The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Villandry, Fitzrovia

170 Great Portland Street
020 7631 3131

by Hashley Brown

Gracie Spoon and I had much to catch up on: I'd ungraciously missed her birthday party, and she'd just walked the Camino de Santiago. It had been too long, and these things needed a good airing. Seeing as she'd just returned from walking the holy path of St James, what better place then to breakfast than that mecca for Fitzrovian acolytes, Villandry?

Villandry is one of those emporium type places where due to the total absence of price labels and the overabundance of tins of cassoulet, everything seems inordinately expensive. It's also always full of genteel ladies taking tea. In reality, it is inordinately expensive (a tenner for the full english), but then they have nice thick napkins, so everything balances out in the end.

Sadly the food didn't quite match up to the napkins - yet again a case of good ingredients sloppily chargrilled (see The Oxford). Correct me if I'm wrong but there seems to be an alarming trend in the high end deli business lately of sticking everything on the chargrill until it is a) dry and lifeless (bacon/toast) or b) unappetisingly blackened (tomatoes/sausage). And today the mushrooms tasted unnervingly cheesy. And, the staff seemed to have been employed for surliness over attentiveness.

I fear that had we splashed out a little further and visited the real Chateau Villandry (the last of the Renaissance Loire Valley chateau, built 1532) they would not have been so cavalier in their chargrilling. But then again, dear Gracie and I may never have discovered our shared fear of cassoulet.


Blogger Tim F said...

I was once fired in Villandry. I wasn't working there; my boss asked me to meet him for breakfast. I should have seen it coming, because he'd chosen exactly the same location to fire my predecessor.

He paid.

And yes, the staff are dicks, mostly.

3:02 PM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was fortunate enough to be taken to the Villandry by Corin Flakes for a birthday breakfast this week. I had a wonderful fruit salad with yoghurt and honey and Corin had a perfect bacon sarnie. The staff were friendly, the food arrived promptly, the orange juice was freshly squeezed and the coffee strong. Maybe we just went on a good day.

4:01 PM, August 18, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to think that Villandry has the best breakfast in London

4:16 PM, October 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I returned to Villandry yesterday for a work related engagement and yes the breakfast was better but the staff still unfriendly.

Quite how taking my plate away from me even before I had taken the last bite of my bacon sarnie could be considered anything other than rude is beyond me.

11:00 AM, April 07, 2007  
Blogger lil star said...

Villandry is ok if you can get over the staff. I have yet to have a meal there where they got the bill correct (out of 5 brunches, 2 teas and one dinner, must be a record!). The food is very good though, once they get the order right and remember to serve it (instead of letting it get cold on the counter). I've only had one time when the bread seemed a bit dense, but the service was all over the place that morning, so maybe they had an emergency or upset of some sort.

4:16 PM, June 03, 2007  

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