There are few undiscovered brunch spots left in London – especially ones with de rigeur Millennial pink walls – but I feel this may be one such gem: The Wallace Collection restaurant, firmly plonked on my radar by my good friend Amber, when she suggested it for brunch a few weeks ago.
Nestled in-between the bustling blocks of Oxford Street and Baker Street, you’ve probably walked past the green where this mansion house sits ten trillion times before without realising – or perhaps just me?
The decadently restored house gives a glimpse into 18th-century aristocratic life, full of beautiful French furniture, paintings, artefacts, china and armour.
It all used to belong to Sir Richard Wallace, and was opened to the public by his widow in 1900 – on the condition that the collection remains displayed in this way.
That velvet sofa is the stuff my maximalist interior dreams are made of…
But even better than the fancy things? The ground floor restaurant, found to the back of the building in the courtyard, complete with a glass roof, pink walls and actual TREES.
Called The Wallace, it’s a French brasserie and at first glance, the menu looks a little pricey but wait you guys: THEY DO BRUNCH. At delightful brunch-y prices.
I had smashed avocado on sourdough toast because OBVIOUSLY and Amber had boiled eggs which I predict will be the next Big Thing on Instagram…
Forgot to snap my avo on toast because I was too busy inhaling it, soz. But I can confirm it was delicious. I also enjoyed the fact, in stark contrast to the artefacts in the house, food is served on simple, white crockery.
The Wallace Collection is open daily and admission is FREE, so it’s a great place to go and get inspired. It’s not just about the inside, either; people were lazing on the grass at the front as we left – a cute spot to sit and eat lunch.
It was so, so lovely catching up with Amber. She’s a breath of fresh air. Buzzing with enthusiasm, ideas and inspiration; her can-do energy is contagious. Despite the 15 years (SHUT UP) between us, we are kindred spirits and get on so well.
And of course, having a professional photographer as a pal means you can nab a half-decent outfit pic (ahem, or more) on your iPhone…
| Jacket, Mango | Top, Zara via charity shop | Jeans, Free People | Bag, charity shop | Sunglasses, cheap tourist shop in Greece | Boots, TK Maxx from two winters ago |
I’m in love with my brocade blazer, which I snapped up for £20 in the Mango sale. It’s just what I’ve been after, as part of my current Oriental obsession. Well, I say ‘current’, but I definitely still have the Chinese dress I bought trying to be Gwen Stefani in the late 90s…
I’d been in the midst of a bad spell health-wise when I caught up with Amber; I had in fact been in hospital that very week with stomach issues #STOMACHPROBS.
And (hopefully Amber didn’t notice; sorry if I was a little Space Cadet), but I actually had the blind-spot beginnings of a migraine as we went our separate ways.
I’m trying to give a more honest account of my life, instead of glossing over the less glam stuff with edited highlights. Despite it looking like I was galavanting around town, I headed straight home to bed after this, but definitely started to turn a corner health-wise from here on in, so it was worth dragging my sorry-arse out of bed for.
Catching up with friends is good for the soul. Ditto discovering new places to brunch. And classic cars. It’s these sorts of things which help to put the spring back in my step.
The Wallace: peytonandbyrne.co.uk/wallace-restaurant