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Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Tea at The Wolseley
It was hard to believe we were freezing—bone chilling cold—in Paris on Monday and by the same week enjoying a balmy touch of spring in London. 

April is like that we were told in two languages.

London shared four days of sunshine with its tourists, but on the fifth it rained while we strolled window shopping from our stay at the Hotel Mandeville, via St. Christopher’s trendy alleyway, Oxford Street, New Bond Street toward St. James and its most famous of boulevards, Piccadilly.

Fortunately, we dressed nicely—after all—we were guests here.  And, it was a good thing because in an attempt to hide from the showers we walked into The Wolseley Hotel’s venerable—let’s say iconic—tea room.

Silly Californians—no reservations, but at least shorts and flipflops were left in the luggage back at the Mandeville.

Guilty as charged but we do come bearing American Express.

We tease.  The Wolseley Tea Room staff treated us as if we did have reservations for afternoon tea.  They were gracious in every respect. We were seated in the center of the wonderful main room where we put our heads on a swivel and examined all that we could see from architecture to fallen arches.

For the sake of literature and we hope a good story, we have to confess we were in search of a top notch London tea room when we set in early afternoon. This day was reserved for our hobby.  We collect tea rooms as part of our travels and we devoted half a day to find one.  

Earlier in the day, I had suggested the Ritz for tea, but the weather had other thoughts.  We made no reservations because we often explore and find other spots we’d rather visit.  Cancelling a reservation is bad karma.  It’s like telling a hostess we found a better party.

Fortunately, The fabulous Wolseley and its tea room kindly took us in.  And, proudly added it to our collection of tea centric memories.  We learned the tea room is popular with media types for its afternoon tea but also for its modern Euro cuisine and glorious Art Deco décor.

While we thoroughly enjoyed our impromptu tea, the heaven’s outside changed its scenery from Act 1 to Act 2 and cleared for us to continue our walking tour.

The Wolseley turns into a full Afternoon Tea Room from 3 pm on weekdays and 3.30 pm at weekends. Menu consists of assorted finger sandwiches, fruit scones, a selection of pastries and choice of teas every day, at £27.50 per person. All scones and pastries are made on the premises, with an ever-changing selection of cakes, which might include a Battenberg or Sachertorte.

Forgive us for we sin in the face of pastries and we fail so predictably in the face of temptation.

Those wanting a lighter, or a more celebratory alternative, can choose The Wolseley Cream Tea at £11.50 per person or The Wolseley Champagne Tea at £38.50 per person.
Our Champagne Tea taste won over our purse with only a few farthings to spare.  After all, it included a glass of Pommery Brut Royal NV.

Tea at the Wolseley:
M-F 3 pm to 6:30 pm
Sat 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Sun 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Choice of Teas:
The Wolseley Afternoon Blend
English Breakfast
Earl Grey

160 Piccadilly
London W1J 9EB
United Kingdom
020 7499 6996

Private Dining:
If we ever have 14 friends at one time one can only dream of celebrating a success at The Wolseley’s private room.

Beautifully designed to complement the restaurant below, the Private Dining Room seats up to 14 guests and is available to book for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Discreetly hidden away from view, with its own private staircase, it is nonetheless very much part of the restaurant. Filled with light from four sides, it is bright and cheerful during the day, and seductively lit at night by the lights from the restaurant and Piccadilly outside.

You may contact us on 020 7659 9315 or complete the enquiry form below.

Minimum spend applies.


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