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|Address:||160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB|
|Tel:||020 7499 6996|
|Price: £54.00||Wine: £19.75||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -3.30pm) 5.30pm-12M (Sun -11pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The Wolseley is rather like Pippa Middleton’s bottom – its come to epitomise London and be one of its biggest tourist attractions, but its also just a touch overrated and doesn’t deserve the degree of national interest it garners.
First things first and yes The Wolseley is notoriously hard to book – I managed to get a table for Friday lunch, but the earliest they could seat us was 2.15pm and even at that stage it was packed and continued to be so throughout. The tables are far, far too close together; never mind hearing everything from the people next to you, you could help yourself to their bread if you wanted and the overwhelming sensation is noise and buzz such that you have to lean forwards to hear what your friends are saying/shouting at you.
The room itself is attractive in a very old school way – it reminded me somewhat of reception at the Bank of England and feels like a trip straight back to the 1920s/1930s. Customers are a real mix – everything from the ladies who lunch, complete with Chanel bags and red soles, through hedge fund staff celebrating deals and taking the afternoon off, to tourists with fleeces and backpacks who had popped in for tea and seemed very excited about taking pictures of cakes using massive zoom lenses.
Service isn't really good enough for this sort of venue; the waiters seemed distracted and on at least a couple of occasions wandered off mid way through taking our order. At least things seem to arrive quickly and there aren’t any mistakes, so despite giving the impression they aren’t paying any attention clearly they are.
The food was a really curious mix of the rather lovely and the distinctly mediocre. I had tarragon roast chicken with mushrooms as a main course and it had the distinct air of having been reheated – everything was a bit shrivelled and dry but my friends fillet steak was rather nice. Sides of new potatoes (not boiled quite long enough), roast carrots (delicious) and broccoli with parmesan (average) were bang on trend in carrying forwards the mix of good and bad. Dessert was definitely a high point – I would happily have eaten just about everything on the menu and settled on lemon meringue ice cream which was absolutely delicious as was my friends black forest gateaux (even if it was like a small slice of 1979) – next time I go I’ll have 3 desserts!
Prices are steep – though it is Mayfair so perhaps to be expected. We got through £150 for 2 for lunch with 2 courses, water, wine and service – if it came in at £110-£120 I’d have felt a bit more warmly disposed to it.
Overall I found it disappointing – for similar money I’d rather go to Pollen Street Social as the food and atmosphere are far better, even if that is almost as hard to book.