This was my first visit to the Wallace Collection's cafe in a couple of years and the first time I've been during a busy time - early afternoon on a bank holiday. It was very enjoyable overall.
The restaurant/cafe is split down the middle. The more formal restaurant in on the right and the cafe, more for casual cakes/coffee/snacks, is on the left, although it's not immediately obvious when entering from the galleries, especially if it is busy.
This creates confusion if there is a queue to get in: it backs up and becomes unclear whether the line is for the cafe, the restaurant or both. It's also unclear at first whether or not it's table service as there is no obvious sign, or whether you still have to join a potentially long line at the back even if you have a reservation for the restaurant.
Once we were seated we got good, professional service as our orders were taken. The setting is beautiful and makes for an elegant, relaxing place, free of any garish piped music. However, on this occasion, when the food arrived and I politely pointed out an error in what we'd been brought, the reaction was stroppy. "What?" the server asked, before summoning a colleague and wordlessly directing me to explain again. The colleague confirmed I was correct and the server raised an eyebrow and departed without another word. Not very professional.
We had afternoon tea which was just about appropriate value at about £12 each for four slices of sandwiches and a suitably large, soft scone with clotted cream and jam and a hot drink.
We had to wait a few minutes before succeeding in our efforts to get a server to notice us so that we could ask for the bill but aside from that everything was fine and it was a pleasant way to round off a stroll around the impressive galleries.
The only other minor point for improvement is evident when viewing the restaurant from the rooms above: the very top of the industrial cabinets/units at the kitchen area are visibly grimy and very dusty.
This wasn't the cafe's finest hour but it was still enjoyable and I will be back.
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