Harden's survey result
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After too many years in the wilderness, this “tired war horse of British cuisine” underwent a 10-week revamp in summer 2017 in a bid to restore its “faded elegance”. Having been consigned in recent decades to tourists and breakfasting businessmen, it remains to be seen whether its legendary trolley-service of roasts will cease to “trade on its historic reputation”.
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”.
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
"Fantastic evening from the moment we walked in. Iconic setting, wonderfully attentive staff, professional but relaxed. The upstairs bar was comfortable and inviting, great English "Champagne" & Cocktails featuring gin.Great one served in a tea cup and saucer. The restaurant downstairs had a great buzz, general contentment , cheerful waiting staff and very accomplished somilier! The taster menu we had was fantastic- full of subtle flavours and great produce I guess, such as the mackerel beautifully prepared in a bloodorange and hazelnut sauce- lovely. The leek soup was smooth,with potato textures and a very crispy egg. The crab ravioli with a sweet seared scallops was georgeous, as was the turbot with blue mushrooms. We also had beef wellington which tasted perfectly. We did not have room for the roast , next time, as we witnessed the shining domed trolleys passing through to much customer satisfaction. The paired wines were excellent . We also could only manage to share a birthday plate of chocolate goodies. Great that the Chef took time to step out to chat as well.A marvellous experience."
"Well starched linen in a grand hall. Old english staples done adequately. A jolly lunch."
"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"