The Balcon at Sofitel St James:
Is there a better way to start the day than with a hotel breakfast?
The soft-voiced server gently asks you how you’d like your coffee.
‘Triple espresso with eight sugars?’
‘Of course sir, no problem, and you must try our selection of pastries, cold cuts and cereals. And would sir like anything hot?’Fortunately for me my fantasy is about to turn into reality as I’ve been asked to review breakfast at The Balcon, the very glam restaurant that is part of the Sofitel London St James hotel that sits with its entrance on Pall Mall. I’m a habitué of the hotel bar modelled on Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment but have never eaten at The Balcon which is offering an exciting sounding new breakfast and brunch menu.The headline act is a poached lobster and caviar omelette with potato hash and 22-carat gold leaf. It will set you back £50 but hey, it’s got gold leaf in it. We decide not to go down that road enticing as it sounds and settle on a couple of drinks to ease us into the menu. A Bloody Mary expertly made to my order and a delicious Bellini for my friend.It’s difficult to know what to choose. As well as a handsome looking Continental buffet there is a variety of healthy looking granolas and porridges. But when you’ve started the day with a Bloody Mary it felt appropriate to choose from the wonderful selection of hot food. Options include an old-school fry-up with a veggie option, crab or smoked haddock Kedgeree, The Balcon Bap with streaky bacon, sausage and a fried egg, grilled kippers and much more. In the end, I went for poached Clarence Court eggs, which had an amazing orange yolk, with chorizo, crushed avocado, and rocket sitting provocatively on crumpets slathered with a luscious béarnaise sauce.My friend chose smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on sourdough – great alliteration and great quality salmon and creamy eggs.As well as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies there’s a wide choice of hot beverages but a breakfast like this needs good coffee and unsurprisingly it was. My fresh mint tea came in a beautiful Chinese teapot.Whilst waiting for our egg dishes we investigated the fabulous selection of freshly baked croissants, pains au chocolat, pastries, mufﬁns, cakes and bread served with homemade jams and Beillevaire butter. I can report that the pains au chocolat were light and buttery with a deliciously rich chocolate filling.There was also a fab choice of cereals yoghurts, charcuterie, Sussex smoked salmon and smoked ﬁsh, fresh fruit, wafﬂes and pancakes but we were too full to indulge.The Balcon is well worth a visit for breakfast or brunch so if you’re in the West End and are having a business meeting, hooking up with friends or going out for a special treat you should give it a try. I’m working hard on finding reasons to return to sample the gold leaf, lobster and caviar omelette!
The Balcon is also running special new menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve created by critically acclaimed chef Matt Greenwood, reflecting his elegant French style of cooking whilst using superb British ingredients. Throughout the festive period, Sofitel London St James will be decked to reflect the theme of ‘Christmas Melody’ and this musical theme will be enhanced by the live jazz band that will play during Christmas lunch and on New Year’s Eve, adding to the celebratory sense of occasion.The Balcon’s deliciously festive Christmas menu will be available on the 24th and 25th December at £100 per person, or £160 if you choose the bottomless champagne option (served for two hours from seating time). The New Year’s Eve Dinner is priced at £135 or £165 with the wine flight or £195 with the bottomless champagne option.
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Telephone: 020 7389 7820 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Pall Mall, St James’s, London SW1Y 5NG