London Afternoon Tea: The Wolseley

I have already featured The Wolseley ( on this blog (Post: Culinary London). Occasionally I like to revisit the same address some time later to see whether my review still makes sense. So during my latest trip to London I went once more for an afternoon tea at The Wolseley

Was hasn’t changed is the sumptuous, art-deco interior and the nice silver cutlery and linen napkins. Nor did the perfect scones and delicious sandwiches (my favourite one is chicken with tarragon even though I usually do not like chicken sandwiches).

The Wolseley on Piccadilly

But unfortunately there were a few things that let me down. First of all the service: the waiter truly seemed as if he really couldn’t bother being there right now. This was a pity as it made you feel not welcome. Yes, he might have had a bad day and probably it was only that one waiter (since the lady at the front desk was perfectly nice), but for an establishment of that sort this is not acceptable. They do want to make themselves look fancy and posh, so they have to go all the way.

Cuisine wise, there was a slight problem with my tea (I chose Earl Grey) as it tasted particularly bitter although I did not let it steep for too long. I believe the bitter taste came from the metal interior of the teapot, something that shouldn’t happen. Afternoon tea is also about the tea after all. I do have to say that I didn’t (dare to) ask for a new one, so maybe that problem could have been easily fixed.

What also disappointed me, but this may be a personal preference, were the patisseries. Since we only had one complete afternoon tea, we got three sweet treats. If you are two people to order the complete afternoon tea, you get six I believe. There was one mini Paris-Brest, one lemon meringue tartlet and one Battenberg cake. The latter was good but the Paris-Brest was not a proper Paris-Brest: the filling was not a praliné crème mousseline but some sort of caramel cream and the pâte à choux also didn’t seem perfectly right. The lemon meringue tartlet  was ok but nothing more than what you could get from a bakery down the street. What a pity, but luckily the super yummy scones made it all up! And since we also had one cream tea we had quite a few of them.

So would I still recommend The Wolseley? Probably yes, but certainly not for an afternoon tea during the weekend where it is truly packed. I was there on a Friday and it was still very busy. Why not have breakfast during the week where it might be less crowded? That way you can benefit from the grand setting the most.

What are your recommendations for an afternoon tea in London?



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