Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Quo Vadis? Not To This New Soho Bar Again, If I Can Help It

By Laura Collins.

Having not mastered the art of speaking Latin, I didn’t realise Quo Vadis meant “Where are you going?” When I found out, I couldn’t believe the irony. I would never give Quo Vadis restaurant and the newly fashioned QV Bar - the latest joint to be launched on London’s renowned Dean Street - as my answer to that very question. Quo Vadis and its new adjoining bar are not the type of place I would rush back to, if I’m honest. Oh, the power of hindsight.

Initially, when I was invited to cocktails and canapés for the launch of QV Bar, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to take a sneaky peak. Making up part of the restaurant and private members’ club, Quo Vadis, the QV Bar is the latest offering from Sam and Eddie Hart. I had high hopes for the place but I couldn’t help but feel my visit was somewhat of an anti climax.

The QV Bar is open to everyone and although there was a mixed crowd inside, it seemed much better matched to well dressed city types; suited and booted males to be exact. With a cream and green old-fashioned theme, the place seemed more like a plush men’s club than a bar to be frequented by a younger, lighter hearted clientele.

That being said, the bar’s interior was still grand, if rather uninspiring. The canapés and cocktails were much the same too, and sadly there didn’t seem to be much of a choice. Unfortunately for the QV Bar, I took a good friend along for the (non-existent) ride, and she is a vegetarian. From the canapés we were served, she could eat just one: chips with garlic mayonnaise, although this bore more of a resemblance to butter.

Also, to make things worse, I could only eat the chips as well. The sharing plates for our table were placed in front of our unknown neighbours; two males who seemed to think all the food was for them and therefore did not appear too keen to share. This is not necessarily a negative for QV Bar but perhaps an indication of the kind of custom it will expect.

The daily £5 ‘oyster hour’ deal (5.30-6.30pm daily), however, is certainly a draw and would mean absolutely no sharing necessary!

Although open to all, QV Bar is just like the rest of Quo Vadis and has private members’ club written all over it. That, obviously, isn’t a bad thing and as well as having a pleasant air and an attractive oyster hour, the place does have a certain grandeur which is bound to attract a crowd with class; a crowd that would definitely be answering “Quo Vadis” when asked “quo vadis?”

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