The Charlotte Street Hotel, Fitzrovia
15 - 17 Charlotte Street
020 7806 2000
by Blake Pudding
To the Eagle Bar and Diner on Rathbone Place for a power breakfast with Time Out's literary supremo John O' Connell. It was closed. I think Bar and Diner is a bit of a misnomer if they are not going to serve breakfast in the morning. We hot-footed it instead to the Charlotte Street hotel, where we had suffered some not terribly good breakfast the year before at the hands of the off-hand staff. And would you believe it but we had the same waiter.
I ordered scrambled eggs on toast with bacon. For some peculiar reason the toast arrived long before the eggs and bacon. The bacon was top quality and cooked to perfection but my scrambled eggs tasted like they had been sitting on the hot plate for some time. When I pointed this out to the waiter he shrugged, admitted it was so and smiled in what I am sure he thought was a disarming fashion. He then proceeded to charge me full price for everything with service. This place was about a quarter full of customers and half full of smiling Antipodean staff yet it was impossible to catch anyone's eye.
John thought his pancakes with maple syrup were excellent but was as appalled as I was by the service. It is a shame that the excellent ingredients, good cooking and convivial environment are let down by waiters who think they can avoid working by overdoing the laid-back charm.