In its 124-year history, The Savoy has had its fair share of top-tier restaurants — famed French chef Auguste Escoffier once headed up the hotel kitchen, after all. Right on the heels of its Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star win last week, the iconic London hotel welcomes another eatery to the family: Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill. The restaurant will pay homage to The Savoy’s glamorous past with its art deco design and, of course, with its unique name (more on that in a bit).
Chef James Pare’s menu ranges from smoked salmon sausage to Thai green seafood curry. But the star of the show is the seafood bar (which doubles as a patisserie bar at breakfast) with its display of fresh shellfish and cured and smoked fish. Kaspar’s will also offer the classic peach Melba that has been on The Savoy’s menu since August Escoffier created the dessert for Australian soprano Nellie Melba more than 120 years ago.
The restaurant gets its name from the luxury hotel’s beloved feline guest that has been part of The Savoy family since 1926. One evening in 1898, South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel hosted a dinner at the hotel for 14 guests. One dropped out at the last minute, leaving the party at an unlucky 13. One superstitious diner announced the first person to leave would die. Joel took his chances, but he was shot dead a few weeks later. To this day, you won’t find a party of 13 at The Savoy — Kaspar, a black cat sculpture, joins the table as the 14th guest. Of course, if you want to dine with Kaspar without booking a table for 13, you’ll have to make advanced reservations, as he’s quite popular. You’ll see a nod to this hotel legend at Kaspar’s entrance with Kaspar – The 14th Guest, a new chrome-and-resin cat from South African artist Jonty Hurwitz. The sculpture helps keep the superstition alive.
Photo courtesy of The Savoy