St. John Hotel: London City Centre Accommodation with Great Taste

Famous for introducing nose-to-tail eating into the general dining lexicon, St. John Restaurant is now looking after overnight guests with the same thoroughness at its St. John Hotel. You will feel comforted from head-to-toe relaxing in this sleek London city centre inn.

Our stay here was a surprise for my birthday plotted by Alex. A night at a chic hotel in your own city is a thrill. It's not everyday that I pack an overnight bag and hop on the local bus. We alighted in China Town, and walked under a canopy of festive lanterns, until we stopped before a brick frontage that belies its glamorous interior...

Outside the hotel the streets are swarming, as it's surrounded by Leicester Square and China Town, two areas of London that never seem to settle down. But as soon as we stepped inside I felt a whoosh of peace as the door closed behind us. The ground floor houses the restaurant and a small lobby where we were quickly checked in by a cherubic chap who boldly told us if we needed anything to call reception 24/7 (I refrained from testing how far they would go to live up to this).

Downstairs the decor is a classic bistro style, a white and wood colour scheme seen in all St. John establishments. But once you start to wind up the stairwell to the rooms it feels as if you're entering a cosmopolitan beach house; vibrant pool and oceanic hues illuminate the spaces.

As you step across the teal floor into the room the lack of fussiness is immediately apparent. No clunky wooden desk, or, well, much furniture at all in fact. It's simultaneously sleek and comfy.

The cupboards and sink/bath area are built into the room with precision, it all feels streamlined and more spacious than I expected. The bath area looks wrapped in a glamorous seashell; the tiny iridescent tiles bounce light around the room (see top photo). A private WC is tucked behind a door.

A flat-screen TV is encased in the wall, and a series of built-in cupboards contain closet space, fluffy robes, and a min-bar stocked with English-made Sipsmith gin and vodka; Kernel and Meantime beers, and other champion booze. 

There is no kettle in the room, but you can have tea, coffee, or anything off the restaurant menu brought to your room without any extra 'room service' fees tacked on. There were several windows in the room, which provided a good amount of natural light, and (joy!) they opened if you wanted to get some air.

The windows were sturdy, but unfortunately I don't think anything would be able to fully mute the shouts of drunken revelers I heard long into the night. It was 3am before it quieted down and I was able to sleep. I am, admittedly, a bit of a light sleeper and can't stand earplugs. Alex had no trouble snoozing. 

The views from the room offer a snapshot of Old and New London — handsomely carved rooftops face the huge glowing glass behemoth that is the new W Hotel. Below, Chinese restaurants carry on feeding crowds and drivers regret their decision to drive into central London.


After checking in, we headed downstairs to the restaurant for lunch.

Love that flooring.

While St. John are legendary for their meat work, they also turn out brilliant baked goods, fish dishes, and work magic with seasonal produce. So fellow pescetarians don't be put off by the piggy logo, go, you will eat grandly. It's hearty fare prepared with great finesse. Here are the highlights...

Fish pie and (Brussels) sprout tops in mustard butter

The pie was sensational - smoked haddock, potato and a rich saffron sauce.
Modestly named 'Bacon & Beans' - Homemade baked beans and towering cubes of bacon.
Fresh fluffy doughnuts filled with coffee creme
Lick-the-plate-good Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you'd like a tipple later there is a bar on the first floor of the hotel. We stuck our heads in when we returned from our night out on the town, but the place was full so we retired to our room where we were welcomed by a fluffed-up, turned-down bed and the soft neon glow of a city carrying on outside without us.

1 comment:

  1. Love the cool beach vibe in the big city.... where's the (heated ) pool?!?!


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