They say that London is the city that never sleeps. But all too often we stumble out of a bar or a club in search of food, only to find that everything is closed other than the local kebab shop. And it’s the same story for the early risers; we wake up craving a coffee and a mound of pancakes, but resign to the fact that it’s just not going to happen at 5 in the morning. Well night owls and early birds, we have some fantastic news for you: we’ve partnered with VQ Bloomsbury, the 24 hour bar/diner that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, whenever you want it…
VQ is quite easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. It’s located on Great Russel Street - a small side street off Tottenham Court Road - underneath the huge St Giles Hotel. It’s a big space with an impressive 45ft glass frontage, lit up by a few lamppost style lights. The interior is contemporary and understated; quirky pendant lights hang over the bar, there’s a huge range of seating options - from cosy booths to high sharing tables - and inspirational quotes decorate the walls.
We arrived at 7.30pm for dinner and the place was relatively quiet as we had expected. Its USP after all is the fact that it’s open when everything else is closed - and we’d heard it’s buzzing in the early hours of the morning.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress who poured us a glass of water and handed us menus. After little deliberation we decided to start with the crispy prawn wraps and something alcoholic. The started arrived within minutes and was very tasty; juicy prawns wrapped in crispy pastry with a sweet chilli sauce.
For mains, we decided to share the VQ Salad, the Super Burger and some sweet potato fries. I felt like we were on an episode of Man Versus Food when the dishes arrived; the burger was absolutely mammoth is size, consisting of two plump beef burgers, gooey melted cheese, a mound of caramelised onions, strips of crispy bacon, chilli con carne and a delicious mustard mayo. We dived straight in, determined to not let it defeat us, and the meat was wonderfully tender and juicy, and the sweet potato fries were deliciously crunchy.
The salad - which was both vegetarian and gluten free - was the perfect accompaniment, fresh and light, with pomegranate, feta, baby beetroot, butternut squash, mixed leaves, honey roasted pine nuts and a Dijon vinaigrette.
Though we felt ready to burst, we someone found it inside us to finish with a cheeky banoffee pie, which was everyone a banoffee pie should be: light, topped with mounds of cream, and sticky with toffee and fresh banana.
It may be a 24 hour haunt, but don’t’ get confused - it’s certainly not a magnet for the drunk and disorderly. Alcohol is served until 2am Sunday to Wednesday, and until 4am on the weekends, and after that it’s purely food - so you’ll often find businessmen tucking into a full English while reading the paper before a b big meeting first thing.
Enjoy 25% off food between 12 and 1pm with your Portico Places card.
To get your own free Portico Places card, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address and we will send a card out to you.