Afternoon tea at The Wolseley

Will I ever get tired of afternoon tea? No. Those neat little sandwiches and cakes are too hard to resist. And, it just makes you feel so ladylike! Boys, you can keep your Fight Club. This is Food Club and anyone can join- stretchy pants recommended. My friends Ami and Ismay came along for afternoon tea at The Wolseley, as they are the best dudes to go out and eat with-ever.

One of them was a pop star in Thailand. The other was Dublin’s Potato Queen for three years running. One of these statements is a lie.


I was surprised how busy The Wolseley was this late in the afternoon on a Sunday, but it was bustling. I squeezed into an empty spot by the Reception desk while we waited for our table to be ready. After 15 minutes, we were seated and I had clocked another table being asked not to take photos with flash…after that I hid my camera away and used the old iPhone…

The Wolseley is gorgeous with an air of old school glamour. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid if ladies in flapper dresses and men in tuxedos suddenly appeared. Very Great Gatsbyesque! Our tea arrived soon after I started slurping on my cup of Earl Grey. The chicken and tarragon sandwiches were the best of the bunch. The middle plate (my favorite plate!) offered a mini lemon meringue tart, a slice of cheesecake, a mini coffee eclair, a pistachio madeline, a slice of Battenberg cake and I’m guessing, thanks to the Great British Bake Off, a slice of chocolate Opera cake. Hidden underneath the silver dome were the scones. So far, so calorific.My favourite was definitely the mini lemon meringue tart. The fact that it is a mini pie probably only swayed my decision, oooh about 90%. The scones were good- glossy on the outside but soft and fluffy when you cut it in half.


I loved the little spoons labelled Strawberry and Clotted Cream when we finally munched our way through the tiers of food. We argued over the ‘correct’ way of slathering scones with either jam or cream first. I sided with Ami…definitely cream first. However, my argument is weak since I can’t touch the old dairy stuff anyway!

If you find that you can’t finish off your tea, fear not! A waiter will kindly pack it up in a pretty carry out box for you to munch on when you get home, to eat whilst lounging on the sofa with a grumpy gremlin by your side. I’m talking about the cat. Not Robin.


As grand as The Wolseley is, I did feel a tiny bit underwhelmed by it. The food was lovely and the service we got was friendly but inattentive. We felt a little invisible! Especially when the table next to us were asked if they would like more sandwiches and tea whereas we had to play the Catch-The-Waiter’s-Eye game. In the end, we gave up and just asked for the bill. We did notice that we probably came at a rubbish time- it looked like there was a shift changeover and it was that awkward in between time of not quite tea and not quite dinner period.

I’d still come back though. Just time your reservation at a normal hour!

The Wolseley, you are a beaut (but you know it)

Author: Angela Shek

just a clueless mama in East London

11 thoughts on “Afternoon tea at The Wolseley”

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