The Wolseley

Afternoon tea, Central European, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of The Wolseley

Gold Award

“Always an excellent dining experience”, says a happy reader, one of many who return “time and time again” to this delightful stalwart of the London restaurant scene. Part of the Corbin & King stable, which also includes The Delaunay and Brasserie Zédel (among others), The Wolseley follows in the tradition of European grand cafés, with a flexible menu that works “whatever the hour or day”. 

Breakfast is always an event, with an extensive choice including grilled kippers with mustard butter, eggs Benedict, a full English and our all-time favourite: fried haggis and duck egg, although there are also virtuous fruit and muesli options, impeccable pastries – and a complementary newspaper.

As the day progresses, you might lunch on smoked duck salad, dressed Cornish crab, steak tartare or coq au vin, or maybe drop in for a decadent Champagne afternoon tea with fruit scones, jam and clotted cream – “all served with great style and panache”, though we prefer the Monday-Friday, suited-and-booted Mayfair vibe to touristy weekends. (It is brilliantly located for the Royal Academy, National Gallery, Bond Street and Buckingham Palace.)

There are top-notch dinners to be had, too, with recent highlights including plump little Isle of Skye queen scallops in a sweet and zesty lemon and herb dressing, classic calf’s liver and bacon with creamy mash and sauce Robert, and a gut-busting banana split with butter chocolate sauce – as well as dishes such as wiener schnitzel and chopped liver that pay lip-service to the Mitteleuropean inspiration.

A brigade of slick staff perform perfectly choreographed service around the dramatically handsome, high-ceilinged room, which attracts a chattering mix of regulars, creatives, celebs and shoppers. Yes, it’s buzzy and loud (“in a good way”), but that just adds to the fun, notes one visitor. In short, we’re in agreement with the fan who reckons this is “the number one brasserie in London”.

Good to know

Spend SquareMeal Smart Vouchers
Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Afternoon tea, Central European, Modern European
Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celeb spotting, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


It’s hard to imagine a more iconic London dining destination than The Wolseley, a restaurant that feels as though its existence makes up part of the very fabric of the city.

The iconic site of 160 Piccadilly began its story when it was commissioned in 1921 by Wolseley Motors Limited to English architect William Curtis Green, their desire was to create a prestigious car showroom that exuded luxury and grandeur. Marble pillars and archways teamed with Venetian-inspired details left an impressive finish, but alas the cars did not sell quickly enough and in 1926 the company went into bankruptcy. Barclays Bank took over the site in 1927 but it wasn’t until 2003 that the building was sympathetically renovated, throwing open its doors as the grand cafe-restaurant destination that we find today. It turns out that the showroom features work just as well as a backdrop to some of the city’s most ritzy dining, adding a bit of good old-fashioned drama to proceedings.

Breakfast brings iconic dishes to the table by way of eggs any way you can think of, hand-made Viennoiserie, piles of pancakes and signature house dishes like the bubble and squeak with a fried egg or the delicately spiced kedgeree which by now benefits from a legendary status. Lunch and dinner centres around hearty serves like steaks, schnitzels and cheese savouries – including a very good Welsh Rarebit. If you happen to find yourself dining after-hours, the late-night menu does a very good job in quashing any before-bed hunger with a fun line-up of everything from burgers and omelettes through to ice cream coupes and banana splits, for a fittingly nostalgic nod to dessert.

Known for its unique combination of spectacular design, classic food and seamless service, The Wolseley, part of The Wolseley Hospitality Group, remains an iconic and popular choice for both Londoners and tourists alike. 

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Is there a dress code?

No, there's no official dress code. Most guests choose to wear smart casual attire.

Helpful? 0

Is afternoon tea available?

Yes, there's an afternoon tea menu. Choose between a simple scone with cream, jam and a hot drink or plump for the full experience with a three tiered tea stand piled with sandwiches, cakes and scones.

Helpful? 0

Is there a breakfast menu?

Yes, it's famous for its breakfast menu which includes home-made Viennoiserie, eggs any way you like and signature dishes like the restaurant's famous kedgeree.

Helpful? 0

This venue also offers

The Wolseley
Private Group Dining

The Wolseley

The Wolseley
Christmas Parties

The Wolseley


160 Piccadilly, St James's, London, W1J 9EB

020 7499 6996 020 7499 6996


Opening Times

Mon 07:00-11:30
Tue 07:00-11:30
Wed 07:00-11:30
Thu 07:00-11:30
Fri 07:00-11:30
Sat 08:00-11:30
Sun 08:00-11:30
Mon 11:30-15:30
Tue 11:30-15:30
Wed 11:30-15:30
Thu 11:30-15:30
Fri 11:30-15:30
Sat 11:30-15:30
Sun 11:30-15:30
Afternoon Tea
Mon 15:00-18:30
Tue 15:00-18:30
Wed 15:00-18:30
Thu 15:00-18:30
Fri 15:00-18:30
Sat 15:30-18:30
Sun 15:30-18:30
Mon 17:30-23:00
Tue 17:30-23:00
Wed 17:30-23:00
Thu 17:30-23:00
Fri 17:30-23:00
Sat 17:30-23:00
Sun 17:30-22:00
All day
Mon 11:30-23:00
Tue 11:30-23:00
Wed 11:30-23:00
Thu 11:30-23:00
Fri 11:30-23:00
Sat 11:30-23:00
Sun 11:30-22:00


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86 Reviews 

Hannah M

25 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 3.5

Cane here on Saturday to celebrate a birthday. The food and service was amazing. 

Hannah M

25 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 3.5

Cane here on Saturday to celebrate a birthday. The food and service was amazing. 

John W

16 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Excellent all round, my most favourite restaurant on London

Scott G

03 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 2
Service 2
Atmosphere 4
Value 1
Bland and expensive food with hit and miss service

Disappointed. The food was over handled and oddly bland. The service was hit and miss. We ordered cocktails which took a long time to arrive, and in the meantime, we felt hassled for our food order!

One of the cocktails tasted odd.

The restaurant is certainly very impressive to look at and, aside from the food and the service it has a sense of occasion. We were hosting some dear friends and we had a lovely evening overall and did not want to make a fuss In front of our guests.... but it was a poor experience.





10 February 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
Consistently good at a sensible price.

All credit to this restaurant for maintaining its standards, even after the controversial departure of its original founders. The staff will always find you a table, even if you haven't booked, and the service and food remain as consistently good as ever. This is still my 'go to' destination in London if I want a good meal in lovely surroundings at a sensible price. 

Sumathy V

07 February 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
The Woseley hasn’t lost its touch

we had a lovely evening with great food delivered with good service and attention. The dining room gives everyone space to talk and not be overheard and good ambience. 

Jo N

26 October 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 1
Service 1
Atmosphere 2
Value 1

Anthony D

13 May 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Edward B

28 December 2022  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4

Friendly, formal, fabulous food, classic dishes, well executed. reat atmosphere. The Wolseley staff make you feel like you're an old friend, the perfect way to end an evening out...and when you inadvertently leave your something valuable behind, they ensure it's safe and telephone before you get off the tube.

Rebecca B

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Great service from front of house to waiters. Reliable and unfussy menu. Atmospheric and grand surroundings

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