RestaurantsLondonMayfairW1

survey result

Summary

£83
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Reports of the death of The Wolseley are greatly exaggerated”. After a well-publicised boardroom battle in 2022 ousted its original co-founders, even though its long-term fans are “annoyed at the ousting of Christopher Corbin & Jeremy King”, there is “no evidence on the floor of any impact”: “it’s as good as it ever was (and just as full!”). This Continental-style Grand Café, near The Ritz (originally built as a car showroom, for which it is named) is celebrating its 20th year, and remains a hub of metropolitan living. The “impressive” and “always bustling” space is “one of the best dining rooms in London” and “if you want to wow a client or a foreigner, then bring them here”: it remains London’s No. 1 for business entertaining in our annual diners’ poll. Its “great menu of classics” is executed to a “solid and reliable” if “lacklustre” standard, but you “go for the overall package and peerless people watching, not the food”. The exception is “the most civilised breakfast anywhere on the planet” which is also our diners’ poll’s No. 1 choice in this category. The “varied menu, with something – and more – for everyone”, helps “elevate the occasion to a special level”; and it is also “a power scene” amongst business-types. Top Tip – afternoon tea is also “always impressive with its elegance and high standards”.

Summary

£77
 ££££
1
Poor
2
Average
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The sheer style of the room” helps create an “unbeatable buzz” at this “very classy and smartly located” Continental Grand Café by The Ritz, which has, for nearly 20 years, established itself as London’s premier venue for a “reliably impressive” business occasion; and as “the absolute go-to for a totally unrivalled breakfast” (“a cliché, but really it is the best place to enjoy eggs Benedict in London”). And “afternoon tea is excellent too, with a good choice of sandwiches and cakes.” Established by Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King in 2003 in an erstwhile Edwardian car showroom (which provided the restaurant’s name), it has perennially been “the permanent buzz not the average food that’s created the magic of the place”. The “simple comfort fare at West End prices” has often rated poorly next to the “sparkling” atmosphere and “star-studded people watching” carefully cultivated by its well-connected founders. So “whether the place will survive the recent departure of those same founders remains to be seen”. A shareholder battle post-Covid saw Corbin & King edged out by their financial backers, the Thai Minor group, and many reporters fear “a ravens-leaving-the-tower moment” (“fingers crossed they don’t let the money-men spoil this…”; “it’s wait-and-see time…”; “if they ruin it, we will revolt…”). The schism happened in April 2022, immediately prior to our survey, and ratings this year are significantly down across the board. It could be that Brexit-induced staffing shortages bear some of the blame, but already some reporters fear the reason is clear: “it’s lost its soul now Jeremy and Chris have been ousted”.

Summary

£62
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The place to go to impress anybody!” – Corbin & King’s “elegant classic” next to The Ritz remains a superb choice for most kinds of rendezvous, including a business meal for which it is yet again the survey’s No.1 choice. A “sumptuous-looking” chamber – originally built as an Edwardian car showroom (whose brand survives only in the restaurant’s name) – it is styled as a Continental “Grand Café”, and the “large open space has an old-world glamour”, whose “buzz makes for a very memorable occasion”. Despite the pressures of such a big venue, service typically is “smart and crisp” and immaculately besuited owner “Jeremy King walks the floor and has a wonderful memory for regulars” (many of whom are famous faces). “So long as you don’t expect haute cuisine”, the brasserie fare is “generally sound”, and at its best is “comfort food done really well”. (Do not go anticipating any culinary fireworks!). An archetypal London experience – it offers “the epitome of all-day dining”, from its “classic old-school breakfast” onwards (for which it’s also the survey’s No. 1 choice) and is “just the place to take an out-of-towner for brunch”. “Afternoon tea is an absolute bargain too – particularly as they will bring you more cakes if you ask!” (“Crikey, we missed The Wolseley during lockdown. It feels even more special now!”)

Summary

£68
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Always buzzing whatever the time of day”: Corbin & King’s “magnificent” Grand Café near The Ritz remains a linchpin of metropolitan life; the capital’s No. 1 venue for a business meal – especially breakfast; and “a must-visit” for anyone getting to know London. “The space always impresses” – a converted Edwardian car-showroom that provides a “uniquely London” take on a “vast Belle-Époch-style brasserie”. It has “the right cosmopolitan feel” to lend an air of sophistication to any meal, plus “familiar faces from media and TV” to inject further excitement. “There’s a huge menu, so you’ll always find something you fancy”, but while its “retro”, “comfort” cuisine (with a Mittel-European twist) is “served with urbane panache”, it is widely acknowledged by regulars that the dishes themselves are “uninspired” and taste “to be honest, average”. But who cares? “It is hard not to love this place”. Top Tip – “A grand setting for a quintessential and well-priced afternoon tea experience”.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Wolseley?

160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair,Portions
15
No dress code
150
Yes

The Wolseley Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of The Wolseley Restaurant in W1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of The Wolseley restaurant.
Wendy R
It still hits the spot although it appears ...
Reviewed 21 days ago

"It still hits the spot although it appears to be firmly on the tourist trail. "

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James C
An amazingly beautiful Art Déco grand dini...
Reviewed 23 days ago

"An amazingly beautiful Art Déco grand dining room. The service was exceptionally good and the food was tasty. "

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Nicholas A
This cavernous “bistros” on Piccadilly ...
Reviewed 1 months, 26 days ago

"This cavernous “bistros” on Piccadilly is more popular than its food and ambiance deserves. But the reason we return is its Central European cooking is reliable and the service is very good - but the high ceilings mean that the noise level is far too loud - so conversation across the table can be difficult. The Delauney offers a similar menu in a better venue. "

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Mike W
Underwhelming food at a high profile restau...
Reviewed 3 months, 19 days ago

"Underwhelming food at a high profile restaurant "

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Roy W
nice breakfast but very noisy...
Reviewed 4 months, 13 days ago

"nice breakfast but very noisy"

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Robert K
The Wolseley is an institution and a fantas...
Reviewed 4 months, 24 days ago

"The Wolseley is an institution and a fantastic space to have breakfast. I have been many times and it is a favourite for breakfast in London. The menu is varied and a good standard although the coffee could be better."

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Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £28.75 £33.75
Dinner £28.75 £33.75

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£10.95 £29.60 £6.50 £7.50
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £45.00
Filter Coffee £5.00
Extras  
Bread £6.00
Service 15.00%
160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
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Opening hours
Monday11:30 am‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑11:30 pm
Tuesday11:30 am‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑11:30 pm
Wednesday11:30 am‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑11:30 pm
Thursday11:30 am‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑11:30 pm
Friday11:30 am‑3 pm, 5:30 pm‑11:30 pm
Saturday11:30 am‑3:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Sunday5:30 pm‑10 pm

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