RestaurantsLondonMayfairW1

survey result

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”.

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 32 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?

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.
Peter C
First time in several years visiting this l...
Reviewed 2 months, 18 days ago

"First time in several years visiting this long-established venue and was shocked at how poor the experience has become. Service was terrible with it being very difficult to attract the attention of staff. When one did manage to place an order the food was not delivered as per the order which elicited a filthy look from the waiter when the mistake was pointed out. The food itself was at best average and certainly not the quality you would expect for the price paid. Finally I was shocked at how shabby the whole place has become. Certainly this restaurant is relying on its previous reputation and I will not be coming back."

Report this comment
Nicky K
Such a lovely environment, with delightfull...
Reviewed 9 months, 8 days ago

"Such a lovely environment, with delightfully helpful staff. "

Report this comment
Robert K
The best place for breakfast in London all ...
Reviewed 9 months, 27 days ago

"The best place for breakfast in London all round in my opinion. It's got old world charm about it. Service is very good and it is a wonderful space. Not much more to say."

Report this comment
Have you eaten at The Wolseley?
Post your own review of The Wolseley and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £26.50 £31.50

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£13.50 £29.00 £9.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £31.50
Filter Coffee £0.00
Extras  
Service 15.00%
160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
Make A Booking
Number of Diners:
Required Time:
Powered by OpenTable
Opening hours
Monday7 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Tuesday7 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Wednesday7 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Thursday7 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Friday7 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Saturday8 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑11 pm
Sunday8 am‑5:30 pm, 5:30 pm‑10 pm

Best British, Modern restaurants nearby

Seven Park Place
French restaurant in St James's
£170
£££££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
Quaglino’s
British, Modern restaurant in St James's
£93
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good
The American Bar
American restaurant in St James's
£75
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Café Murano
Italian restaurant in St James's
£74
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
The American Bar
American restaurant in St James's
£75
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
5
Exceptional
45 Jermyn St.
British, Modern restaurant in London
£80
 ££££
2
Average
3
Good
3
Good