Classic Cafes: Bloomsbury Restaurant

Enclaves of the '50s & 60s


Bloomsbury Restaurant: The Brunswick Centre is a vast, brutalist housing estate slap in the centre of London opposite the Russell Square tube station. Arranged in a series of stepped apartment complexes the entire block has fallen into the sort of cataclysmic disrepair that is endemic amongst British inner-city housing projects: a cluster of 'windswept' concourses; boarded up shops... and, of course, the obligatory 'community' artists walk-in centre...lying empty. One of the few reasons to visit this once-visionary cradle of concrete-cancer on the verges of Fizrovia is the fine Renoir cinema but the Bloomsbury Restaurant opposite has some redeeming internal features that warrant a look. Though the fake brick wallpaper is repellent, the booth seating is cheerfully redolent of some lost motorway caff circa 1968. It's also open seven days a week with a wide choice of cheap grills.

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