Jermyn St Restaurants – Wiltons and Franco’s

Jermyn Street in the heart of St James’s dates back to 1664 when Charles II authorised Henry Jermyn, the Earl of St Albans, to develop an area close to St James’s Palace. It has flourished ever since and holds a worldwide reputation for high quality British artistry and craftsmanship. The street is home to London’s finest men’s tailors, shirt makers, suppliers of leather goods, food and wine merchants, restaurants, hotels and art galleries. We have recently undertaken works within Wiltons and Franco’s, two old established restaurants under the ownership of the Hambro Family.

At no 55 Jermyn St is Wiltons. It actually dates back to 1742 when George William Wilton opened a shellfish mongers and has been a restaurant since the 1840’s. Over the years its location has changed several times though it has remained a well loved feature of St James’s in that time. The story goes that during the war in 1942, banker Olaf Hambro was dining on oysters there in when a bomb fell on nearby St James’ churchyard. Already struggling with keeping the place open, this proved to be the last straw for the proprietor and she announced the closure there and then. Olaf promptly offered to buy Wiltons from her, calmly asking for her to add the restaurant to his bill.  Now that’s what you call a good lunch!

Franco’s, along at no 61, is believed to be one of the first Italian restaurants in London and is now established as an all day operation. The menus reflect its Italian heritage and offer modern dishes from the North to the South of the country as well as classics. The bar is a favourite with locals who enjoy a cappuccino or glass of wine, escaping the hectic life of the city for a while.