Tuesday, July 27, 2010

St John Bread and Wine, Spitalfields

St John Bread and Wine, Spitalfields is an offshoot from the awardwinning St John Bar and Restaurant restaurant in Smithfield which I rather like.  Both are run by Fergus Henderson who's a big believer in nose to tail eating and has created what's regarded by many as a bit of a foodie favourite.

The Smithfield Restaurant opened in 1994 and is located in a former smokehouse.  It's rather splendid for not looking at all like other restaurants and it also has a menu quite unlike other restaurants.  This is the restaurant to go when you want to experiment with food you've never eaten before like chitterlings and trotter!  Last time I was there, there were rather a lot of "people off the telly" dining there except the only one person whose name I could remember was Sir John Birt
Tim Hayward (The Guardian's food blogger on Word of Mouth) spent the morning with Fergus at St. John recently preparing, cooking, and eating a pigs' head.
See also The Guardian - Word of Mouth Blog live web chat with Fergus Henderson

Sketch of St Johns Bread and Wine, Spitalfields
Brunch - St Johns, Spitalfields 
11.5" x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
However, the focus of the Spitalfields branch of the St. John empire (see above sketch) is on baking the bread for this cafe restaurant and the one in Smithfield.  It's at 94-96 Commercial Street London E1 6LZ and is on the same side of the road as located right across the road from the old Spitalfields Market (now a very buzzy traders and arts market)

St John Bread and Wine opens for breakfast and progresses through elevenses to lunch and then supper.  In fact one could actually stay all day.  Tracy Emin who lives in Spitalfields did just that and has written a review of St John Bread and Wine - although  to be honest I can't out whether this review is by her or whether the site is compiled by a fan of Tracey.  There again it could be both!

I was there with my drawing group and as they got up to go and sketch in and around Spitalfields Market I decided to sit and have another cup of coffee and do a quick sketch.  It turned out to be a bit longer than a quick sketch as people came and went - and I never left until it was time to meet up for lunch!

What I really liked about it was that it has all white walls so I had to find the colours in the shadows.  I also very much enjoyed the matrix effect of the kitchen area - and the fact that all the chefs and kitchen staff came out to eat their meal in the restaurant before the lunch trade got going.

The chap who writes the Spitalfields Life blog has done a review of Hot Cross Buns from St John

I see from their website that they're opening a hotel at 1 Leicester Street, London WC2H 7BL in the bulding where Manzi's Fish Restaurant used to be in October.  I'm sure I shall find time to pay it a visit when gallery visiting!

The above sketch is of course another addition to my Interior Landscapes collection of sketches of places where people eat and drink. 


  1. I was sitting here drooling until you mentioned 'pigs head', Katherine! Wonderful sketch and I'm sure your enthusiasm for the restaurant will bring in more artistic types.

  2. Great sketching Katherine...surely a plce I'd love to be!

  3. I really appreciate your use of CP. Each piece is so skillfully done and easy to love. You keep the color fresh while using exceptional design to guide my eye.


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