[By John Webb.] I had heard that Simpson's-in-the-Strand, the iconic wood panelled London eatery with its stunning ceiling is closing. But only for complete refurbishment. No one could say what will be done design wise but that it will be very different. A challenge for we Urban Sketchers who like to record reality which includes change. Simpson's kindly let me in towards the end of the luncheon sitting.
Started in 1828 simply as a smoking room it became in the 1850s a restaurant then also the most important place in Britain for Chess. P. G. Woodhouse called it ‘a restful temple of food’ and being able to sit in a corner for 2 hours and observe lingering diners – some who came for a look and chat – confirmed that.