The Wolseley

Critics' choice
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
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Like its stablemate Delaunay, a ‘café-restaurant in the grand European tradition’ and much-loved for its all-day menu providing something for everyone.

A self-proclaimed ‘café-restaurant in the grand European tradition’, the Wolseley combines London heritage and Viennese grandeur. Its black, gold and cream colour scheme suggests prestige, and you might easily imagine the buzz of conversation and the chink of crockery to have reverberated around the high ceilings since the 1920s. Yet the venue is only a decade old. Nevertheless, it’s now firmly on many a London visitor’s checklist, alongside nearby bastion of tradition Fortnum & Mason.

The kitchen is much-celebrated for its breakfasts, and the scope of the main menu is admirable. From oysters, steak tartare or soufflé suisse, via wiener schnitzel or grilled halibut with wilted spinach and béarnaise to tarte au citron or apple strudel, there’s something for everyone. On the Sunday afternoon of our visit, however, three-tiered afternoon tea stands were in abundance, enjoyed by a diverse mix of patrons: from Japanese businessmen to groups of female friends. Mini cakes and scones on the top tier are as English as the jam that accompanies them, while crustless finger sandwiches at the bottom are replenished by formal staff from a huge service team. Our waiter appeared a touch jaded, but he was certainly efficient, and dealt with complaints from the next table about weak coffee with grace.


Venue name: The Wolseley
Address: 160 Piccadilly
Opening hours: Breakfast served 7-11.30am Mon-Fri; 8-11.30am Sat, Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri; noon-3.30pm Sat, Sun. Tea served 3-6.30pm Mon-Fri; 3.30-5.30pm Sat; 3.30-6.30pm Sun. Dinner served 5.30pm-midnight Mon-Sat; 5.30-11pm Sun. All-day menu served 11.30-midnight Mon-Sat; 11.30am-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Green Park tube
Price: Main courses £12-£29.75. Set tea £9.75-£22.50; £32.50 incl glass of champagne. Cover £2

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:3
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1 of 1 found helpful

The grandiose interior is a must see in itself, lots of beautiful white marble and bourgeois decor. The afternoon tea is something to order, the amount of food is just enough - the fact that it wasn't an 'all-you-can-eat' service gave me an opportunity to enjoy the whole experience rather than focus on eating as many delicately sliced smoked salmon sandwiches and eclairs as i possibly could. I'd visit The Wolseley again.


The Wolseley is one of my favourites. I must admit, i've always had a soft spot for this dining locale. The service is impeccable, especially in comparison to many other places around London; i think what The Wolseley stands for, in terms of dining in London is great. The food has always been enjoyable. Their battenberg is in fact my favourite thing on the menu, to be enjoyed with a macchiato of course. Though, as expected the starters are 'small', i definitely thing you get enough food and i remember we ordered far too much the first time we went as we expected far less. I admire anywhere where the food tastes fresh. 


One of my favourite places to go for a treat, I always recommend it to people. The interior is elegant with high ceilings and marble, and the service is great. The afternoon tea is lovely. The price is just right for the quality that you are in store for. Sandwiches, scones, cakes, all great! The Wolseley blend tea is also delicious.


I had been postponing dining at The Wolseley, waiting for a special occasion. I finally went for dinner last night and I don't think I have ever been so disappointed for a restaurant that is so well known and recognized. The food really does not live up to its expectations, it was not fresh and it felt like it was mass produced. I compare it to being in a big cruise ship, where the atmosphere is nice but food has to be pre-prepared and cooked for 1000's of people, so it has to compromise on quality and freshness. Having been to many restaurants in London, I can think of hundred better places to spend more than 100 pounds on a dinner. In addition, I left a shopping bag under my table and called the restaurant next day and a very unhelpful lady said they had found nothing and hanged up the phone. At least, I won't be making the same mistake again.


I agree with other comments. The evening food I had the other day was quite disgraceful. I regret not having the courage to send my dish back. Still a fantastic place for afternoon tea though.


Having only been to the Wolsley once (and having been hugely disappointed the first time), I trusted that my second visit would remove any doubt in my mind that this was to be one of London's finer restaurants. Where do I begin… Having seated my party of 8 on two different tables (again), 5 were served soup for starter which, if the menu had not stated otherwise, I would have assumed to be a discoloured salt water. While I can cope with slightly salty food, this was somewhat vulgar, and the dry bread helped very little. Not 1 of the 5 could stomach it. My main, a “rare” fillet came out without the slightest hint of pink, which I was then told by two waiters was rare and that I was in fact wrong to claim otherwise. Eventually, having finally spoken to the Manager, I received a nicely rare steak which, second time round, was actually very nice. My companions were however less fortunate than me. Having complained about the starters, they were in no mind to stir up a fuss over their own mains, but to the last, each was highly disappointed. Three had opted for a beef sandwich which looked like it was fresh out of a tin and highly unappetising. Needless to say we did not hang around for desert, but sadly the food was not actually my biggest problem. The rudeness of seemingly every member of staff was outrageous. I believe the term, ‘the customer is always right’ had been misconstrued, and a simple apology over the travesty of a dish they served for starter and main was too much to ask for. I will never return.

S J Muncaster

Had a farewell late lunch here on 30 Jan, great service, seperate veggie menu and lovely bottle of wine. Would defintely go back.


I agree completely with previous comments. I took my mum for Afternoon Tea at the Wolseley's and both of us couldn't have been more disappointed. The food was very average and certainly not worth the money. The service was appalling and rude. The building itself is nice but there's nothing relaxing about the experience - it's overcrowded and stressful. Needless to say that we will not be going back.


Overpriced and massively overrated. Food has been poor every time I've visited, both at breakfast and dinner. Cold eggs benedict is unforgiveable at these prices, and the other dishes I've eaten there are completely unmemorable. The 'experience' isnt particularly impressive either, with service generally being scatty and inconsistent whenever I've visited. The room is nice. That's about the only positive thing I can say about it. Don't get what all the fuss is about, sorry.

Tallulah Terrier

Nothing relaxing about our dinner here this evening - they did not hide the fact that they wanted our table back as quickly as possible - service impersonal and peremptory, verging on rude. Will not hurry back .