The Wallace Restaurant Afternoon Tea

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••• The Wallace Restaurant. © Peyton and Byrne

The Wallace Restaurant is a Peyton and Byrne dining space inside The Wallace Collection art gallery. This modern European brasserie has plenty of natural light as it is in a glass-covered courtyard making it feel like al fresco dining but without the London chill. 

The Wallace Restaurant is a real gem as what's not to love about quality dining while seated near exquisite fine arts, porcelain and furnishings?

For more afternoon tea reviews see: Best Afternoon Tea in London

Afternoon Tea Information 

Venue:
The Wallace Restaurant
The Wallace Collection
Hertford House
Manchester Square
London W1U 3BN 

Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street

Use Journey Planner or Citymapper to plan your route by public transport.

Days and Times: Seven days a week.
2.30pm-4.30pm (last booking 4pm)

Cost: From £17.50 per person.

Dress Code: Smart casual.

Reservations Tel: 020 7563 9505

Photography: Permitted. Staff will help.

Children: Welcome.

Official Website: www.peytonandbyrne.co.uk/the-wallace-restaurant/

The Wallace Restaurant Afternoon Tea Review

The Wallace Restaurant is reached through the main entrance for The Wallace Collection. Do not be surprised when officious gallery staff order you to take your bag to the cloakroom - it happens every time I'm there even with the smallest of bags. Just tell them you are going to the restaurant and you can then keep your belongings with you.

The Wallace has some of the courtyard space as a cafe, so you can stop by for a drink without a reservation, and the rest of the space is the restaurant.

As part of The Wallace Collection's Centenary Project in 2000 the museum acquired a range of new facilities including this elegant restaurant in the covered courtyard.

This double height atrium in the heart of the building reminds me of the Winter Garden at The Landmark Hotel.

The walls are salmon pink and the seating is slated wooden tub dining chairs with plenty of tables for two but larger tables available as well. Tables all have a floral arrangement and a glass of water was brought without asking.

The Wallace is managed by Peyton and Byrne who also run The National Dining Rooms at The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and Inn The Park in St. James's Park, plus many others.

Afternoon Tea Options

We chose the English Afternoon Tea which is the full three-tier cake stand but you could also choose a cream tea (scone with clotted cream and preserves), or a Cornish Cream Tea which is the scone plus finger sandwiches.

If you want to celebrate a special occasion you could add a glass of Champagne too.

The Tea

I was very impressed by the large selection of teas on offer and staff were able to offer advice to help us make a decision. I chose the Elderflower and Ginger which was naturally sweet and delicious. My companion chose the Earl Grey Bluestar which was very good too.

Tea is served in a black Chinese teapot with a stand. (Quick tip: keep the teapot handle up or it gets too hot to hold if resting against the pot.) The table crockery is all plain white.

Extra hot water was offered without asking which is always a sign that staff understand the quality tea they are serving.

The Cake Stand

The silver three tier cake stand cleverly used side plates instead of dinner plates which meant we could easily fit two cake stands on a small table. I'd not seen these slimline cake stands before and thought they were an excellent idea.

Sandwiches

We received four finger sandwiches each on brown and white bread. The standard sandwiches include ham, smoked salmon, chicken and cucumber, but I was able to ask for vegetarian options with no problem.

To add interest to the savory course, the cucumber sandwich had wasabi butter which tasted a bit like mustard but with a bigger after-kick.

Sweet Layers

On the middle layer of the cake stand each diner receives a very large homemade scone with small pots of clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

The scone was still warm after we had finished the sandwiches and it cut without crumbs.

The top layer of the cake stand is for the sweet treats and we had three each. I had a lemon meringue pie, white chocolate cheesecake and a chocolate and raspberry heart, but, of course these may vary.

Conclusion

I had heard many good things about the afternoon tea at The Wallace and I have to say I concur. We stayed for about an hour but had drunk and eaten plenty and certainly didn't feel rushed.

Service was great and staff were very welcoming as well as efficient at their jobs. The whole experience felt wonderfully indulgent at an incredibly good price (£17.50 in 2015). This is somewhere I would definitely recommended and hope to return many times.

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.