Simpson's in the Strand

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British

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About Simpson's in the Strand

SquareMeal Review

Bronze Award
Along with Rules (est. 1798) and Wiltons (1840), 189-year-old Simpson’s comprises a holy trinity of Empire-era, Rule Britannia British dining. It has just re-opened after a spruce-up, and entering the stained-glass and tiled lobby is like stepping into the booking hall of a gothic Victorian railway station. The dining room itself (or ‘Grand Divan’, to give it its proper title) is even more of a spectacle, a Grade II-listed showstopper of lustrous wood panelling and wedding-cake plaster moulding, oil paintings and leather banquettes, illuminated by chandeliers (there is no natural light) and, minus the cigar smoke, immediately recognisable to former patrons Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill. The food (from a British ‘bill of fare’ rather than a French ‘menu’) has been gently updated for modern appetites, losing some of its trencherman appeal along the way. A prettily presented pulled ham-hock salad, artfully arranged beef Wellington and a light gooseberry trifle all seemed aimed more at guests from the neighbouring Savoy (of which Simpsons is part) than Billy Bunter-ish City gents, although gently warmed potted shrimps to spread onto toast and sirloin with a slab of mushroom were in the comfort food tradition of old. And we were surprised that for a restaurant that prides itself on its trolley service (roast beef and Yorkshire pud, cocktails mixed tableside), the cheese selection turned out to be five pre-plated slices, presented without explanation. Overall, with Simpson’s-branded mustard and horseradish available to buy on the way out, we left with the impression that this is heritage-trail dining rather than a piece of living history. 

Good to know about Simpson's in the Strand

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Big and bold, Formal, Quiet conversation, Traditional
Food Occasions
Sunday roast

Location for Simpson's in the Strand

100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW

Opening Times of Simpson's in the Strand

Mon-Sun 12N-11pm

Reviews of Simpson's in the Strand

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7 Reviews
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10 June 2013

I was recommended to try this place when I moved into London a few years ago, and finally I made it! We enjoyed the atmosphere, service was good although the staffs seemed to struggle in taking care of many tables, because of popularity by tourists – lots of requests to help them take pictures etc. It was enjoyable, food was good, and it would have been perfect if the bill had been not as big.

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02 September 2012

Simpsons on the Strand – i have been going for about 12 years and it is definitely a mixed pleasure. As I watched the extensive refurbishment of the Savoy (Simpsons is next door) i couldn't help hoping they would rip out the interior and refurbish this part as well. Simpsons opened in 1828 and I would guess they don't want to spoil the success story. PLEASE DO – the booths are very narrow and the seating tilts you forward so you feel you are sitting on the useless pads as you enter the London underground tubes by the door. The dinning room is laid out like a big mess hall at a posh boarding school (which most people haven't been to – including me). Food So why go? The roast beef is the best anywhere in the world. Seriously – we skip starters, keep the bread rolls to a minimum and dive straight into the best roast beef you will ever eat. A nice bottle of red and you must try the horse radish – it is made on site and again the best i have ever had. One exclusion to the above is we sometime have the oysters as well – very fresh. Service – there is one old Italian chap who hobbles along with the meat trolley (they bring it to your table and offer you your favourite cuts). He makes the whole visit worthwhile and obviously has been there for a long while (I have not seen him on last couple of visits so hope is ok). Summary In case you haven't got this from my review – I would crawl over broken glass for this roast beef! They do need to work on the interior – I would rip out the whole lot and put in comfortable and more spacious booths and tables. I will still go, and still bemoan the Ye Olde décor and still dive head first into that beef.

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19 April 2012

This was planned as a special dinner after seeing a show on a Saturday afternoon. Expectations were high (as I think they should be) in anticipation of quality ambience, food and service. Not a cheap meal… 3 courses, glass of wine with starter and dessert. A bottle of red accompanied our main course. Starters and desserts were ordered from the a la carte menu with beef from the trolley for main. Baked potatoes were in fact boiled (supposedly roasted in goose fat). Bread & butter pudding was as good as a home brand supermarket ready meal. All used glasses were still on the table when we left after coffee. Service was indifferent. A number of emails have bounced back and forth after our Simpsons experience. Management have agreed that each point I raised was worthy of their attention. Since our experience, the Restaurant Manager has told us he has inspected the ‘roast’ potatoes and sent a number of serves back. The bread and butter pudding had undergone a re-vamp. The poor level of service was disapointing given the number of staff on the floor that evening. The gamble is not worth it to pay £100+ per head for a complimentary glass of champagne that was offered via the last email received. It's disapointing that such a grand building and the fine reputation built over many years is currently missing the mark in the fine dining market place.

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03 March 2012

This is the most overrated restaurant in london. Terrible patronising self congratulatory service, poor food, dirty and unfriendly and horrendously overpriced. It is such a shame as 10 years ago it was still superb. I find it a national embarrassment, I was ashamed to take foreign visitors there.

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10 November 2010

Went there for a business group dinner. The Grand Divan room is spacious but lacks some accents (particularly if you're seated with your back to the entrance), so is a bit boring and stiff (however, what would you expect from an establishment which was a gents' club for most of it's life?). A nice row of divan semi-private tables on the right-hand side. Service was very welcoming, attentive and polite, however the somelier could have been a bit more friendly and proactive. Food-wise, a very good value for money – portions are very generous. Starter of prawn cocktail was beautifully presented and had a healthy addition of fresh vegetables to it (not just all the sauce). Guinea fowl for the main course was very nicely done, and the greens were cooked to perfection. The dessert of a fruit pavlova was a bit sticky and a bit too sweet, but i assume that's just my individual taste. They also serve lovely roast carved hot at the table which, from what i can see, was much appreciated by senior male diners. Overall, a nice dining experience, very club-like and business like, although if you need to talk quietly ask for a divan seating – that will hopefully cut some of the buzz off.

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