Archives: Product Stories

Breakfast is Everything


Why the prolific restaurant critic, A.A. Gill, found breakfast to be one of the very few things that link every one of us to everyone else.

“Breakfast – simple, elaborate, hurried, deliberate or skipped – is an unconsidered moment of global communion."


“Somewhere, someone is starting breakfast and thinking, ‘Today will be a better than yesterday.’ Someone is gulping coffee before opening the bills, is dropping marmalade onto the paper, is shouting up the stairs, is hunting for homework or a briefcase, is listening to the still, long dawn shadows in the chilly desert, is watching the mist clear from the canopy of the rainforest, is ignoring the commuters’ roar from a packing-case house under a motorway flyover, is blearily trying to rub life into a numb leg as the stewardess asks if he or she would like the healthy option in the thin, dark air above us. Wherever, whenever breakfast comes, it’s a mouthful of stoic optimism.”

An excerpt from ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’ by A.A. Gill. Buy here.

THE STORY BEHIND OUR WINE GLASSES

Our fine crystal Rummer glasses are inspired by Georgian/Regency design and are exclusive to The Wolseley.


Rummer glasses became very popular towards the end of the 18th Century and are characterised by a capacious bowl, a short sturdy stem and a wide foot. Our glasses have open bowls, a single knop in the stem and a hand-formed foot, the base of which has been delicately engraved with The Wolseley monogram.

Produced in a glass factory that has been in existence for almost 100 years and considered one of the best within Europe, our crystal wine glasses are made by hand using traditional glass blowing methods. Consistency of shape is achieved through the use of carved wooden moulds, made from a fruit wood such as pear, into which the bowls are blown. Our crystal glassware is lead-free, with the addition of a metal oxide to add a little weight and give the glass its wonderful colour and brilliance.

The story behind our champagne flutes.

Our fine crystal champagne flutes are designed exclusively for The Wolseley, to match our Rummer wine glasses.


Rummer glasses became very popular towards the end of the 18th century and are characterised by a capacious bowl, a short sturdy stem and a wide foot. Our champagne flutes have a single knop in the stem and a hand formed base, which has been delicately engraved with The Wolseley monogram.

Produced in a glass factory that has been in existence for almost 100 years and considered one of the best within Europe, our crystal champagne flutes are made by hand using traditional glass blowing methods. Consistency of shape is achieved through the use of carved wooden moulds, made from a fruit wood such as pear, into which the bowls are blown. Our crystal glassware is lead-free, with the addition of a metal oxide to add a little weight and give the glass its wonderful colour and brilliance.

THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGN

Discover the inspiration behind the iconic marble floor – the chevron details of which can be found on the packaging of many of our gifts.


In 1921, the English architect, William Curtis Green, was commissioned by Wolseley Motors Limited to design a prestigious car showroom at the site of 160 Piccadilly. Befitting the company’s grand ambitions, Green designed a lavishly elegant interior, drawing on various architectural influences. It is felt he may have done so due to his previous commissions for comparatively mundane house-building in the great suburban areas of the capital. Here, he had a chance to spread his wings. The main inspiration came from Brunelleschi’s Santo Spirito in Florence, but the iconic black and cream chevron-detailing of the geometric marble floor is likely to have been modelled on those of churches from Pisa and San Marco in Venice.

These Italianate influences were joined by many others: Byzantine light fittings, baroque ironwork, Doric interior and Corinthian exterior columns, finished off with Wren-like touches and even a mansard roof in the French style. All this was juxtaposed with elaborate japan-lacquered screens and decorations, exemplifying fashionable Mayfair’s taste in the 1920’s for Eastern exoticism.
In 1923, Green received the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Street Architecture Medal and was moved to give thanks ‘that Wolseley Motors had the foresight, unusual in this country, to see that architecture is a commercial asset’.

THE VINEYARD & OUR ICONIC GLASSWARE

Learn more about the vineyard behind our champagne and the story of The Wolseley’s iconic glassware.


Pommery ~ Champagne Pommery is located in Reims, France. It was in 1857 that Mr Pommery moved into the champagne trade (having made his fortune in the wool industry), yet he died a year later and his widow and then their children took over the reins. Hectares of land were purchased, the business began to thrive and in 1874 Pommery created the very first successfully marketed Brut Champagne. The original Pommery Domaine is still used in the production of all its champagnes to this day, including the 18 km of chalk galleries located 30m below ground where the maturation takes place.

The Wolseley Champagne Flutes ~ Our fine crystal champagne flutes are designed exclusively for The Wolseley, to match our Rummer wine glasses. Rummer glasses became very popular towards the end of the 18th century and are characterised by a capacious bowl, a short sturdy stem and a wide foot. Our champagne flutes have a single knop in the stem and a hand formed base, which has been delicately engraved with The Wolseley monogram.

Produced in a glass factory that has been in existence for almost 100 years and considered one of the best within Europe, our crystal champagne flutes are made by hand using traditional glass blowing methods. Consistency of shape is achieved through the use of carved wooden moulds, made from a fruit wood such as pear, into which the bowls are blown. Our crystal glassware is lead-free, with the addition of a metal oxide to add a little weight and give the glass its wonderful colour and brilliance.

THE VINEYARD & OUR ICONIC GLASSWARE

Learn more about the vineyard behind our wine and the story of The Wolseley’s iconic glassware.


Château La Tour de By ~ This iconic, family-owned estate in the northern Médoc region boasts over 90 hectares and is beautifully situated with far-reaching views over the Gironde. In 1965, the property was bought and developed by Marc Pagès, and it is now run by two of his grandsons – Frédéric Leclerc and Benjamin Richer des Forges. The blend of the Grand Vin comprises 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, with the average age of the vines being well over forty years.

