Simpson’s in the Strand: ‘I can’t love it any more’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

January 3, 2018

After serving Londoners for 189 years, Simpson’s needed a makeover. But did they have to change the menu, too?

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Simpson’s in the Strand, 100 Strand, London WC2R 0EW (020 7420 2111). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £200

There is a great difference between wanting to love something, and genuinely loving it. I want to love Simpson’s in the Strand. I want to adore it, in the way I once did; as you might a dotty elderly relative who can be infuriating, but is still a wonderful person to have in the world. I last ate here a few years ago, when it was firmly set in its ways. The huge, high-ceilinged room – the Grand Divan – smelled like a stately home, on the edge of having to let the National Trust in to make ends meet. It was that intoxicating mixture of boiled cabbage, damp dog and dust being burned off by the cranky central heating. The food was very brown, and the staff mostly quite senior and rather cross.

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A baked Alaska seems to have been left in the freezer to the last moment then suddenly blowtorched

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