The Wallace Restaurant is located inside the Wallace Collection Art Gallery in London. This modern European brasserie is flooded with natural light in a glass-covered courtyard, making it feel like an alfresco dining spot.
The restaurant is operated by Peyton and Byrne, and it's a real gem. What's not to love about dining on fine food near exquisite fine art, porcelain, and furnishings? Peyton and Byrne also operate The National Dining Rooms at The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and Inn The Park in St. James's Park, plus many others.
The 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 even with the smallest of bags. Just tell them you are going to the restaurant and you can then keep your belongings with you.
Some of the courtyard space is a cafe, so you can stop by for a drink without a reservation, and the rest of the space is taken over by 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 reminisces of the Winter Garden at The Landmark Hotel.
The walls are salmon pink, and there are plenty of tables for two and larger tables available as well. The tables feature a floral arrangement, and glasses of water are served when you take a seat.
We chose the English Afternoon Tea, which is served on a 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 made up of a scone and finger sandwiches.
If you want to celebrate a special occasion, you could add a glass of Champagne too.
I was very impressed by the large selection of teas on offer and the staff was able to offer advice to help us make a decision. I chose the Elderflower and Ginger brew, 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 the staff understands the quality of the tea they are serving.
The silver three-tier cake stand cleverly features 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.
We received four finger sandwiches each on brown and white bread. The standard sandwiches include ham, smoked salmon, chicken, and cucumber, but you can ask for their 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 kick.
On the middle layer of the cake stand each diner receives a very large homemade scone with small pots of clotted cream and strawberry preserves. 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.
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.
The service was great and the staff was very welcoming and efficient. The whole experience felt wonderfully indulgent at an incredibly good price. This is somewhere I would definitely recommend and hope to return many times.
Afternoon Tea Information
Venue: The Wallace Restaurant, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
Nearest tube station: Bond Street, on the Central and Jubilee lines
Days and times: Seven days a week. 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. (last booking at 4 p.m.)
Cost: From £8 per person for the Cream Tea
Dress code: Smart casual
Reservations telephone: +44 (0) 20 7563 9505
Photography: Permitted, staff will help
Official website: https://www.peytonandbyrne.co.uk/venues/wallace-restaurant
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