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|Address:||The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU|
|Tel:||020 3551 9858|
|Price: £61.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £59.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5.30-11pm Sun 12N-4pm 6-10.30pm|
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For a “proper” lunch (i.e. no return to the office!) it just had to be the Savoy, a place neither of us had been to for many a year. The renovation is just gorgeous, akin to being wrapped and cossetted in luxury on leaving a positvely Artic London, for the warmth and luxury that is just the foyer. Headed straight to the American bar for a pre-lunch glass of fizz. Was ok but I'm not entirely sure the waiters armed with electronic order pads is in keeping with the 1920's ambience. On asking for the bill, we were unnecessarily informed that they could not transfer our bill to the Grill as it was “under separate ownership” – did I detect an element of disdain in such a comment…?
To the Grill – very buzzy and alive after the somewhat hushed tones of the bar, but predominantly full of suits on expense accounts with the odd inappropriately dressed tourist to add a bit of colour. We were seated at what initially seemed to be a good table, allowing good vantage of most of the room, but over the course of the afternoon, the somewhat low banquette began to cause lower limb ache – as I'm just 5' 3″ you can imagine how low the seat is to have such an effect on someone relatively short…
We did have every intention of opting for the bargain chef's lunch but the lure, or perhaps the aroma of the suckling pig on the trolley captured us both; and it was absolutely delicious with crackling to die for. Portions were generally good, two very thick slices of pork, but the accompanying dishes were a bit stingy especially the roast potatoes. To start I had the omlette Arnold Bennet, simply because I had never had it on previous visits and would definitely order it again. Himself had mussels, which were fresh, tasty and plentiful. Neither of us found room for dessert, which as expected, are on the traditional and heavy side.
Our only “complaint” is that the service, whilst friendly and helpful, was not terribly attentive even as the room began to thin out. Our wine was located well beyond arm's reach which is fine if the waiting staff are alert to when refills are required but we did have to ask for this a couple of times. That said, it did mean we only drank one bottle so kept the wallet and the liver happy!! We also had to ask for the bill twice. That said, it is definitely on the return visit list – a wonderful place to spend a very leisurely afternoon…