Café Royal

London’s famous Café Royal is a Grade I listed building on Regent Street overlooking Piccadilly Circus. It was originally opened in 1865 and by the end of the nineteenth century had become the place to be and to be seen. At one point, it was said to have the greatest wine cellar in the world.

In 1956, Walter Lilly was appointed to carry out the remodelling of the exclusive venue. Fast forward 55 years and Walter Lilly was proud to be reappointed to work on the venue’s restoration and refurbishment, alongside heritage architects Donald Insall Associates and The Crown Estate.

The location of the Café Royal presented unique challenges to Walter Lilly, situated as it is on one of London’s busiest shopping streets with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, in addition to London Underground routes running underneath and near the property.

The refurbishment included the Oscar Wilde Bar (formerly known as the Grill Room), the Pompadour Ballroom, the Domino Room, the main entrance and main staircase along with several other large suites. These areas form the centrepiece of the building and, as befits this iconic venue, were finished in luxurious materials such as Marmorina plasterwork, Carrara marble, leather, glass and oak, using a rich palette of opulent colours such as gold, amber and ochre.

Café Royal was closed during the renovations and reopened to an appreciative public in 2013.


Regent Street, London


Barco Investments


Project Manager: MDA Consulting
Architect: Donald Insall Associates
PQS: Gleeds
Structural Engineer: Scott Wilson
Services Engineer: Aecom

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