Cost – £39.50 per person, plus 15% gratuities added (May 2023)

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Parking and Access – Parking is not easy in central London. The best way to reach the Wolseley is to use public transport or a London cab. There are both bus and tube stations within easy walking distance.

There is a small step up to enter the café. The main toilets are down a steep spiral staircase.

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However, I was told there is a toilet for the disabled available on the café level.

Background – We have been recommended to try The Wolseley by two separate people, so we definitely needed to try it! Luckily, I had been given a voucher for their Afternoon Tea as a birthday present. We booked our table, and started to plan our trip to London.

The Wolseley started out life as a car showroom for Wolseley cars. However, the company went into administration a few years after the showroom opened, and the building became a branch of Barclays bank. It finally became the café-restaurant it is now in 2003.

Options available – The Tea is available with a glass of Champagne for an extra £12.50.

Contents per person – Five rectangular sandwiches (Coronation chicken, smoked salmon, cheddar cheese with tomato relish, cucumber with cream cheese, beef with horseradish). Two medium/small sized fruit scones, a small bowl of jam and a small bowl of clotted cream. Six small cakes between the two of us – cherry éclair, cheesecake, chocolate and orange opera cake, mini cupcake, lemon meringue tart, blueberry and almond Battenburg. A choice of teas from the menu.

Comments – The Wolseley cafe-restaurant is a lovely, ornate building, dating from the 1920’s. It is hard to believe it was designed as a car showroom!

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All of the original features are still there, though two smaller rooms were created at the front of the building when it became a bank. However, Barclays used the same architect that had created the original showroom, so the whole thing has been done in keeping with the original design.

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We were shown to a table right next to the main desk, facing out to the rest of the dining room. The table was laid with a linen tablecloth and napkins, Wolseley branded china plates,


a glass and a cake fork and knife.


There was also a menu each.


Our glasses were filled with cold water, and we were asked if we knew what tea we would like to drink. We both chose a pot of English Breakfast tea.

The tea was delivered in a silver teapot, accompanied by a silver milk jug.


We were also given a teacup and saucer each, and a fancy tea strainer between us.


The tea was just about perfect for us. The right strength and nice and hot. It seemed to stay the same strength during our Tea, without getting too strong. We did not ask for a re-fill on this occasion.

The Afternoon Tea stand arrived shortly after, along with a holder containing the jam and cream. The Tea was served on a three-layer cake stand with round Wolseley china plates.


The sandwiches were fresh and reasonably well filled. We were given two smoked salmon sandwiches each as we don’t like horseradish. Apparently, they cannot make the beef sandwich without the horseradish in! The sandwiches were made on a mix of brown and white breads. I particularly enjoyed the Coronation chicken sandwich.


The fruit scones were a small/medium size. They were fresh and warm, and very good. They were hidden under a silver dome on the cake stand.


The jam was their own strawberry jam. It was tasty, but was very smooth with no strawberry bits in at all. It was also a little runny. There was enough of both the jam and the clotted cream.


Unfortunately, the cake part of the Afternoon Tea committed one of the big sins of Afternoon Teas, in that there was only one of each of the small cakes, between the two of us! Grrrr! We managed to cut each of the little cakes in half, so that we could both try each one. All of the cakes were good, but our favourite was the lemon meringue tart and the chocolate and orange opera cake.


There were a lot of waiters working in the café. However, no one ever returned to our table to check all was well, or to offer more tea. We had to go and find someone to top up our water glasses at one point. Given the number of people working there, we were disappointed that the service was not as good as we would have expected.

When we had finished our Tea, we reminded the waiter that we had a voucher. We were told a different person had to deal with that. It took some time for them to check it all out, then we were told all was paid and we could go with a gesture across the room!

All in all, we enjoyed our trip to the Wolseley. The building is beautiful, and the place is constantly busy. The food was very good, but the service could have been better, in our opinion.

Wolseley 5

Cake (variety)2.0
Cake (quality)1.5

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All opinions expressed in this review are my own. The photographs are all my own.
I remain completely anonymous and always pay for my Afternoon Teas. They are never gifted to me by the businesses reviewed.
I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images on this blog.