The Wolseley


When the East London Overground (re)opened, some argued that in order to run a fashion brand in the UK all you needed to do was ride the rails.

Impromptu meetings could be taken between Dalston Junction and Hoxton, off the cuff deals signed between Haggerston and Shoreditch. 

It was a hub, the spot, that place which whilst fulfilling its expected function, also managed to bring a bit of analogue meet and greet to the post digital world. 

All big cities have these spots, and they always will. Places which take off, and go beyond their initial intended purpose to become our modern campfire’s, beacon’s we flock to for human interaction, community or sustenance.

It’s inherent in our animal nature, to want to congregate, sometimes to talk, sometimes to watch, sometimes to be watched.

As humans, we just want our actions to be noted, our taste to be praised and our civility to be unquestioned.

Because, why do we do certain things? Even if we opt out of actions, our opting out is as conscious a choice as our opting in.

This train of thought was plaguing me last week, when escaping Frieze I found myself worshiping at one of my beacon’s, The Wolseley.

A hub, for my life as well as those around me, highs and lows, dumping’s and dates.

Where you run into people and you get things done, without planning or design.

It’s low frequency buzz of a million conversations bouncing and soundtracking human business in all it’s forms.

Because at it’s heart, a hub ought to be inclusive and comfortable. A place to allow life to unwind and change unencumbered by surroundings. 

That place to celebrate and commiserate as well as fortify and frolic. 

The menu reflects this, a broad church, each of us with our own denomination. Yes, there is breakfast, but personally I believe that ought to be taken in silent communion and should always be English.

From 1130am onwards, some pray to Rarebit’s and Black Velvet, others Omelette in all it’s forms, perhaps Chicken Soup, Steak Tartare, or today’s Tish. As long as you remember always, the Pickled Cucumber.

Or perhaps like me, watching the world go past, nose in Nicholas Coleridge’s ‘The Glossy Years’ and contemplating my own Oyster and Schnitzel years. 

Go big, go small. Wet or dry. Solo, duo or more, doesn’t really matter. The experience is consistent, and that’s hard. Day after day, cover after cover, consistency. This isn’t haute, neither needs nor should be, a star would diminish, it would make this hub, no more a campfire beacon but a closed door cathedral.