Mary Gostelow loves the tradition at The Savoy, Fairmont’s London outpost

It is said some make sure they have a reserved table in the hotel’s American Bar and only then, reservation in hand, they book a bedroom. Anyway, I arrived at The Savoy‘s main entrance – past the green-lit courtyard fountain – and was welcomed by a silk-hatted doorman and shown in through a revolving door and handed over, personally, to the director of guest services. She got my key, led me down six steps and past two Boodles vitrines, to a theatrical red-cabin elevator with a matching leather seat. Miraculously, outside the double door of 618, The Savoy Suite, my butler waited. He quickly understood my night turndown requests (later followed, precisely) and that I did not need his assistance, but could he first show me around?

I look over through all-wall windows and across the Thames to the Houses of Parliament. The suite is sumptuously opulent, tradition complemented by several tablets for assorted room functions, and the entire temperature control is sensibly organised by an easy-work wall-set panel. Either side of the decorative fireplace, sliding doors lead to the bedroom, the bed so high I almost pole-vault into it. The pure Hollywood bathroom, in muted marbles, has light-framed mirrors over two sinks and a very deep oval tub in marble surround.

I go straight downstairs to dine in Kaspar’s, a fabulous river-view space dominated by an over-the-top central O-shaped theatre, seafood preparation by night and decorative by morning. White Wedgwood china goes with Arthur Price silverware, including cutlery and salt and pepper. Baguette diagonals come, with oil and balsamico, plus Surrey butter and a sour cream dip. Tradition might suggest Isle of Skye lobster cocktail, but I divert to my choice of sashimi, served on a small slate. The Dover sole comes already boned, with a linen-wrapped lemon half.

As I leave the Savoy I pass, on my right, a unique ‘temple of beef’, the hotel-run ‘Simpson’s In The Strand’ restaurant – next visit I will go to the American Bar and head for Simpsons’ for its best-selling Scottish beef, from the Buccleuch Estate, served on 1840s vintage carving trolleys.

Mary Gostelow’s travelogue is

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