When it comes to breakfast places; breakfast at The Wolseley is definitely a London institution. “Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life,” as written by A. A. Gill in his book ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’.
Ever since moving to London it was one of those bucket-list-experiences that I just had to do at some point. I can’t believe it took me almost 4 years to tick it off. Useless I know!
The Wolseley is an all day café-restaurant located on Piccadilly next to the Ritz hotel. Starting at 7am on the dot from Monday to Friday (and from a gentler 8am at the weekend), breakfast at the Wolseley is served from an extensive menu. The Wolseley actually manages to turn 350 covers in a day and you can see how when you experience their smooth and speedy service (without making you feel like you need to eat and leave asap, as some places can be).
On weekdays breakfast at the Wolseley seems to be the place for advertising execs, media types and business folk conducting their early morning meetings over coffee and delicious pastries. To get a table it is definitely necessary to book in advance, so when my best friends birthday was coming up and seeing are both pretty swamped at work, we decided to have a pre-work celebration with breakfast at The Wolseley! Our booking was for 7.30am and when we arrived the place was already buzzing with people. The interior and feeling is one of a Vienna grand cafe that feels posh but without being over-pretentious.
I had been out for dinner the night before (where I’d consumed a few too many wines – whoops) which meant I had a bit of a hangover, so the first thing I craved was coffee and a freshly baked pain au chocolate! It went down a treat. Oh and my friends’ boyfriend knows his coffees and confirmed to me recently that, to him, the cappuccino at the Wolseley is one of the best around! And that says something ;)
I told the waiter it was my friends birthday so had asked them to surprise her with a candle on her pastry (which they couldn’t do unfortunately) but they did provide a lovely marzipan birthday plaque!
When it came to ordering breakfast it was a pretty tough decision because I’d read so many good things. The breakfast menu offers everything from bircher müesli, fruit and porridge to bacon & fried egg rolls, fish cakes and croques monsier to a traditional full English fried breakfast. However my hangover seemed to be craving a sweet & salty fix that morning, so when I spotted the french toast with bacon, I was sold!
The birthday girl had the ‘potato rösti with avocado, tomato and a hen’s egg’ and her boyfriend went for their much-raved-about-signature dish the ‘Eggs Benedict’.
The french toast was one of the best I’ve had in years! Some people think bacon with french toast is a strange combination but trust me once you’ve tried it you won’t go back, it’s delicious and the perfect sweet and salty combination. The bacon was super crispy and I demolished this breakfast. The service was very friendly and efficient and I can see why The Wolseley such an institution in London. It was a great way to start our Friday morning. We both went to work full and happy! I will definitely be back for breakfast and can’t wait to try their afternoon tea which is also meant to be divine.
160 Piccadilly London W1J 9EB
Note; it’s definitely worth making a booking ahead of time for breakfast at The Wolseley!