111A Great Russell Street, London
24-hour dining isn’t something we’re really accustomed to, I mean other than students, who fancies breakfast in the afternoon? Well if you are in the minority it’s no surprise really that London has you covered. There are a few establishments dotted around the capital specialising in all-day-all-night dining, a few of them by the name of VQ (Vingt-Quatre) french of course for 24.
I was watching a guide to London by Gordon Ramsay which listed some great hidden gems. At the very end of the video, Ramsay recommends a place on the Fulham Road, a branch of VQ, for one of the best breakfasts in the capital at any time you fancy it. Handy for a chef. After comparing reviews of the various outlets of VQ we settled on the Bloomsbury location just beside Tottenham Court Road station.
On the approach to the diner the first impressions were very positive. The place looks smart, inviting and nothing like a traditional greasy spoon – more of a sleek, swish place you can picture the likes of Ramsay enjoying his Eggs Florentine and a cappuccino. It’s hard to really recommend a peak time or quiet time to avoid or arrive at as this place does breakfast all day and serves lunch on the day menu and dinner onwards from the night menu.
The place certainly doesn’t lack ambition. The menu’s are extensive and even stretch to afternoon tea between 3-6pm at a very modest £4.50 ($6 US). Alcohol is served between 8am-2am (Thursday-Saturday until 4am) making VQ a tidy option after a night out wherever you happen to end up in the capital.
We weren’t after booze or lunch, we came for the breakfast. The waiting staff were friendly and gave us the pick of the free tables. We chose the table right beside the large front window for a view of London in motion while we enjoyed our food. The menu is a great size with many tempting breakfast favourites. After much deliberation we settled on Egg’s Benedict at £8,95 ($11.94 US) and Belgian Waffles at £6.95 ($9.27 US)..
Drinks here are insane value for London. A Macchiato and an orange juice were just £2 ($2.66 US) each, the Macchiato did come in a small cup but was really good quality for the price. The only slight negative at this point was getting the attention of the staff as by now the place had filled up with a large group and couples out for a late breakfast or early lunch.
The waitress gave me an option of ham or bacon on my Benedict, i just couldn’t turn down bacon so on it went! The food actually arrived incredibly quickly but cooked freshly and presented beautifully. The egg’s on my dish were cooked perfectly with a runny yolk. The bacon wasn’t over crispy which is always good and the hollandaise was decent. I’d recommend it.
The Waffles were sweet but with a little too much cream although the fresh fruit made up for that. We sat watching other people ordering then diving into their chosen dishes, all of which looked tempting and of decent size portions. After finishing off our breakfast getting the bill wasn’t a problem and neither was the price – £24.07 ($32.01 US) overall which we were happy with.
Did VQ blow us away? Not particularly but that said it is a place that serves its purpose – decent food at a decent price at a decent time. If you’re stuck for an option late at night after a long flight or if you’re self catering at a nearby hotel then VQ is an ideal way to start your day. The Egg’s Benedict that I had were the large size serving but you can have a single egg serving with the hollandaise, ham/bacon and muffin for £4.95 ($6.60 US) if you’re on a budget or not as hungry.
Opening times: Daily 24 Hours
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern Line)