Simpson's-in-the-Strand

Restaurants, British Charing Cross
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
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This renowned London institution is technically part of the Savoy next door, but it seems untouched by the £220 million refurbishment the famous hotel received in 2010. It’s like a public school refectory on a grand scale, with rows of tables (some looking rather scruffy around the legs), white linen, heavily varnished wall panels and huge chandeliers. An old-fashioned sense of British formality pervades – which is a major reason diners come here.

You’ll see plenty of retired colonel types, although Simpsons is also popular with tourists looking for an apparently unadulterated experience of bygone London. The signature dish is roast beef, and great haunches of it are wheeled around on trolleys to be carved at table. However, we feel this 185-year-old stalwart is resting on its laurels. Beyond the beef (with all the trimmings), there’s not much on the menu to excite. At a recent breakfast, the classic dishes (eggs royale, muffins with bacon and eggs) were no more than OK. The pricing is cynical – £7.50 for a pot with two Twinings teabags and some boiling water. At least use loose leaf. For a sense of tradition, Simpson’s is hard to beat, but some traditions aren’t always worth upholding.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Simpson's-in-the-Strand
Contact:
Address: 100 Strand
London
WC2R 0EW
Opening hours: Breakfast served 7.15-10.30am Mon-Fri. Lunch served 12.15-2.45pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 5.45-10.45pm Mon-Fri; 5-10.45pm Sat. Meals served 12.15-9pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Embankment or Charing Cross
Price: Main courses £16.50-£33.50. Set meal (lunch, 5.45-7pm) £25.75 2 courses, £31 3 courses
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
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Renee S
1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

If you were to hold a Cluedo murder mystery dinner party, this place definitely has the right decor - dark and a bit scruffy.


What I had:

  • Oxtail soup
  • Pan-fried ocean trout with crayfish mash and lobster sauce
  • Roast beef with roast potatoes, Savoy cabbage, Yorkshire pudding & horseradish
  • seasonal vegetables with chilli
  • Cheese selection
  • Simpson’s Treacle Sponge with vanilla bean custard
  • Lemon in spring with yogurt sorbet

Overall the flavours here were decent and well seasoned. The soup had a great consistency and something I haven’t tried before and the sauce in the trout was lovely and fragrant; however I would say that the ocean trout itself was a little overdone for my liking. The roast beef was tender and was wheeled out in a silver platter and carved at your table. However, the seasonal vegetables were a tad overdone and there was no hint of chilli. The cheese selection wasn’t varied enough - it would have been nice to see two different cheese to give some variety; however the treacle sponge was comforting and the lemon spring was tart sweet, dotted with small meringues. The food here is not quite what you would expect from an establishment associated with The Savoy. It’s not very inspiring and there is a feeling that it is all quite dated and in need of a revamp - much like the interior. The service was clumsy and at one point puzzling as the staff seemed disinterested and laboured which left the overall dining experience flat and a little awkward. I wouldn’t be in any rush to go back anytime soon.


Good For: small groups, intimate dinner, traditional British dinner and decor.

Adrian H
Tastemaker

My partner chose Simpson's-In-The-Strand for my birthday meal a few weeks ago. I didn't know what to expect but the TimeOut deal of 3 courses and a glass of prosecco meant we were certainly getting value for money.


Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly, helpful staff, had our coats whisked away to the cloakroom with minimal fuss, and were quickly seated. On our way to our seats, other members of staff welcomed us and we caught a glimpse of the world famous 'roasts'.


The set menu was quite limited but the options still managed to cause some difficult choices. I started with the fish cake with poached egg, which was perfectly cooked, and moved onto the roast beef with the roast lamb, which looked divine, losing out due to the lack of a Yorkshire pudding. The meat was wheeled over to us and a choice of how you like it cooked was offered. The gravy was then spooned from the tray, deeply coloured and very rich. 


For pudding my inner child won out and I went for the ice cream, rather than the sticky toffee pudding or the cheese board. Having deduced it was my birthday I received a specially decorated plate from our waiter and had a candle to blow out. This was a lovely little touch.


All in all a great meal and somewhere we'll be going again.

Lesley C

The most amazing beef ever, service fabulous, ambience traditional elegance. What more could you want

Kateryna V
Tastemaker

I've been curious about this place for a while. All the heritage and the pedigree do that to me. I'm glad an occasion presented itself in the form of a work function. Curious I am no more. It's grand enough, and laden with tradition enough, but also stuffy enough and worn out enough, which together make it too much. And I really am not a fan of the carpeted floors. The food was decent but unmemorable (I've read the earlier reviews and I think they did spice up the menu since, as there were plenty of options that sounded enticing). In short, go if someone else is paying, and watch out for the chess curiosities on display.


Sue Gale

I just cannot justify Simpsons prices for very average half cold food. Most chefs will tell you, it's all about presentation, well I'd rather have a hot meal with a bit of taste. My starter was soup of the day, which was vegetable. I chose this as I'm vegetarian and fancied some nice chunky vegetables. Alas, when it arrived, just a bowl of puréed soup (tepid!) My main course (only veggie one on menu) was asparagus filled with ricotta. Cheese with a selection of beans. Incredibly bland and again, half cold. I didn't complain as my sons were paying for the meal and didn't want to embarrass them. The desert was treacle sponge with custard. I've tasted just as good from M&S! The certainly enjoyed the surroundings, but shame about the food!

bigsands

The above description of Simpson's is a little unkind and there was no mention of the one thing which Simpson's is most famous for which also explains the layout of the tables. This was one of the grand venues for playing the game of Chess in London and you will see evidence of this as you enter. I have visited Simpson's for dinner twice and had drinks in the bar upstairs while waiting for my table, as it does get quite busy. Traditions are preserved at Simpson's and this makes it unique.