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. (The Wolseley 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

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

About The Wolseley

This all-day café-restaurant, found in Piccadilly, is renowned for its unique combination of British heritage teamed with European grandeur. The Wolseley still holds its reputation as ‘somewhere special’ to visit, many years since opening, and is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

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 restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King acquired the building and began a sympathetic renovation, later that same year The Wolseley opened its doors as the grand cafe-restaurant destination that we find today.

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. 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.

Known for its spectacular design, classic food and seamless service, The Wolseley remains an iconic and popular choice for both Londoners and tourists alike. Find out more about The Wolsey, the experience and its menus by reading our full review above.

Special offers for The Wolseley

100 Points

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FAQs

Is there a dress code at The Wolseley?

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

Helpful? 0

Can you get afternoon tea at The Wolseley?

Yes, The Wolseley serves afternoon tea. 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

Does The Wolseley serve breakfast?

Yes, The Wolseley is 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

Location for The Wolseley

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

020 7499 6996

Website

Opening Times

Breakfast
Mon Closed
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
Lunch
Mon Closed
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 Closed
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
Dinner
Mon Closed
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 Closed
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

Reviews of The Wolseley

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72 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Harriet M

20 April 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Great venue! Lovely atmosphere 

Anon

19 February 2022  
Food & Drink 1
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 1
Extremely Disappointing

We were quite excited to finally dine at what is considered to be a London landmark. We arrived a bit early and decided to get a drink at the bar whilst waiting for our table. We ordered cocktails which were both extremely disappointing. One of the cocktails meant to have some Sauvignon Blanc in it which tasted like bagged wine. My friends cocktail with ginger and basil tasted like a lozenge. (not in a good way!) At the table, service was poor. Our waiter kept trying to upsell items on the menu inspite of us already having made our choices. (We hadn't asked for any recommendations.) We were repeatedly asked to consider ordering the souffle and starters of oysters; this was annoying at best and extremely patronising. Not once have I experienced upselling at any restaurant ever, let alone a finer establishment. We sternly declined the suggestions and tried to order a baked camembert with bread to share. This order was yet again dismissed and we were offered a cheese platter to share! (although I couldn't see one on the menu). At our further persistence our waiter finally relented. We also ordered our mains of Schnitzels - one aubergine and one Weiner. Here we asked the waiter if he thought we would need a few sides and he said he didn't think so. We still went ahead and ordered a side of broccoli to try. Our drinks arrive and they are satisfactory. A basket of bread (two breadsticks) arrives without any butter. There are still no plates on our table for us to eat any of this bread. Out starter of baked camembert arrives. Still no plates. We try the cheese - Aldi do a much better Camembert - so there's that. Finally someone notices we have no plates and brings us a couple. We then ask for the butter - the complimentary butter - which ends up being the star of the show amongst our starters, albeit it was a bit salty. Our mains arrive and both me and my friend look at each other, because we now know we definitely did need more sides for this meal. We relent and get digging. Aubergine Schnitzel was the worst I've had in my life and I've had a fair few as a vegetarian. The crumb coating was extremely oily. The aubergine slices within were tough and hard to cut into two with cutlery. My friends order of Weiner Schnitzel was equally as oily and extremely disappointing. The side of broccoli again was impossible to cut into; essentially raw. By this point we were just extremely disappointed and decided to just cut our losses and end our meal. Overall, The Wolseley served an extremely disappointing visit with below average food and poor service.

Yvonne H

06 August 2019  
Fantastic afternoon tea in delightful surroundings with excellent service.

Kellie S

06 August 2019  
The Wolseley just ticks so many boxes. Impeccable service with the right amount of ambience any time of year but especially at Christmas with a tree entwined around the infamous clock above the door. Their silverware is lust worthy and nothing like a cup of tea poured from one of their incredible silver teapots. I love The Wolseley mainly for breakfasts, eggs Benedict followed by a sensible wait an hour or so later at a supposedly civilised time for a glass of champagne post numerous cups of tea. You just never feel rushed. The experience feels special but also can be informal if you wish it to be at the same time. For example the simple ease of just rocking up post a RA exhibition for a burger, fries and a refreshing beverage. Importantly, the price point for The Wolseley is superb value for money for such a sense of occasion place.

Sarah-Gaines R

26 July 2019  
A great classic with delicious food and an elegant ambiance.

Stacey P

11 July 2019  
Great atmosphere and great location.

Ren

06 July 2019  
Buzzing atmosphere, good selection of meals and snacks from early morning to late at night.

Petros K

02 July 2019  
Decor and food both great.

Shamila W

30 June 2019  
The best version of my favourite comfort foods, impeccable service, the most enjoyable glamorous ambience in London.

John H

28 June 2019  
Totally reliable and atmospheric. Great service too. The best room in town.
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