Style & Taste: The Wolseley Collection Comes to Fenwick
26th October 2018
By Darcy Rive
We sit down with The Wolseley founder, Jeremy King, and Head of Retail, Lauren Gurvich King to talk about their highlights from the range, how to make the perfect cup of tea, and their top tips for the perfect dinner party.
Since it opened in 2003, The Wolseley has become a much-loved institution of London’s esteemed restaurant scene. Opened by renowned restauranteurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King – who count The Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel and Bellanger amongst their repertoire – The Wolseley is an all-day café-restaurant that pays homage to the grand European tradition, combining glamour and style with delectable food and exceptional service.
Now it's possible to enjoy this luxurious experience at home with The Wolseley’s new collection of food, drink and homeware. The grand café has been inundated with requests from visitors who wished to buy their favourite tea, chocolate or tea set, and so they created a range of their most popular treats and coveted tableware which captures the unparalleled quality and spirit of The Wolseley.
We caught up with Jeremy King, Founder and CEO at Corbin & King, and Lauren Gurvich King, Head of Retail at Corbin & King, to talk about the gorgeous new collection, how to make the perfect cup of tea, and their top tips for a successful dinner party.
**How would you describe The Wolseley experience?**
_Jeremy_: The whole Wolseley experience is predicated on it being a Grand Café in the European tradition – a place that people feel comfortable, whether ordering just a coffee or a full-blown meal. We want it to feel accessible but glamorous; affordable luxury where there is plenty of opportunity to indulge. A regular haven and meeting place for anyone from all walks of life.
**How has the spirit of The Wolseley been captured in the new Collection?**
_Lauren_: We are incredibly fortunate that The Wolseley’s original 1921 interiors have so many inspirational patterns and color tones. I think we did a great job capturing those Art Deco-inspired patterns in our packaging resulting in unique yet classic, collectible designs. It’s fabulous to hear how many people tell me they save the tins and boxes.
**What made you decide that Fenwick was the right partner for The Wolseley Collection?**
_Jeremy_: I have always been a great admirer of the Fenwick family – its independence and individual approach to retailing particularly – and I was thrilled to get to know them better. Fenwick is the ‘Queen of Bond Street' and we are neighbours, so share a similar pride in it.
_Lauren_: I love that it’s a quintessential British experience of highly-curated special finds. I remember my first time shopping at the Bond Street store when I needed a chic hat for an event at Goodwood and was told "the only place to shop for a hat is Fenwick". I still cherish that hat!
**What are your favourite products within The Wolseley Collection?**
_Lauren_: I’m very proud of our entire range and how much it has grown since our launch, but I am especially proud of our glassware and confectionary lines. They are so very unique and tie back so perfectly to The Wolseley experience. Our Salted Caramel Florentines are handmade in Dorset and are a delightfully chewy, crunchy combination of moreish nuts, sultanas, citrus and ginger, finished with a decadent layer of caramel chocolate – and they are dangerously addictive!
**There is a wonderful selection of teas within the Collection, from classic English Breakfast and Earl Grey to refreshing Green and flavoursome Assam tea. What are your top tips for making the perfect cup of tea?**
_Lauren_: I have learned so much from our tea supplier, Canton, who has provided us with extensive training across our group of restaurants on how to serve tea. Filtered water is essential as is water that is slightly cooled after boiling. Never pour just boiled water over tea leaves as it changes the flavour into something more astringent. A chef would never send out food that was overcooked and a sommelier would never send out white wine at room temperature, so why would we serve over-steeped tea? Last but not least is the importance of the right tea pot and strainer – I love our silver baby pot and iconic saddle strainer, which is a Wolseley favourite.
**Hot Chocolate is one of our favourite things about autumn and we can’t wait to enjoy a cup of The Wolseley Collection Hot Chocolate on a chilly evening. What are you excited about this season?**
_Lauren_: I adore our hand-shaved hot chocolate, which comes from a single block of chocolate. It's the best for a cosy night in front of the fire with a book. Autumn is my favourite season – I adore the brisk wind, changing leaves, fashion’s bold cold-weather looks, and the wonderful mushrooms and truffles that are in season. It’s a very special time of the year.
**Many of the products from The Wolseley Collection make for an ideal dinner party gift. What are your top tips for the perfect dinner party?**
_Jeremy_: 1) I feel conviviality is the key to a successful dinner party. Keep the food simple, with shared plates passing down the table. This gets the guests freely interacting rather than contained, which is often caused by the food being too complex in aspiration!
2) The seating plan is crucial. We obsess as to who sits next to whom, but unless you have a wide table, that is no longer relevant as you often end up speaking much more to the people opposite. Don’t maroon anyone in an attempt to mix it up – always give everyone an anchor.
3) Make the start time clear and don’t leave people drinking too long before sitting – people get jaded especially if it's a ‘school night’. And on that note: time the evening so that if guests need to leave by 11:00pm, they can do so without feeling guilty. The more ordered and controlled the event, strangely, the more people will relax.
4) Lastly, set the mood with one of our Wolseley candles, which has a warm, enveloping, exotic scent and, of course, a great choice for a host gift is our Salted Caramel Truffles, which can always be served with coffee at the end of the meal.
Exclusive: The Wolseley Silver-Plated Mini Teapot, £179
Exclusive: The Wolseley Candle (210g), £49
Exclusive: The Wolseley Silver-Plated Cruet Set, £79
**With so many incredible restaurants in London, what do you think it is that makes The Wolseley so special amongst the London restaurant scene?**
_Jeremy_: It’s not for me to claim that mantle, but I think there is no doubt that the breathtaking interior makes us somewhat unique. However, that would count for nothing if we didn’t treat everyone coming through the door as special; whoever they are and whatever they would like to spend. Grand Cafés are all about egalitarianism, which is something I hold dear.
**Given its immediate popularity, what's next for The Wolseley Collection?**
_Lauren_: I’m so pleased that the line has been so well received! We are looking forward to expanding our glassware and confectionary ranges, as well as our more adventurous tea offers after the runaway hit of our special Chocolate Tea.
_Shop The Wolseley Collection at [Fenwick of Bond Street](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/store/?StoreID=bondStreet), [Kingston](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/store/?StoreID=kingston), [Newcastle](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/store/?StoreID=newcastle) and online now._