Villandry, W1W 5QB
- 020 7631 3131
- 170 Great Portland Street, W1W 5QB
- 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; closed Sun (bar) / noon-3pm, 6pm-10:30pm Mon-Sat; 11:30am-3:30pm Sun (restaurant) / 8am-10pm Mon-Sat; 9am-4pm Sun (food shop)
A restaurant, cafe/bar and food shop, all in one premises on Great Portland Street not too far south of the Tube station.
There are several entrances to this building, the largest being the food shop. This section has a number of different counters, most of them operational mainly at lunchtime when the shop is busiest, though in the morning there's a large range of pastries and breads, as well as a counter for coffees; prices are around £1.50 for a muffin. Food at lunchtime is dispensed by weight, with various options (meat and vegetarian, hot and cold). The rest of the store is loaded with deli items, on shelves along the walls, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Ewan has sampled the food here on several occasions over the years and aside from being on the pricey side, it's all been good quality.
Another door leads into the restaurant area, which overlooks Great Portland Street and serves a largely French menu, with a corresponding range of predominantly French wines.
Behind the food shop is a bar/cafe area, where breakfast is served in the mornings (the same menu is served in the restaurant at the front), and with a more informal lunch and dinner menu. Small tables and chunky wooden furniture dominate this space. There are also newspapers available. Ewan visited in November 2010 for breakfast, and tried the full English breakfast (£10), which aside from omitting beans, was full of good quality ingredients cooked well. The strips of bacon were crispy on the edges, but entirely free of any fat or grease. Along with this came a sausage and two eggs laid on top of a large slice of toast, and some expertly grilled tomatoes. A successful breakfast, if on the pricey side, as drinks needed to be ordered separately (though the black coffee was fine, and served with a small jug of warm milk).
Sitting in the restaurant area for breakfast in July 2011, Ewan tried the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (£8.50) photo, which was excellent quality, with nice rich scrambled eggs complemented by plenty of good quality smoked salmon. Again, a pricier breakfast than similar ones available nearby, but making up for it in the quality of the ingredients and the cooking.
A larger space for more diners is in the back of the building (and is also available for private bookings), with an entrance opening onto Bolsover Street.