★★★★ | VQ Restaurant – Bloomsbury

There are greasy spoon diners and then there are nice upscale diners. VQ restaurant is the later and it’s the perfect place for a meal anytime of the day.

I’ve been to the Bloomsbury location many times for dinner, but hadn’t been there yet for breakfast. So on one very sunny Sunday morning, me and a friend hopped over to Great Russell Street to experience the breakfast on offer there.

And VQ doesn’t just offer breakfast only in the mornings, it’s breakfast menu is of the 24 hour variety – so anytime you feel like eating breakfast VQ will satisfy your craving. But in the Sunday morning we went, the restaurant was very busy with a mix of tourists (The St. Giles Hotel is right upstairs), locals, singles and families, all enjoying their breakfast.

We were lucky enough to get a seat in front – their floor to ceiling windows are perfect to watch people walking by – whether tourists looking for the British Museum or healthy and fit gym bunnies going next door to the YMCA.

I desperately needed a cup of coffee, and Jessica the manager delivered it pronto. The brand was Musetti (which I’ve never seen served anywhere before), and it is a perfect blend with a nice flavor, so I ended up having two of them, black. But of course the visit was also all about the food. I had one of the most delicious omelette I’ve ever had. The Spanish Omelette had everything I wanted in an omelette (chorizo, potatoes, tomatoes and onions) and it was perfect. I asked for it to be cooked a bit well done, and that’s what I got! (That almost never happens when I order eggs – they always arrive runny!) And at £8.50, the omelette is good value because it’s quite big and very filling. My breakfast companion very much enjoyed her scrambled eggs, smoked salmon with granary toast – it was very healthy, was a generous portion, and was very inviting – and she said it was very very good! And at £9.50 – good value for the huge portion of salmon on the plate. We also decided to share the buttermilk pancakes. There were three, scotch pancake size (We were disappointed that they were not American style – very large and fluffy), but served with fruit and a large portion of bacon, they were good and adequate. It was the very lovely Monin syrup (syrup that you normally get with coffee) that, when added to the pancakes, gave the pancakes an extra flavor and a kick, and with a price tag of £7.50 it was an adequate price. Other breakfast items that might take your fancy include Bubble ’N’ Squeak (£7.95), Veggie breakfast which comes in two sizes (£6.95 and £10.95), Baps, as well as Eggs in various dishes – Benedict, Florentine, and Royale – plus don’t forget their English Breakfast (two sizes depending on how hungry you are – £7.50 or £11.50) – and you can also have them make your own omelette with ingredients of your choosing! So something for everyone. And you must must try their lovely Fruit Salad, served with yogurt & honey – it’s a massive serving at only £6.50.

If coffee or tea isn’t your thing, then perhaps try one of their breakfast cocktails. Bloody Mary £6.95, Mimosa £5.95, Punch Bellini £6.95 or a yummy Breakfast Margarita (with orange marmalade) will be the perfect starter to any meal! Of course, juices, soft drinks (and beer and wine if you fancy) are on the drinks menu as well.

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But what sets VQ apart from the other is that 1.) it’s open 24 hours, 2.) it’s in a perfect location as it’s only one minute away from Tottenham Court Road Station and 3.) the ambience is just about perfect whether you prefer to be exposed and sit in a table up front or in the middle of the restaurant or perhaps sit in one of the many private and semi-dark booths for some clandestine rendevous, and last but not least 4.) the food is absolutely delicious and the service is excellent. With three locations to chose from (including Notting Hill and the newly reopened Chelsea location), and look for an Aldgate branch coming soon.

My breakfast companion added: VQ, with its floor to ceiling windows and well spaced layout creates a light, airy ambience, whilst providing straightforward but well executed options on a varied menu. The competitive prices, well sized portions and importantly, delicious food, would certainly encourage me to revisit, and the unique selling point of the place being open 24 hours a day is a further bonus. Definitely my favourite breakfast so far in 2017.

Reviewed by Tim Baros

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Telephone: 020 7636 5888
Website: vqrestaurants.com
Email: bloomsbury@vqrestaurants.com

7am every weekday morning (8am Saturday & Sunday) until 3am on Thursday-Saturday, 1am on Monday-Wednesday and midnight on Sunday
Bloomsbury – 111A Great Russell Street London WC1B 3NQ – 020 7636 5888 – 24 hours
Chelsea – 325 Fulham Road London SW10 9QL – 020 7376 7224 – 24 hours

Photos by Samphire Communications

About the author: Tim Baros
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.