New York has Balthazar, Paris has Brasserie Lipp, London has the Wolseley. Centrally located on Piccadilly, the Wolseley is a modern all-day cafe-brasserie in the European tradition, where grandees and grungers alike feel welcome. The building dates from 1921, when the Wolseley Car Company (which began life as the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company) hired architect William Curtis Green to design a luxurious car showroom. No architectural mark of opulence was omitted: high arches, sweeping stairways, marble floors—it all adds up to a munificent temple for the mechanical wonder of the age. The cafe's interiors, orchestrated by David Collins Studio, are almost a decade old but continue to exude an Art Deco glamour. As longtime devotees of the Wolseley, we concocted an all-day dining experience (breakfast, tea, dinner) to coincide with the relaunch of The Wolseley's website and online store.
Photography by Simon Bevan.
Above: Breakfast at the Wolseley, by A. A. Gill, with photographs by David Loftus, offers a glimpse into the world of the Wolseley and includes recipes and reminiscences; £12.99. Canisters of the Wolseley's English Breakfast Tea; £8.99, and Cafetiere and Filter Blend Coffee; £9.49. Floral design by Michelle McKenna.
Above: Afternoon tea at the Wolseley. A similar Octagonal Edwardian Teapot can be found in the online shop; £250, silver Tea Strainer; £63, Black and White Cake Stand and Cloche; £165. Floral design by Michelle McKenna.
Above: Dinner in the Wolseley's Private Dining Room.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 29, 2011.