A fascinating history lies behind the iconic building of 160 Piccadilly.
Combining British heritage with European grandeur, discover how one of London’s most respected café-restaurants came to be.
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day and nowhere is that fact more appreciated than at the Wolseley restaurant in London’s Piccadilly. The brainchild of Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, celebrated restaurateurs and founders of three of London’s most iconic dining destinations; The Ivy, The Caprice and J Sheekey, the Wolseley is a cross between the traditional robustness of a Parisian brasserie and the gloriously grand but cosy comfort of a Viennese cafe.
“Breakfast is a meal apart. Ours is served from an extensive menu, from 7am on a weekday and a more leisurely 8am at the weekend.”
You can also understand more about the background and ethos of the Wolseley by the history of the building and learning how it became the icon it is today which includes an intriguing look at how breakfast service is run at the Wolseley both at front of house and behind the scenes.
In 1921 the English architect, William Curtis Green, was commissioned by Wolseley Motors Limited to design a prestigious car showroom at the site of 160 Piccadilly. Green incorporated marble pillars and archways with Venetian and Florentine-inspired details, making for a grand and impressive building befitting of the company’s ambitions. Yet by 1926, the cars weren’t selling as well as they had hoped and the firm went into bankruptcy. Barclays Bank took over the site and their new branch opened in the spring of 1927. Green was called upon once again to construct a banking counter and managers’ offices either side of the main entrance, which today serve as the bar and tea salon. He also continued to design furniture and fittings with Japanese lacquer as a nod to the popularity of Eastern influences at the time.
It was in July 2003 that restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King came to acquire the building. Renowned today for its spectacular interior, classic food and seamless service, The Wolseley has earned its reputation as one of London’s most respected all-day café-restaurants, becoming an iconic institution the world over.