I don’t really like going out around Charing Cross (apart from to Gordon’s, obvs). I find it too hectic and chain-y and frankly, generally not worth the effort and stress. The exception that makes this rule is Villiers which is (*fact of the day alert*) run by offspring of the people who keep us in wine and cheese at Gordon’s.
Villiers is proof that you can in fact be jack AND master of all trades. It’s open all day, every day and does breakfast, coffee & cakes, bar snacks, full meals, sandwiches & salads, cocktails, beer and wine. Its a great little space (emphasis on little) and if you can catch it when it’s not rammed (even if it is busy, it never stays too busy for too long for some reason so persevere) it’s a really nice place to have a relaxing dinner and a catch up with friends.
We didn’t have cocktails this time but from my (extensive) experience they’re delicious. It does the usual but with a bit of a retro twist, the La Gina is particularly good. The wine list is also extensive (as you would expect from the Gordon’s dynasty!) and pretty reasonably priced for the area. I’ve never been for coffee and cake but I’ve heard that the coffee is stellar and the cakes look bloody AMAZING so that’s going at the top of my ‘to do’ list!
Helen and I both had the pumpkin salad with goats cheese to start which was lovely. Not too much boring lettuce but plenty of tasty pumpkin, salty cheese and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds to give it a bit of texture. Helen had another salad for main course (the superfood salad with chicken) which she enjoyed as well but I think felt a bit salad-ed out.
I had the flat iron steak (you won’t find ME double-salading in either this life or the next) with a caesar side salad and we shared some polenta chips with gorgonzola dolce. My steak was delicious. Perfectly seasoned, beautifully rare (of course) and an absolute BARGAIN at £13. The caesar salad was fine, except it wasn’t a caesar salad which threw me a bit, but whatever. Helen didn’t like the texture of the polenta chips but I like polenta so I enjoyed them, though the sauce could have been thicker and cheesier in an ideal world.
Instead of having pudding we strolled down the Strand and went to the truly excellent Christopher’s martini bar where we proceeded to drink the BEST espresso martinis in London, and in the process spend as much on drinks as we did on dinner. Whoops…