The Wolseley | 15y

Matthew grew up in Liverpool and moved down to London in 1996.

After travelling around Australia a little, he started working for Chris Corbin and Jeremy King at The Ivy in 2000. The pair had acquired Le Caprice group twenty years earlier and opened The Ivy ten years after that. Over time they’ve developed a reputation for restoring faded establishments to their former glory and added J. Sheekey to their portfolio in 1998. After selling the group that same year, they went on to open The Wolseley in a building that was built as a showroom for Wolseley Motors in 1921. After a couple of iterations as a bank and a Chinese restaurant, The Wolseley was born in 2003.

Matthew moved over from The Ivy in 2004 and has worked there ever since, progressing quickly from waiter to assistant Maitre D to Senior Maitre D.

What is now the restaurant’s private dining room used to be the office for the new Corbin & King company, with The Wolseley the sole member in its portfolio. The group now owns seven restaurants.

Matthew says it could easily be perceived as a stuffy place on first glance, but actually there’s a real mix of customers and when it fills up, nothing matches the buzz of the dining room. He still enjoys seeing new customers’ reactions as they enter the vast, vaulted space.

The area’s changed quite a bit; they were the first restaurant to offer breakfast in the surrounding streets and the key to its continuing success has been to fill the place up for all three meals of the day.

After I finish the photos, I go to sit at a table for a bit of food but am politely moved as a regular (and famous) customer has held a standing breakfast reservation at that table for the past 15 years!