Sunday, 12 October 2014

Villandry - Great Portland Street

Villandry is a small chain of sell proclaimed ‘Grand cafes’. The Great Portland street outlet that we visited boasts 4 rooms of dining. It was pretty busy when we arrived, but despite spending a full 5 minutes on the phone the day before booking a table (the amount of details that were taken was definitely excessive), it turned out we didn’t actually have a reservation! Fortunately they managed to find somewhere for us to sit and from that point on we were bombarded with staff wanting to talk out order. I don’t mind people wanting check if you’re OK and being attentive, but this was very much a scene of unorganised chaos rather than over-hospitality.

We did manage to order and I was in need of a hearty start to my Saturday. A friend’s stag do that would continue into the early hours lay ahead. So the only choice was the English breakfast.

The décor here is as you might expect of a ‘grand café’, a French feel, with brass table tops and wicker chairs. The vibe on this Saturday morning screamed (sometimes literally) of young families and groups of friends with young children.

£11.50 = 2 organic eggs, Cumberland sausage, Portobello mushroom, roasted vine tomato, sweet cured bacon & toast. When it arrived my friend and I concurred that if we were to some up our first impressions in one word it would be ‘sparse’. I think is this partly because of the massive plate it was served on and partly because of the way they chose to present it.

Now it might sound like I’m moaning a bit here, but let me tell you, there were good things about this breakfast. The curly Cumberland was meaty and had great flavour, the eggs cooked perfectly. The tomatoes pleased me most, they well cooked and were sweet and juicy or sharp and tangy as I had feared they may be. Overall though I just wanted a bit more, some beans perhaps, black pudding maybe?

The verdict
Good quality ingredients but not the perfect fry up. Atmosphere wasn’t my bag.


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