A night at Simpsons in the Strand

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

On Wednesday my Uncle Bill, my Mum and I went out for dinner at Simpsons.

Actually that is a lie, I planned to join them for one drink and then go home and pack for Paris, but ended up gatecrashing their dinner.

Simpsons is next door to the Savoy on the Strand and opened in 1828 as a chess club. The chess players obviously got hungry so big silver dishes of roast beef were wheeled up to the table and carved for the players.

Today the same rules apply...but there are proper tables rather than chess tables. It is a place which is quintessentially British and one of the oldest restaurants in London. If you want to impress someone with a little bit of old London take them here.

We started off in the Knight's Bar upstairs. Mummy and I both had a mojito and Uncle Bill had a campari and orange...which in my opinion tasted nasty but he is the birthday boy so he can have whatever makes him happy!

I've been to the Knight's Bar once before and the cocktails have never disappointed. It is decorated in dark wood with big sofas and is a nice place to go for a drink before the theatre if you want a good cocktail but don't want to pay £17 for a cocktail at the American Bar in the Savoy which is a lot more modern. I think the cocktails at Simspons were about £9 so not quite as bad. Plus it is easier to get a seat at Simpsons!

We then moved downstairs for dinner. As you can see the decor is as above. Dark wood and beautiful chandeliers. We were seated in one of the old chess booths and a piano player in the corner played jazz. You can definitely imagine business men 100 years ago entertaining their clients here and escaping the bustle of the Strand.

Me and the birthday boy :)

The ceilings are very ornate and no detail is missed. Apparently the dining room was shown in last weeks Downton Abbey episode but I didn't watch it so can't advise!

We received menus...

and ordered.

Uncle Bill and I both ordered smoked salmon to start whilst Mummy saved herself for the main.
She and Bill both ordered the Roast Beef which is really what you should have there and I ordered the monkfish as I wasn't that hungry!

The smoked salmon was delicious and I ate it so fast that I forgot to photograph it!

But I took plenty of pictures of the beef to make up for it:

They have one tray of rare beef and one which is more well done.

This was the rare tray.

Just look at those yorkshires!

The beef is carved at the table for you... 

And you end up with a huge plateful!

This tray is the more well done beef that my mum had.

If you are having the beef I really don't recommend having a starter. The portions are huge!
They come with roast potatoes and savoy cabbage. Plus the huge yorkshire....which conveniently my mum didn't eat so I got to!
p.s. If you order the beef make sure you have a pound coin as you are meant to tip the carver a pound. 

I had the monkfish which looks a bit lame in comparison but it was soooo yummy. It was wrapped in panchetta on a base of chorizo, olives and roasted vegetables with a garlicy white onion sauce

Then it was time for pudding...
We asked that they didn't make a fuss or sing or anything.
But they did provide a subtle candle :) 

Apparently it was yummy!

Such a lovely old restaurant and one which holds a special place in our family as it was where my Grandad used to always want to go for his birthday.

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