The Savoy Hotel is a five-star hotel found on the Strand, London. Opened in 1889, it was built by Richard D’Oyly Carte, the owner of the nearby Savoy Theatre. It was and remains one of London’s most prestigious and opulent hotels, with 230 rooms. Its name derives from the Savoy Palace which once occupied the site. Its first manager was Cesar Ritz, who later became the founder of The Ritz Hotel. The hotel was designed by T. E. Collcutt, who also designed the Wigmore Hall.
The Savoy has long been famous for its inventive chefs. Its kitchen saw the invention of P?che Melba, created in honour of Dame Nellie Melba by the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier. Melba toast is also attributed to the hotel’s kitchen; it is said that Dame Nellie ordered toast and was served with several pieces that were unusually thin and crisp and almost burnt, thus creating a new dish.
One curiosity of the Savoy is the fact that its forecourt (Savoy Court) is the only street in the United Kingdom where vehicles are required to drive on the right. This said to date from the days when a cab driver would reach his arm out of the driver’s door window to open the passenger’s door (which opens backwards and has the handle at the front), without having to get out of the cab himself.