July 2017: Closed since February for major renovations, it has been announced that this much-loved veteran has returned with a new look and a new head chef at the stoves; William Hemming, previously at Sky Garden. Fans of the famous carving trolleys need not fear their demise - they have also returned.
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This “lovely period dining room” is renowned as a bastion of the best British cuisine (most famously Roast Beef) but its performance can seem “sad” nowadays. For “the best breakfast” it does win praise (“for business or pure indulgence”) but more generally it seems “old-fashioned” and lacklustre – “a once-famous, busy and respected restaurant that’s been devastated and left to a handful of tourists”.
“Pity the tourists who go believing it's the home of real English cooking!” – this famous temple to Roast Beef is “a shadow of its former self”, with “sloppy” staff serving “school dinners” in a “gloomy” chamber; for a business breakfast, it’s just about tolerable.
“The home of an unbeatable Full English breakfast”, it may be, but otherwise this “stately” temple to the Roast Beef god, by the Savoy, has decidedly “slipped in recent years” – nowadays, “it’s just an expensive tourist trap”.
For fans, these grand and very English dining rooms, on the fringe of Covent Garden, still offer “a great trip down memory lane to the days of good old roast beef” (and the breakfast is “super” too); as ever, though, critics proclaim a “jaded” institution, run “mainly for tourists”.
British classics perfected since 1828
Our unique culinary story is a tale of traditions upheld, undiluted by the tide of time over two centuries. Today, Simpson's in the Strand offers a landmark London dining experience. We look forward to welcoming you.
William Ellis Hemming
Born in Pembrokeshire, in South West Wales, William Hemming began his career in the kitchen after applying for a job at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. After a successful stint working here, and keen to learn as much as quickly as possible, he spent some time in Berlin where he worked first at the Ritz Carlton, and then at a host of other establishments including as Head Pastry Chef for Kofler and Kompanie.
More recently, William worked as a freelance chef in the UK as well as Germany, Austria and Switzerland at different restaurants and agencies, including King’s Place Events where he was Head Chef. His last role before coming to Simpson’s was at Sky Garden in London, as Executive Sous Chef.
At Simpson’s, William brings his years of expertise and love of local produce to the menu. Having grown up in rural Wales, he developed a real passion and respect for the provenance of the produce. He is excited to work alongside British farmers and producers to maintain the level of quality that Simpson’s is known for, and to put his own stamp on the menu.
Simpson's in the Strand Restaurant Diner Reviews
"The revamp seems to have done them good. It's still old-fashioned, but in a good way, and caters better for vegetarians: the Woolton Pie is excellent"
"Breakfast gone downhill"
"We came here for breakfast it's very British & rather austere.Food is competently cooked.Good to come to if you want to travel back in time."