As Britain starts to awaken following months of lockdown, people up and down the country are longing to leave their homes and meet up with friends and family once again. However, there’s a catch, we are only permitted to meet other people outdoors despite infection rates being at an all-time low.
Creativity has therefore come into play, as pubs, bars and restaurants with outdoor spaces have created areas in which we can eat drink and get back to some sort of normality. Unfortunately, the British weather did not receive the memo and it has been rather chilly and more recently damp since restrictions were lifted on 12th April. But we know that won’t deter many of us, as we sit outside huddled around heaters, wearing coats, carves and hats to keep us as warm as possible as we enjoy other peoples’ company.
One of London’s most famous and storied hotels, The Savoy, did however get the memo and for the first time in the hotel’s history, have created a rather glamorous outdoor dining pop-up space that they have named ‘Solas’, which opened on 21st April and is located in a transformed Savoy Court, normally home to taxis dropping off and picking up guests.
The opening of Solas marks a new collaboration between The Savoy and Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, bringing together two brands celebrated for their history and innovation.
The word Solas comes from the Gaelic for light, joy and comfort, and is the perfect place in which to celebrate our newfound freedom as the hospitality industry begins to awaken from its enforced slumbers and welcome back guests.
The drinks menu at Solas offers an array of superb cocktails, with the food menu focussing on the spectacular raw seafood bar which is the focal point of the restaurant. You also can’t miss the shimmering chandelier, which has been inspired by the 62 grand chandeliers that grace The Savoy, fused with the drama of the black rocks of the Scottish coastline where Bowmore whisky is crafted.
The five-metre wide artwork cleverly sends rays of light from suspended shards of crystal, decanters and stoppers, while the seafood bar reflects the two brands with natural slate, granite and gleaming brass, backed by a presentation of Bowmore bottles aged over time and combined with the Art Deco and Edwardian elegance of The Savoy.
You will be able to sip on expertly crafted cocktails from The Savoy’s talented bar team as the Savoy’s chefs prepare you the freshest, responsibly-sourced seafood. The raw seafood bar menu also includes three oyster selections served in a Bowmore oyster luge, paired with a choice of whisky, delicious lobster rolls, gravadlax and Blue Shrimp ceviche amongst a host of other delicious mouth-watering dishes.
Solas is open seven days a week until 21st June 2021, Monday to Thursday from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Friday to Sunday from 12:00pm to 10:00pm. We would recommend you make a reservation ahead of time which can be booked via this OpenTable link here.
Solas at The Savoy, Strand, London, WC2R 0EZ, England.
The nearest Tube stations are Charing Cross on the Northern and Bakerloo lines, Embankment on the District, Circle and Bakerloo lines and Covent Garden on the Piccadilly line.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of The Savoy