Harden's survey result
“Quintessentially British cuisine in very generous portions” is the raison d’être of this historic, panelled dining room, which has its bicentenary in sight; and where “a recent revamp seems to have done some good – it’s still old-fashioned, but in a good way”. But when it comes to the quality of the cooking, it’s still not a safe bet – there are regulars who feel “its roast beef and Yorkshire pudding never disappoints”, but there remains a sizeable contingent, who rate the beef “below average” and the accompanying veg “school dinner standard” – “such a shame for a wonderful old establishment”. Top Tip – a Full English here is a good way to start the day.
“The revamp seems to have done them good” at this legendary temple of traditional British cuisine (with origins back to 1828) – and most famously roast beef – which finally seems to be re-emerging after many, many years in the doldrums. Yes, it can still appear all too touristy and expensive, but “the iconic building still has a lot of atmosphere”, and its “olde English staples” receive very much more consistent praise since its refurb – “it is one of the rare places in London where you can get traditional carvery on a trolley which tastes good!” Perhaps in keeping with the story of renewal, new chef Adrian Martin (who previously oversaw Annabel’s and Harry’s Bar) took over as chef from William Hemming in August 2018.
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”.
Since first opening as a chess club and coffee house in 1828, Simpson’s has provided an elegant backdrop to historical meetings, literary debates and momentous meals of all kinds, and is now marking itself out as one of the city’s landmark restaurants.
Having undergone restoration in 2017 to bring this Grade II listed building back to its former glory, Simpson’s in the Strand now features a reimagined Bill of Fare that brings the classic British cuisine, for which it has become so well-loved, up to date.
Showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients and quality produce of the British Isles, the menu features long-standing favourites such as steamed Steak & Kidney suet pudding and hearty Lord Woolton pie, alongside salt-baked Lincolnshire beets and hand-dived Scottish scallops, and larder staples like Gentleman’s Relish, Pease Pudding, and Potted Shrimp.
During the founding years of Simpson’s as a chess club, meals were served beneath silver-domed cloches and silently wheeled to the table on an antique trolley for minimal disturbance to chess player’s concentration. Today, guests can choose daily from 28-day dry Roast rib of Scottish Beef or Daphne’s Welsh Lamb, carved at the table by the Master Carver, and served with Savoy cabbage, beef fat roasted potatoes, gravy, horseradish sauce and Yorkshire pudding.
|Wine per bottle||£36.00|
100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW
|Monday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑11 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑8 pm|