The Wallace Collection is one of London’s great small museums, although it’s only small in comparison with behemoths like Tate Modern and the British Museum. By the standards of most private residences it’s enormous and is packed with treasures collected by the Hertford family over five generations. Thanks to their Irish estate these chaps could be quite spendy when they found something they liked, and luckily for us they discovered they quite liked art. And clocks. And armour. And porcelain. And quite a lot of other things. Hertford House is packed with high quality works including Franz Hal’s Laughing Cavalier, several Canalettos, and pictures by Rembrandt, Van Dyke and other big hitters.
With so much to see you might find yourself in need of sustenance whilst perusing Reynold’s portraits, German cross-bows or Sèvres porcelain. The Peyton and Byrne restaurant in the glazed indoor courtyard has just been refurbished, giving a dining space as close as possible to al fresco without being outdoors – the courtyard is filled with natural light and dotted with tall trees and sculptures creating a bright and airy atmosphere.
The restaurant has a modern European menu and specialises in seasonal dishes such as pine-smoked partridge with cereals, green tea and cauliflower; chick pea gnocchi, sprouting broccoli, chillies and Scottish pheasant, red cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke and cinnamon dust.
If you want something lighter, throughout the day there is a more informal à la carte menu offering selections such as quiches, salads and spicy sausage and squid hot pot. There is also a large selection of cakes and tarts as well as a classic afternoon tea, whilst on Friday and Saturday evenings the bar will be offering a tapas menu.
The Wallace Collection has enough treasures on display to keep you busy all day. Lunch on site and don’t waste any time that could be spent amongst the masterpieces.
The Wallace Restaurant is open daily: Sunday-Thursday 10am until 4.30pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-10.30pm. Breakfast is served 10am-Noon, Lunch from Noon-3pm, Afternoon Tea 2.30pm-4.30pm, and Dinner (Friday and Saturday only) 6pm-10.30pm).
The Wallace Collection