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The Wolseley

British, Modern Restaurant in London
SRA Rating
Editors Review
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
020 7499 6996    Email    Website   
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Harden's Survey Result
Overall Value
4
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
4
£59
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
For pure theatre and excitement, Corbin & King’s “splendid”, “celeb-packed” London linchpin, by The Ritz, just can’t be beat; its brasserie fare is “solid” but “not the most exciting”, although the (power) “breakfast event” here is famously “the best in town”.
Features
Business Facilities Yes1
Private Rooms Yes14
Last Orders midnight, Sun 11 pm
Dress Code -
The Wolseley Restaurant Reviews
Reviews of The Wolseley Restaurant in W1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of The Wolseley restaurant.
Sarah Johnson
Fantastic place for afternoon tea. They wen...
Overall Value
5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 6 months, 16 days ago

"Fantastic place for afternoon tea. They went out of their way to accommodate my nut allergy. The food was delicious- delicate finger sandwiches, warm scones and amazing cakes. The staff were brilliant as always and the restaurant was bustling and busy but not noisy."

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Patric Morley
I just cannot understand what all the hype...
Overall Value
3.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 9 months, 29 days ago

"I just cannot understand what all the hype is about - intensely ordinary atmosphere and average food. Worth avoiding if your expectations are high."

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Martin Baldock
A nice warm greeting as we entered for our ...
Overall Value
2.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 1 years, 1 months, 12 days ago

"A nice warm greeting as we entered for our late breakfast/brunch and they found our booking straight away. We were taken to our table (a decent size considering only two of us). The interior still looks absolutely fantastic. Because of the styling and the type of place it is quite noisy but this adds to the ambience. They took our drinks order and that came up ok, took our food order and this came up no problems. My Wife tried the Caramelised Grapefruit which she informed me was delicious. I had the Prunes with orange & ginger which were fantastic. Our English breakfast then came up - the scrambled egg was luscious, bacon perfect, sausage nice but not outstanding and the rest was fine. We asked the waiter for some water that was the last contact we had with a waiter until we managed to catch someone's eye to get the bill. Our water that we requested did not materialise (to be fair they did not try and charge for it). Not once did any member of staff ask if the food was OK. It seemed rather chaotic in there. The lack of service definitely spoiled an otherwise good experience. I know the restaurant has recently re-opened after a refit so maybe the waiting staff are new. Would definitely go there again but maybe give a little time for the staff to settle before going."

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Will Wyatt
Service not quite what it was - they forgot...
Overall Value
3.5
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 1 years, 1 months, 20 days ago

"Service not quite what it was - they forgot to bring bread, one or two other lapses. Welcome etc still as it should be."

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Sarah Johnson
The magnificent building, fantastic atmosph...
Overall Value
4
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Reviewed 1 years, 1 months, 29 days ago

"The magnificent building, fantastic atmosphere and excellent staff are all major plus points. Service in particular is exceptional. Unfortunately this is let down by the food which is most definitely 'average' for the price. Worth a visit for the experience but the food is forgettable."

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The Editors Review

Starting with Le Caprice in 1981, Jeremy King and Christopher Corbin built up one of London's most impressive restaurant empires of recent times. By the time they finally exited in 2002 - several million pounds richer - the group included no fewer than three of the five most popular restaurants in town (The Ivy, Le Caprice and J Sheekey).


How to follow such an act? The answer turned out to The Wolseley. Occupying a vast Edwardian building near the Ritz - built as a showroom for Wolseley Motors, but for most of the last century a grand Barclay's Bank - the place was certainly a 'wow' when, two years ago, it opened for business. London's dining public, after all, is unaccustomed to grandeur. Was this our answer to New York's Four Seasons, or Paris's Train Bleu? The newcomer certainly gave the initial impression that it might be a fit emblem for a city with pretensions to being the restaurant capital of the world. And if the food and service were a bit up-and-down - well, hey, it was early days.


It is no longer early days. True, the place is still hailed in some circles as something of a glamour destination, but standards of food and service over the past two years - as recorded by our surveys - have never risen much above good-to-middling. More worryingly, they have seemed, if anything, to be on a downwards path. If our recent meal is anything to go by, this slide continues.


Our first impression was in fact a non-impression. No Corbin or King. In most restaurants, you neither notice nor care if the gaffers are absent. Here you do, as it's part of the 'package'. It wouldn't really have mattered so much if the service had been any good, but, while pleasant, staff were often absent (or, if present, oblivious to customer needs). On the food front too, something was not quite there, in one case literally - partridge with bacon, the special of the day, was (inexplicably) served as partridge without bacon. It made a good emblem for a meal that rarely rose above mundane. Despite the architectural richness, that ambience similarly lacked pizzazz.


Including a couple of (very good) martinis, and a (rather disappointing) bottle of Dao (£45), the bill for two mounted to no less than £150 (including tip). So it was a good thing we knew we had enjoyed what is still sometimes tipped as one of London's great restaurant experiences. Otherwise, we might just have felt rather ripped off.


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