WILTONS is a typical example of traditional fine English dining in London. Originally opened in 1742, its reputation is based on serving the finest oysters, seafood, fish, meat and game. Its dining room has the atmosphere of an English country house.
WILTONS can be found in Jermyn Street, in the heart of the St James's area of London. The location is ideally suited to its clientèle (customers). WILTONS’ clients include members of the government, senior businesses and British aristocracy. Service is discreet, professional and welcoming.
The original WILTONS was opened in the Haymarket in 1742, by a local shellfish monger George William Wilton, as a stall selling oysters, shrimps and cockles. Business did well, and moved in 1805 to Cockspur Street, to be called WILTONS Shellfish Mongers and Oyster Rooms, and run by his nephew, William Wilton, who had been a tea dealer and grocer in Soho.
Over the next 50 years, the premises moved around St James's, and became a fully-fledged restaurant in 1840 in Ryder Street, called WILTONS Oyster Rooms. From 1889 the restaurant was no longer owned by the Wilton family, however in 1942 (in the middle of the Second World War) it was bought by Olaf Hambro who saved it from closure. WILTONS is to this day owned by the Hambro family. By 1913 WILTONS was attracting clients with a real love of fine dining (gastronomes). Having moved location many times throughout its history, in 1984 WILTONS arrived at its current location at 55 Jermyn Street.
Everything about WILTONS reflects the restaurant’s stylish history - from the refined character “Harry” on the logo to the current elegant premises, from the tasteful food to the excellent service. The atmosphere is perfectly matched with the beautifully prepared wild fish, shellfish, and game in season, and meat dishes sourced from the finest farms. These are further complimented with an exclusive wine list to choose from.
WILTONS combines a modern philosophy on service with all that is traditionally English to create the perfect dining experience
The atmosphere in the restaurant is one of understated quality, The service is superbly efficient, yet restrained.
The restaurant's secluded Pullman dining car style seating, individual tables and attractive sporting pictures provide a most pleasing atmosphere. WILTONS retains many intriguing decorative features from its early years and guests will find that the gentle changes made to the restaurant have in no way spoilt the sense of exclusivity and calm
The Oyster Bar
For many years WILTONS Oyster Bar has been known for being the favourite haunt for St James's locals and business people alike. This is the place to enjoy the finest oysters, game and seafood amongst other delicious specialities that change daily according to season.
The first Royal Warrant was received in 1884 as Purveyor (supplier) of Oysters to Queen Victoria, and a second as Purveyors to the Prince of Wales. Since then the skilled team of oyster openers have won numerous awards, which include the World, British and European Oyster Opening Championships.
Private dining room
The elegant private dining room is designed to suit every occasion. Whether needed for a breakfast meeting, birthday or even a black tie dinner, WILTONS will make sure the occasion runs as the client wants it. The room has been decorated in a traditional style. It accommodates up to 18 people comfortably, at a mahogany boardroom table There are two data points allowing for internet and IP conference calls. The room can be prepared with any IT equipment required.
Today the Food is taken care of by Jérôme Ponchelle who joined WILTONS in 2002 as chef de cuisine (Head Chef). Ponchelle was the protégé of the legendary Michel Bourdin at the Connaught Hotel for over 9 years, and brought with him a flawless sense of craftsmanship. Examples of this are in dishes such as braised fillet of wild Scottish turbot with Champagne sauce, lobster crab and truffle omelette and the WILTONS Galette.
The Head Chef uses his wide gastronomic expertise to ensure that each dish that comes from his kitchen delights the senses. Restaurant clients can choose from an à la carte menu plus daily and seasonal specials. The famous wild Scottish lobster cocktail
Awards and Reviews
WILTONS has received many awards and favourable reviews such as:
• World Oyster Champions 1999
• British Oyster Champions 2001
• World Oyster Champions 2001
• British Oyster Champions 2002
• British Oyster Champions 2003
• British Oyster Champions 2004
• World's Best Presentation of Oysters 2004
• British Oyster Champions 2005
• Tatler Best UK Front of House Team 2006
Tatler Restaurant Guide 2006, Jeremy Wayne (Editor): “Britannia may no longer rule the waves but WILTONS, some 260 years old, remains largely unchanged. It's had a refit, but nothing radical. As ever, it's favoured by politicos and old money (the Hambro family own the joint). Chef Jerome Ponchelle ( cousin of the legendary chef Michel Bourdin) knows how the English like fish and game and has a real handle on nursery puds. Great and unknown are treated with equal courtesy.”
Square Meal Review 2006:
"The institution to end all institutions", declares one experienced Mayfair diner of this 'wonderful classic'. WILTONS transports the area's well healed movers & shakers to a different era, its waiter's offer impeccable service & serve outstanding cuisine. One fan advises soaking up 'the deliciously old-fashioned atmosphere with a glass of champagne while you peruse the ordinary-sounding menu', promising that when the fishy treats arrive they are never less than 'fabulous'. From a simple fish pie to a decadent lobster, crab and truffle omelette, it's all well crafted. Just 'don't come if you have to rush' (or indeed, if you're cash-strapped) because, aside from the cuisine there's a book length wine list to explore. 'Go for lunch & don't go back to work afterwards' is perhaps the best course of action.”
Awarded 1 Star (A Square Meal Favourite Restaurant)