Sanctum Soho Hotel’s No.20 Restaurant for Breakfast – review

Sanctum Soho Hotel is in the heart of London’s West End. Two Georgian townhouses have been converted into a striking 30-bedroom boutique hotel. It’s right between Regent Street and the iconic Carnaby Street, now lined with trendy clothes shops rather than the ethnic emporia of the 60s. The dark wood doors of Sanctum welcome the visitor to a small lobby and then into a bright and unique restaurant called no.20. Well, the hotel address is 20 Warwick Street so I guess that name is no surprise. Sanctum Soho is the brainchild of Concept Venues’ Mark Fuller. That company specialises in classy establishments in London, outside the capital and beyond these shores.

Sanctum Soho
The restaurant interior is designed by Lesley Purcell and it’s a vision in almost 1940s style, oak floors and red columns decorated with glowing glass rods. Gold leather-buttoned banquettes and dark maroon patent crocodile-upholstered chairs seat the dining area guests, while plush crimson fabrics await those prefering to linger by the bar. No. 20 has 60 covers but the design assures privacy. The restaurant presents just a hint of the theme of the hotel in general: Glamour. This hotel just cries out to have guests from the A-list and ‘names’ looking for a central retreat.

We were there for breakfast and settled ourselves comfortably behind a large linen-laden table. It’s the best and most important meal of the day and it was comforting to find sensible breakfast foods. Heinz Baked Beans are not often seen on smart menus but here they were and I was pleased to see that. At least this restaurant takes note of what people really eat in the mornings. Bagel with Lox and Cream Cheese always makes a great breakfast and I am sure guests from New York will appreciate their inclusion.

Sanctum Soho cheese breakfast A stack of Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon and Maple Syrup was my guest’s choice. The combination of sweet and salty – fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon – contrasting tastes and textures, is always satisfying, and at its best when made by someone other than oneself at such an early hour.

I ordered the Continental Breakfast. This was not the typical French breakfast which most often consists of a croissant or, always to my horror, French bread and butter dunked into hot milky coffee. A big café crème is a welcome start to the day, but sans globules of grease from the aforementioned buttered French stick.

Thankfully the continental morning repast at No.20 nods to those European countries to the north and east of La Belle France, where a more substantial spread is the norm. I started with granola, said to be toasted at those very No.20 coordinates, and it was a substantial helping. Next was a plate of three cheeses and cured meats. When I say ‘plate’ I mean a dinner plate! Fresh fruit was also part of my selection and it was delivered on a twin of the previous platter. Apple, berries, oranges made a colourful tapestry and added a noble and healthy air to the meal. This uncharacteristic consideration for fitness did not last long, as croissants also had my name on them.

Sanctum Soho fruit No.20 is an attractive restaurant with a menu which offers something for everyone. Plenty for those who treat their bodies as temples, lots for those with moderate appetites, and the rest of us can graze on tempting traditional fry-ups and sweet treats. The prices are reasonable for such a location and Sanctum offers a memorable experience, with the possibility of your morning toast being delivered by a waitress who might shortly be serving a rock star. It’s that kind of place. I’ll be back for dinner.

No. 20 restaurant opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 6.30am – 11.00am
Sunday 7.00am – 11.00am

Sanctum Soho Hotel, 20 Warwick Street, Soho, London W1B 5NF

Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6102
Fax: +44 (0)207 434 3074


Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018


Read reviews of other Breakfast restaurants here