The Wolsley, London

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The Ivy, overexposed like some of its celebrity customers, may be passé, but the new venture from its owners Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King, which opened last year to critical acclaim, remains a mecca for A-listers. Formerly a car showroom, then a restaurant called China House, the place is modelled on the grand continental cafes of yesteryear. With its Edwardian-style design of vaulted high ceilings, crisp linen napery, beautiful chandeliers, grand marble pillars, silver teapots and cake stands, it exudes a timeless feel. Unlike other to-be-seen restaurants in the capital, it's not fiendishly hard to get a table either - the Wolsley's long opening hours ensure that most customers can be accommodated at short notice, whether they're pleb or celeb. Although booking for dinner is essential, you can drop by for breakfast, simple but superbly executed brasserie fare such as steak tartare, coq au vin and moules marinières, or cocktails and luxurious bar snacks like smoked salmon and brioche

The Ivy, overexposed like some of its celebrity customers, may be passé, but the new venture from its owners Christopher Corbin and Jeremy King, which opened last year to critical acclaim, remains a mecca for A-listers. Formerly a car showroom, then a restaurant called China House, the place is modelled on the grand continental cafes of yesteryear. With its Edwardian-style design of vaulted high ceilings, crisp linen napery, beautiful chandeliers, grand marble pillars, silver teapots and cake stands, it exudes a timeless feel. Unlike other to-be-seen restaurants in the capital, it's not fiendishly hard to get a table either - the Wolsley's long opening hours ensure that most customers can be accommodated at short notice, whether they're pleb or celeb. Although booking for dinner is essential, you can drop by for breakfast, simple but superbly executed brasserie fare such as steak tartare, coq au vin and moules marinières, or cocktails and luxurious bar snacks like smoked salmon and brioche toasts. And don't miss the afternoon tea with dainty finger sandwiches, cakes, meringues and macaroons. The service at the Wolsley is perfectly pitched and unfailingly polite. "Old-fashioned", done Wolsley-style, has never been more fashionable.

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London 020 7499 6996 www.thewolseley.com, Mon-Sat 7am-midnight, Sun 9am-12pm. Meal for two, incl wine and service: £80

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