast buns had to be ordered. Served with a gorgeous yellow raspberry jam, we halved each a butter, a cinnamon and a currant bun. They were warm, flaky and incredibly decadent.
I spent a long time uhm-ing and ah-ing over boiled egg and anchovy soldiers, or Arbroath smokie with potato and egg. The latter won out. The smoked fish was worked into smooth and creamy mash, topped with buttery sauce and a perfectly poached egg. It all looked very beige until the egg was burst; rich, intensely orange yolk spilled forth. It was a matter of very few minutes before it was all hoovered up.
We sat back, replete. The menu isn't huge, what with 5 or so main items but what they do have is resolutely British, very in keeping with the St John style. At £25 a head with coffee, juice and (worthwhile) service, it's a luxury breakfast but well worth the money.
I didn't eat again until at least 2pm.
St John Hotel
1 Leicester St
Tel: 020 3301 8069