Saturday, 26 July 2014

Breakfast at The Wolseley


They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you might as well make an occasion of it every now and then. The Wolseley is my place to go to when I'm in need of morning sustenance, something more than my usual fayre of desiccated chipboard and vapid crispbreads, something that will get me through the day, whilst I am trip-trotting around town.

"Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life," writes A. A. Gill in his book, 'Breakfast at The Wolseley'


(Click Images to Enlarge)

We were in fact up with the larks, to see the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy but after spying The Wolseley from across the road I simply couldn't walk past. It calls out to me you see, like the dawn siren, sitting atop a rock of Eggs Benedict, within a demitasse of foaming espresso, luring me in to feed.


The Wolseley was originally born as the grand car showroom for Wolseley Motors in 1919, going on to become the No.160 Piccadilly branch of Barclays Bank from 1927 until 1999, then becoming a grand European styled cafe in 2003.


Renown for being Lucian Freud's favourite dinner venue, I glanced across to table 32 wondering what he might have ordered tonight. In my head I pre-ordered the Coulibiac of Salmon for him, we then opted for the Full English, with lashings of Americano before crossing the road to waddle around the Royal Academy.


I couldn't choose between these two photos whilst capturing the front elevation of the building. I love the first image but when the traffic lights turn red outside the Ritz Hotel, they release a throng of tourists and these four dapper chaps doing their rendition of the Abbey Road crossing. I love it. I love London. I love you all. Good Morn!


160 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9EB

30 comments:

  1. What a perfect way to start your day. I am making a note of the Wolseley.
    Your breakfast looks delicious.

    Have a glorious weekend

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is great way to start the day Helen. I'll reserve you a table.

      Delete
  2. Just love the Wolseley Paul….it's one of London's wonderful institutions isn't it? Ahh, the summer exhibition……almost forgot this year…..you have inspired a plan!

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Sophia xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its hard to imagine that The Wolseley has only been open for 11 years, it feels like forever. The Summer Exhibition always seems to come and go so quickly, catch it whilst you can. Have a great time.

      Delete
  3. Dear Mr Paul - you really understand what constitutes the good life - now that I am a country girl I haven't managed a trip to the Summer Exhibition for years.
    My husband used to work at 101 - 104 Piccadilly when it belonged to the UN - a lovely building. Now I believe that it is the Japanese Embassy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I know the building Rosemary, with the big globe lights outside. It was also home to a variety of Gentlemen's clubs beforehand the last being the United Empire Club. With the In & Out Club being a few doors away, a chap had quite a selection to choose from.

      Delete
  4. Well that looks extremely civilised!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a grand way to start the day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Paul-- that's what I call breakfast in style!! It's totally grand-- what a wonderful place!! I think that must surely be a wonderful way to start the day! Photos are amazing!
    Love
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vicki. It certainly set me up for the day:)

      Delete
  7. Paul, I would love to dine there, it looks so elegant. I recall the Wolseley motor cars from childhood, one of my wealthier friend's parents drove one, another actually had a Rolls - whereas we rode the bus everywhere, enough said haha! Are they still a viable company by chance? Must check that out.

    As for your full English - Bob is drooling over it on the screen - it's something he usually treats himself to when we come home to visit………whereas I just chow down on something like a much-missed, not available here, Chelsea bun from a bakery. I'm a cheap date!

    Love your London stories……….thanks, and have a great Sunday, in lovely weather I think.
    Hugs - Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Wolseley cars were notoriously expensive which unfortunately added to their demise I believe. You did have a great set of friends to tap to get a stylish lift to school Mary.
      I think Bob would thoroughly approve of the Wolseley, you must take him, the menu is wonderful and right opposite is a branch of Laduree which I know you would approve of.
      Have a great week.x

      Delete
  8. Trip-Trotting.............I adore that expression!I think I may borrow that from YOU when I leave the house I will inform the four-legged creatures I'm off to trip-trot..............
    That building is magnificent and I love the fact you captured one man and then several...........well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If its good enough for the three billy goats gruff, its good enough for me Elizabeth. Off we go....

      Delete
  9. Hi Paul,
    Super - glam restaurant at any time, but breakfast is very decadent.
    Hope you enjoyed your 'full English'
    Have a lovely day,
    Liz x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much easier to sneak in without a reservation at Breakfast time Liz. Lunch is just as superb. Dinner I've yet to experience. Have a great week. x

      Delete
  10. The Wolseley is so elegant. Your English breakfast is so delicious for sure. I like all of these restaurants that you are sharing on your Blog. Hopefully, I can visit them next time that I'm in London.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to add it to your little black book Pamela.

      Delete
  11. He he, leave it to you to find the Abbey Road chaps! I love it when old banks are turned into restaurants, there are a few here in New York as well as in Philadelphia and the buildings are always so regal, and that breakfast is fit for a king...or a Sir...Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the initial design was inspired by a Bostonian Bank funnily enough Amelia. X

      Delete
  12. Oh, I should have gone to London while I was in the UK. I preferred the English countryside because of the heat. I dropped my eldest daughter and son in law at the train station. They were off to see the Matisse exhibit at the Tate modern. I should have joined them and have lunch or dinner at the Wolseley :-) It looks like the sort of place I enjoy too.....

    Have a great week!

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved the Matisse exhibition Madelief, I went to see it with my Sister the week before, great fun. I think you would really enjoy The Wolseley, they do a lovely Afternoon Tea although you might want to book in advance.

      Delete
  13. Your pic on instagram said it all...I just want to be there!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Click those heels together three times Cindy and repeat after me, " Theres no place like The Wolseley" X

      Delete
  14. Dear Paul,
    to think that this gem of a post almost slipped through my - what is it: attention span? little time because of work? Whatsoever - I downright envy you your breakfast at the Wolseley (and as I neither like nor accept such a green-eyed feeling, I will correct that as soon as I am in London - oh yes I will!)
    Beautiful photos, as always - the last one such a great Beatle-quote.
    When in the second week of July my English friend was here, he was impressed by the (almost) perfect English Breakfast I served him. The only drawback is the tea: of course it was the right one, and the right method - but the water is different... But not everything can be as perfect as - the Wolseley. (The rest was :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so very much BH. I can imagine you there Britta, it is just your cup of, ahem, tea! They also do a wonderful lunch although I would advise that you book in advance as it can be quite tricky to get a table sometimes. Have a lovely week. X

      Delete
  15. Paul you are having a fun summer aren't you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make hay whilst the sun shines Gina:)

      Delete