Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, which opened in 1828 as a chess club and coffee house, is being given a makeover by its owner and neighbour The Savoy hotel.
At its pomp the restaurant attracted regulars including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gladstone, but its star has waned in recent years. In 2015 The Savoy even appointed property agents to consider a sale.
Now the luxury hotel is planning to revitalise the restaurant with restored ceilings, chandeliers and furnishings to create the feel of a ‘comfortable stately home’.
It will close on 17 April for a restoration expected to take between six to 10 weeks.
When questioned on what the long closure would mean for staff a spokesperson for The Savoy told BigHospitality the hotel was 'working with the team to take care of their individual requirements and needs during the closure and beyond’.
The relaunched restaurant will serve an entirely new menu of traditional British dishes ‘with a contemporary twist’, but the original carving trolleys from 1848 will still be used to serve meat tableside.
An expanded range of wines and British cheese will also be on display in its Grand Divan dining room.
The Savoy says it hopes the changes will allow the restaurant to reclaim its status as ‘one of the best in London’.