Online Editor, Simon Wittenberg, ventures to the heart of St.James in London to experience Quaglino’s newly-updated Q Brunch for a Saturday.
From the roadside on Bury Street, a stone’s throw away from the Ritz and Green Park, Quaglino’s has a very ordinary and unassuming entrance with no hint as to the splendour that lies behind it on the lower floors. This ballroom-cabaret-type venue is actually steeped in history and dates back to 1929 when it was opened by the Italian restaurateur, Giovanni Quaglino. It was then refurbished and re-launched by Sir Terence Conran back in the 1990s and is now fully owned by D&D London who spent millions renovating it in 2014.
On the mezzanine level, there is a separate bar and private dining rooms, which is where we indulged in some peanuts and welcome drinks which took the form of a virgin Colada and a fruit punch. The cocktail and spirits menu is extensive, but the bartenders are more than happy to concoct something for you if you have a penchant for a certain beverage.
After sipping on our crushed ice-heavy mocktails, whilst taking in the atmosphere of this impressive art deco building which can seat around 250 during a single sitting, our host led us down the grand amber central staircase past the impressive cheese trolley. This admittedly did catch my eye, and later ended up proving a temptation too hard to resist during our visit.
Staffed by around 100 people at a time, Quaglino’s is an all-day venue which is open from around 11:30 all the way through until midnight, and therefore the eatery attracts a differing demographic during this period. In fact, Saturday brunch seems to draw the likes of young couples and countless tables of women, with the male species significantly outnumbered. Also, depending on the day that you head to Quaglino’s, the menu does vary, so it’s worth taking a look at their website before deciding when to go.
From what we saw, it’s a massively popular restaurant, and coupled with the live beats of the DJ on the ‘stage’, it does get noisy as it fills up, so Quaglino’s is not really ideal for those looking to have more intimate conversations.