But it is primarily the restaurant’s surroundings and ambience that make it a superb place to eat.
The Wallace Collection lies just off Oxford Street and was originally the London pad of the Dukes of Manchester and later the French Embassy. It is now an art museum, displaying the Wallace family’s private collection of 16th to 19th-Century French paintings, porcelain and furniture.
Located in what used to be an open-air courtyard garden, Café Bagatelle is now under a glass roof set around an indoor fountain. Unlike many restaurants, Café Bagatelle’s waiting staff have learned that neither obsequious service nor Prussian efficiency are the key to a pleasant dining experience.
So you are not pressed to order, and waiters are happy to let you have a half-hour break between courses.
As befits the nature of the art collection, the restaurant has a distinctly French bias and is run by the same company that manages restaurants in the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Dishes are always light and delicious and the wine list is reasonably priced, again with a heavy French influence.
Unfortunately, Café Bagatelle does not open for dinner so this is a place for a lunch date.