Returning to the calm reassurance of The Wolseley is a joy-filled antidote to these unsettling times. Located in the heart of Piccadilly, The Wolseley’s grand past is evident in its black and white marble, and Venetian-inspired pillars. It was built in the ’20s as a car showroom, before transitioning into Barclays Bank until 1999, where it opened as a Chinese restaurant before becoming ‘The Wolseley’. It is an all-day café restaurant in the grand European tradition, offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or late night options with a selection of vegetarian dishes. CSP Times contributor Eva Piskadlo headed to the world-class favourite for a memorable evening with London's finest.
Inside, the dining room was dazzlingly fabulous. The well-mannered waiters were clad in black and white tuxedos and ushered us warmly to our table in the centre of the dining room. From Jersey Rock Oysters and Sturia Oscietra Caviar to Chateaubriand and Lamb, the options were endless.
The Lobster & Caviar Omelette ‘Adrian’ started us off, one of The Wolseley’s top favourites. And a favourite of mine too it was, a delicious eggy number bursting with flavour and juiciness. I licked my lips happily as I wolfed down the portion, already crowning it as the best omelette I've ever had. The dish was an assembly of a generous hunk of lobster sitting on a bed of a golden omelette, heaped carefully with premium caviar. Just heavenly.
Next onto the Plateau de Fruits de Mer – a dish also touted to be one of their best sellers. We enjoyed an array of raw seafood on ice between sips of Krug, a very pleasant mix.
Chateaubriand with bone marrow and king oyster mushrooms was a monster portion. The meat was rare to perfection and the succulent bits of meat mixed with the bone marrow were just a pure delight. A mammoth dish of gratin Dauphinoise was placed before us along with some thick-cut chips, our eyes boggling at the sight. I am sad to say this course defeated us.
Our dessert was just the right balance of light and indulgent, we settled on the Apfel Strudel with calvados crème Chantilly. The poached apple, tasting slightly boozy, was enveloped in a thin layer of pastry, spices and hazelnuts. It was tricky business chasing it around the plate with the spoon provided, but it was the perfect way to finish our very luxurious dinner. Crispy on the top and moist in the middle, this dessert is to die for. Oh, and that crème Chantilly that comes on the side is sensational, too. We were also convinced to try the baked cheesecake (although close to bursting point by this point) so we took this home in a cake box and I had it the next day for breakfast.
Plates cleared, espressos drank, we ordered a second bottle of wine. It got dark outside, and the staff reassured us that there was no rush. A full five hours after I'd arrived, we were one of the last to wobble out the gorgeous grand doors, stuffed to the gills and a little drunk. The evening started and ended fabulously, and I can't think of a much finer way to spend an evening in London.
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9EB, United Kingdom, +44 20 7499 6996