Londons Oldest Restaurant

Londons Oldest Restaurant

Londons oldest restaurant is Wiltons fab oyster and seafood.

Location: 55 Jermyn Street, St James, SW1Y 6LX

Description: Wiltons is probably the finest seafood restaurant in London. And has been for 280 years.

George William Wilton opened his shellfish-mongers close to the twice-weekly sheep and cattle market - Haymarket in 1742.

George's oysters were a great success with the local traders and, 28 years later, he passed the business to his son Francis Charles Wilton, and subsequently in 1805 he left Wiltons to his nephew, William Nichol Wilton. William married the daughter of a wealthy street trader, Frances Atkin, whose family were fine oyster purveyors, and they opened up Wilton's Shellfish Mongers and Oyster Rooms.

By 1868 it had moved to King Street and received its first Royal Warrant as Purveyor of Oysters to Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales who was a fervent patron.

By 1930 Mrs Bessie Leal took over until 1942 and a bomb fell nearby and she sold it to Mr Olaf Hambro who was dining alone at the bar. He said he didnt know anyone who wanted to buy it but she could add it to his bill that evening! She left for Cornwall the following day and never returned.

It was so famous pre-war that it enjoyed unofficial exemption from World War II rationing which limited the price of three-course meals to five shillings.

In 1984 the shop moved to this spot in St James's and it has settled into the capitals top seafood restaurant with splendid booths.

The 7bn merger between Boots and Alliance Unichem apparently took place after several days' discussions over many courses here at Wiltons.

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Londons Oldest Restaurant

Londons oldest restaurant is Wiltons fab oyster and seafood.

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