Ahhh, Soho. There really is no place like it. Oozing with charisma, elegance, and a just a little bit of mischief; the area is a treasure trove, filled to the brim with some of London’s best-loved restaurants.
One of the very shiniest of Soho gems is Quo Vadis. This beloved central London restaurant and private members club has been showing Londoners a good time for almost a century now and continues to be the epitome of old-school Soho.
The history of Quo Vadis
Known as ‘The Great Dame of Dean Street’, the building in which Quo Vadis resides has some pretty impressive historic credentials. Not only was it previously home to a notorious Soho brothel; it was also home to revolutionary activist and philosopher, Karl Marx. It is said that Marx began writing one of his most famous books, Das Kapital, in one of the upstairs rooms. His residency is commemorated with a London County Council blue plaque. It was also down to its association with Marx that earnt the building its Grade I Listed status in 1970.
It wasn’t until 1926 that the building was founded as a restaurant by Peppino Leoni. A billboard advertising a popular film of the time inspired the name. Quo Vadis translates as ‘where are you going?’ – a question to which the answer should always be Quo Vadis, of course.
In the past century, the restaurant has been passed down through various capable hands. Marco Pierre White and Damien Hirst were the owners in the late-nineties and early-noughties but it is now run by Sam Hart and Crispin Somerville; the same dream team that run the likes of Barrafina, El Pastor, and Parrillan.
Another sparkly award in Quo Vadis’ metaphorical trophy cabinet comes from chef, Gordon Ramsay. He previously named it as his favourite restaurant, describing the owners as “restauranteurs in the fullest sense of the word”. High praise, indeed.
Nowadays, Quo Vadis is London restaurant royalty; beloved by critics, customers, locals and London day-trippers alike. Head chef, Jeremy Lee, serves up deliciously indulgent takes on classic British cuisine, with an all-day menu worth every last bit of the hype it receives.
So, where are you going? Quo Vadis, of course.
Find out more and plan your visit here.