The Wolseley Wine Glasses ~ Our fine crystal Rummer glasses are inspired by Georgian/Regency design and are exclusive to The Wolseley. Rummer glasses became very popular towards the end of the 18th Century and are characterised by a capacious bowl, a short sturdy stem and a wide foot. Our glasses have open bowls, a single knop in the stem and a hand-formed foot, the base of which has been delicately engraved with The Wolseley monogram.

Produced in a glass factory that has been in existence for almost 100 years and considered one of the best within Europe, our crystal wine glasses are made by hand using traditional glass blowing methods. Consistency of shape is achieved through the use of carved wooden moulds, made from a fruit wood such as pear, into which the bowls are blown. Our crystal glassware is lead-free, with the addition of a metal oxide to add a little weight and give the glass its wonderful colour and brilliance.

THE VINEYARD & OUR ICONIC GLASSWARE

Learn more about the vineyard behind our wine and the story of The Wolseley’s iconic glassware.


Domaine André Dezat & Fils ~ The Dezat family is one of the oldest wine-growing families in Sancerre, with records dating as far back as 1550. In 1948, André Dezat took over the family vineyards and became actively involved in promoting the wines of Sancerre. In the 1970’s, he was joined by his sons, Louis and Simon, and grandsons Arnaud and Firmin now work for the estate, too.

Our Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and comes from vineyards with a combination of 65% pebbly limestone, 25% calcareous clay and 10% flint.

The Wolseley Wine Glasses ~ Our fine crystal Rummer glasses are inspired by Georgian/Regency design and are exclusive to The Wolseley. Rummer glasses became very popular towards the end of the 18th Century and are characterised by a capacious bowl, a short sturdy stem and a wide foot. Our glasses have open bowls, a single knop in the stem and a hand-formed foot, the base of which has been delicately engraved with The Wolseley monogram.

Produced in a glass factory that has been in existence for almost 100 years and considered one of the best within Europe, our crystal wine glasses are made by hand using traditional glass blowing methods. Consistency of shape is achieved through the use of carved wooden moulds, made from a fruit wood such as pear, into which the bowls are blown. Our crystal glassware is lead-free, with the addition of a metal oxide to add a little weight and give the glass its wonderful colour and brilliance.

THE VINEYARDS

Explore the vineyards behind our champagne and wine…


Pommery ~ Champagne Pommery is located in Reims, France. It was in 1857 that Mr Pommery moved into the champagne trade (having made his fortune in the wool industry), yet he died a year later and his widow and then their children took over the reins. Hectares of land were purchased, the business began to thrive and in 1874 Pommery created the very first successfully marketed Brut Champagne. The original Pommery Domaine is still used in the production of all its champagnes to this day, including the 18 km of chalk galleries located 30m below ground where the maturation takes place.

Château La Tour de By ~ This iconic, family-owned estate in the northern Médoc region boasts over 90 hectares and is beautifully situated with far-reaching views over the Gironde. In 1965, the property was bought and developed by Marc Pagès, and it is now run by two of his grandsons – Frédéric Leclerc and Benjamin Richer des Forges. The blend of the Grand Vin comprises 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, with the average age of the vines being well over forty years.

Domaine André Dezat & Fils ~ The Dezat family is one of the oldest wine-growing families in Sancerre, with records dating as far back as 1550. In 1948, André Dezat took over the family vineyards and became actively involved in promoting the wines of Sancerre. In the 1970’s, he was joined by his sons, Louis and Simon, and grandsons Arnaud and Firmin now work for the estate, too. Our Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and comes from vineyards with a combination of 65% pebbly limestone, 25% calcareous clay and 10% flint.

THE VINEYARDS

Explore the vineyards behind our wine…


Château La Tour de By ~ This iconic, family-owned estate in the northern Médoc region boasts over 90 hectares and is beautifully situated with far-reaching views over the Gironde. In 1965, the property was bought and developed by Marc Pagès, and it is now run by two of his grandsons – Frédéric Leclerc and Benjamin Richer des Forges The blend of the Grand Vin comprises 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, with the average age of the vines being well over forty years.

Domaine André Dezat & Fils ~ The Dezat family is one of the oldest wine-growing families in Sancerre, with records dating as far back as 1550. In 1948, André Dezat took over the family vineyards and became actively involved in promoting the wines of Sancerre. In the 1970’s, he was joined by his sons, Louis and Simon, and grandsons Arnaud and Firmin now work for the estate, too. Our Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and comes from vineyards with a combination of 65% pebbly limestone, 25% calcareous clay and 10% flint.

THE WOLSELEY OPENS FOR BREAKFAST

An excerpt capturing the moment The Wolseley opens its doors for the first service of the day…


“As the clock moves towards seven o’clock and opening, the staff check their stations for the last time. The muesli and the sugar, the honey-pourers that look like children’s rattles, the antique silver tea- and coffee-pots, the strainers that revolve in their own saucers, the little confiture pots of raspberry jam, chocolate spread, lemon curd and marmalade, the yoghurt bowls, the fresh fruit salad, the compote of prunes, the menus, the napery.

It’s seven. The doors are opened and thirty seconds later the first customer walks in. Pinstriped and briefcased, already furrowed of brow, he barely looks at the waiter, who, knowing him as a regular, walks to a familiar table. He unfolds the Financial Times, orders tea and cereal. The day has begun.”

And excerpt from ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’ by A.A. Gill. Buy here.