The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 6th December 2011

It’s finally happened, just like the iPhone 4S, The Wolseley 2.0 is upon us just in time for Christmas and following a media blackout The Delaunay launched yesterday on the corner of The Aldwych and Drury Lane.

But will its Euro Grand Café style usurp the Piccadilly forebear of its breakfast hegemony? Who knows but we reckon that Chris Corbin and Jeremy King have it covered from the Birchermüesli through to Choucroute à l'Alsacienne, Moules frites and Schnitzels. This could also be the place to come for afternoon tea as promises of Pear and Blackcurrant Millefeuille, Stroh Rum Cake, Ice cream coupes and Floats are looking rather enticing.

But while the 150 seater venue designed by the ubiquitous David Collins may be up and running this week, opening next year is The Counter at The Delaunay. This casual deli-diner-meets-take-out has its own separate entrance (we’re sure this is down to logistics rather than to keep the poor people away from the celebrities) and will serve up fresh Viennoiserie and patisserie from the on-site pastry kitchen, chicken noodle soup, frankfurters, deli sandwiches, salads and ice cream.

The Counter will also operate a no reservations policy so we anticipate a Katz Deli style bun-fight. However, the same might also be said for the exclusive mothership which, although reservations come highly recommended (as the alternative could be social death) is promising to hold back a number of tables for walk-ins during the day. Which could explain those separate entrances.

The big question though is who will come out deliciously fragranced by freshly baked Viennoiserie and who will wake up and smell the coffee in the restaurant wars. Richard Caring got in there first with 34 and his new Ivy Café is set for next year but Corbin and King’s Sherwood Street Brasserie Zédel and 50-52 Sloane Square (on the site of Oriel) will also be strong summer 2012 contenders. The C&K duo have recently announced they’re opening the Beaumont Hotel in 2014 in a former Art Deco garage in Mayfair so the battle is set to continue.

55 Aldwych, London WC2, 020 7499 8558