Time Out says
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.
Very much in the European Grand Café tradition, breakfast is arguably its most celebrated meal, served from 7am every weekday and a more leisurely 8am at the weekend. An eclectic variety of dishes follow from soups, sandwiches, seafood platters and salads to classics such as steak tartare, veal Holstein, grilled fish and the changing plats du jour. Open until midnight most days, a late-night menu offers an extensive selection of light snacks – ideal for those wanting a meal outside ‘normal’ restaurant hours, even if just for an omelette and glass of wine or a coffee and slice of cake.
And for a truly British experience, opt for Afternoon Tea. Known for its remarkably good value and served from 3pm Monday – Friday and from 3.30pm at the weekend, it offers an extensive selection of sweet and savoury sandwiches, scones and pastries; all handmade each day in The Wolseley kitchen.
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Users say (37)
Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:8
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:5
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 had long been a bucket list destination for me. It sounded like it would be the quintessential experience of a classic British afternoon tea, and the perfect location to farewell a friend seeking a final taste of London before returning to Australia.
However our high hopes for our high tea were quickly dashed – service was chaotic and confused, the scones arrived cold and the treat selection was average at best. All in all, it felt like a very tired offering resting on its laurels, which is a shame given the hype (though I will admit I have not yet tried the brunch here). There are many better afternoon tea options in London which offer far more elegance, decadence and value for money.
The perfect brunch for a special occasion.
Everything here is not only served with a flourish but also perfection. Tea selection is brilliant and the menu leaves little to be desired.
You can't get much more classic than afternoon tea at the Wolseley. Although the service is often quite slow, the selection of sandwiches, cakes, teas (and champagne if you fancy it) is wonderful and the setting is idyllic.
Beware: diners are allotted 1½ hours for a meal and whether you are finished or not you'll be thrown out. That happened to us at lunch and we had to leave even though we still had a third of a bottle of wine left (a £42 bottle of Morgon!) and had yet to order our desserts. This, despite them taking 20 minutes to seat us even though we had reservations. They seem more interested in getting people out to make way for high-volume, fast throughput teas aimed at tourists (presumably they offer higher margins). It isn't what it used to be. Shame. Another restaurant to cross off the list.
Impressive breakfast spot for visitors and Londoners alike. Early morning slots and online booking makes it easy to get a table but I've often turned up with out a reservation and managed to get a spot. The staff are impeccable and the attention to detail outstanding. It real is a grand cafe in the truest sense.
The Wolseley is one of my favourite restaurants. I've been for brunch, lunch and dinner and can recommend all of them. It's great for people watching, and despite being a huge room the atmosphere is good. The food has been delicious every time and eggs florentine are some of the best I've had. It's also a really fun place for cocktails. If you haven't already, go!
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.
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.
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 .