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The Wolseley: Dining in the Grand Style

A regular on London’s top favourite restaurant lists, The Wolseley is considered to be the capital’s first Grand Café.

A regular on London’s top favourite restaurant lists, The Wolseley is considered to be the capital’s first Grand Café.

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Located on one of London’s most iconic boulevards, Piccadilly, it is next to The Ritz, almost opposite Burlington Arcade and The Royal Academy, and right in the heart of Mayfair and St James. It occupies a Grade II Listed Building that was commissioned in 1921 by Wolseley Motors Ltd to architect William Curtins Green (who subsequently built The Dorchester). It started as a prestigious car showroom in London’s West End but, unfortunately, the 1929 depression led the car company to bankruptcy.

The building was then acquired by Barclays Bank, until 1999. Entrepreneurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King secured the site in 2003 and, with David Collins Architects, restored and renovated it to herald this sumptuous restaurant: the black and cream geometric marble floors, the huge Byzantine light fittings, the baroque ironwork, the Doric interior and the Corinthian exterior columns, and the Japan-lacquered screens and Japonais so fashionable in London in the 1920s have been retained for authenticity.

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The Wolseley is known for serving the best Eggs Benedict and Wiener Schnitzel in town, not to mention the burger, called ‘London’s most perfect’. But that’s not all. Very much in the European Grand Café tradition, menus range from breakfasts, all-day snacks, The Wolseley’s own coffees and afternoon teas, sandwiches, delicious seafood platters, ice-cream coupes, patisserie and cakes, and a full à la carte menu, with a daily changing plat du jour.

Favourites include continental classics and delicacies, such as Baba au Rhum, Escargots à la Bourguignonne and Coq au Vin, to British staples such as Deep-Fried Scampi, Grilled Fish of the Day and Roast Landaise Chicken with Morels and Spring Leeks.

The wine list is short and concise, derived entirely from Europe, with a selection of the best wines but without the bewilderment of too great a choice. Brevity is the soul of wit, as they say.

Next time you stroll down Piccadilly, stop to enjoy the beautiful d’une-autre-époque atmosphere, décor and delicacies on offer in this grand Café. A feast for all the senses.

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The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly
London W1J 9EB
+44 20 7499 6996
www.thewolseley.com