Our History


The Wolseley is a café-restaurant in the grand European tradition located in St James' on London's most famous of boulevards, Piccadilly.

In 1921, Wolseley Motors Limited commissioned the architect, William Curtis Green, to design a prestigious car showroom in London's West End.

He drew on Venetian and Florentine influences, as well as incorporating the Eastern exotic touches that were in fashion at the time. The grand, atmospheric interior with its towering pillars, arches and stairways was testament to the great ambitions of The Wolseley Car Company. The cars were displayed on the marble floor and cost between £225 - £1,300. Unfortunately, the cars did not sell well enough and by 1926 the Company was bankrupt.

Barclays Bank acquired the building and the new branch opened in April 1927. William Curtis Green was recalled to install managers' offices on either side of the main entrance (now serving as a bar and salon) and a banking counter, further developing the Eastern lacquer theme. He also designed specialised furniture including a post box and stamp machine, still on display today.

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King secured the site in July 2003 and its restoration and renovation was overseen by David Collins Architects. The Wolseley opened in November 2003.