The renovation saw the enhancement of The Savoy's pre-existing restaurant and bars as well as the addition of two outlets. At the heat of the hotel, under a magnificent glass dome inspired by a guest's drawing chanced upon within the hotel's archives, is the Thames Foyer. At the centre of the room is a winter gazebo beneath which a pianist tinkles the ivories in the afternoon as guests partake in that most famous of Savoy traditions, the afternoon tea. As well as the usual finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, there is a wide selection of teas, wines, champagnes and other beverages to be enjoyed in the most civilised of settings. A continental breakfast can also be taken at the Thames Foyer as can light meals between 11.30am and 2.30pm from 6.30pm until 11pm. Expect sandwiches, salads and more substantial dishes such as pasta, lamb sausages or Scottish beef.
The Art Deco, loosely cruise ship-themed River Restaurant, which was formerly under the control of Escoffier, also serves food throughout the day against the back drop of the Thames. Not only is the restaurant decked out in a leopard skin carpet, but the floor-to-ceiling windows open completely, giving the impression of dining al fresco. In the kitchen, Ryan Murphy, who was trained by Ducasse, Vongerichten and Boulud, serves modern French cuisine with dishes such as slow poached monk fish or pan seared veal sweetbread to begin and baked ratatouille or roasted poulet noir filled with chestnuts for mains.
On 29th November, the Savoy Grill, an iconic London restaurant and favourite of Churchill and his cabinet during the war, opened as part of Gordon Ramsay Holdings at the hands of Stuart Gillies and Andy Cook. They pay homage to the great Escoffier with dishes such as charcoal grilled chateaubriand with pommes soufflés and iced Peach Melba.
On the bar front, there are two options. The first is the legendary American Bar which, in line with tradition, is home to the finest cocktail barmen around. Also with its own grand piano on which American jazz is played every evening, the bar's white-coated waiters serve up both classic and more modern cocktails as well as champagne and all other tipples. In the least touched part of the hotel during the renovation, photos by celebrity photographer Terry O'Neill grace the walls. It is not possible to reserve at the American bar so if you want to be sure of a place, turn up in the evening at around 5pm. Another option for a drink is the all new Beaufort Bar which used to be the hotel's cabaret stage. The Art Deco venue, which has £38,000 of gold leaf on its walls, will host nightly entertainment and music as well as cabaret acts from time to time. With one of London's longest champagne lists, this is set to become one of the capital's hottest night spots.
And finally, the other new addition to the hotel is the Savoy Tea, a bijou store inspired by Burlington Arcade. Selling teas, jams, biscuits and pastries all made on site (you can watch the patissiers at work through the viewing platform), this is also the place to acquire the hotel's bespoke china tea service. Look out also for the gorgeous toile de jouy telling the story of tea in Asia.