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In 1828, The Grand Cigar Divan opened as a chess club and coffee house at 100 Strand. From this day, Simpson’s in the Strand has been regarded as a London landmark drawing in old and new from London, and around the globe.
In its 191 years of history, Simpson’s has been predominantly male driven having only started allowing women into the building in 1984. Today, Simpson’s in the Strand is led by General Manager, Anne Lomas; the first female leader in the history of the establishment. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we would like to highlight the strongly led female team of Simpson’s.
ANNE LOMAS, GENERAL MANAGER
Anne Lomas began working in hospitality by chance aged 18, when she ran out of money on her gap year in New Zealand and took a job in a wine bar. Her then boss, himself a wine expert, was so impressed with how quickly she learned the ropes, that he soon asked her to take over the bar. This unique, hands on experience proved priceless and she has taken it with her ever since.
Following this, Anne moved to London where she worked at Nicolas Wine Merchant in Canary Wharf, before stepping up to take on the role of Head Sommelier at Roast when the opportunity arose. She credits Roast for introducing her to the English wine industry, something she is extremely passionate about. From there Anne went on to 45 Park Lane and then on to Shangri-La at the Shard, where she was Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier of the TING Restaurant and Lounge.
Now, she brings her expertise to Simpson’s in the Strand. Anne’s love for people has made her a perfect fit for The Savoy; that, and the history, tradition and copious amounts of fascinating stories that she is able to share with her guests.
LUCIA BORBELYOBA, HOSTESS
Lucia started her career working with people as a Receptionist in Slovakia, her home country. It was here where she learned that F&B was an area of interest and where she wanted to develop her career. After moving to London, she started working as a hostess in a restaurant and also had the opportunity to cross train in other parts of the business. Lucia had heard of The Savoy before, and knew it would be an exciting opportunity and challenge to continue growing here. For Lucia, her focus is on the guests, ultimately ensuring that their expectations are surpassed and that their experience is something irreplaceable. Her passion for the industry and her job at Simpson’s is what motivates her.
Lucia loves working with people – both guests and colleagues – from all over the world, and learning how to engage, build relationships and learn about new cultures of those that step through the doors at Simpson’s makes her love the role even more!
CORDULA PETERS, DEMI CHEF THE PARTIE
Cordula’s calling to become a chef came later than many of her colleagues. With a background in fine arts, Cordula’s career took her globally – from Germany, to the US, to the Middle East, where she concluded her last role as Department Chair for a graphic design and animation program at a prestigious women’s university in Saudi Arabia. It wasn’t until she was in this role with an established career that she decided to pursue her true passion for cooking and study culinary arts. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in London, she achieved this role at Simpson’s in the Strand.
Cordula’s interest in history was a main driver for applying to The Savoy. Whether it was the thought of working in the kitchens that Chef Auguste Escoffier used to wander, or being a part of a culinary team that over decades have created many famous dishes for famous personalities; it was these thoughts that really encouraged her to want to work for Simpson’s. Cordula has been passionate about cooking for as long as she can remember. In fact, some of her fondest memories from childhood involve her joining her mother in the kitchen. She believes that food is such a powerful connector, and brings people together around one table to laugh, smile and share stories.
Cordula also has her Doctor of Education from the University of Sheffield. Cooking lets her combine what she loved most about visual arts, as well as being an educator. It’s an opportunity for her to be creative and experiment, continuously learn, and share her expertise with others.
MIRANDA RECI, CHEF DE PARTIE
Miranda studied hospitality management in university, and began working as a waiter following this to gather some experience working in operations. After a few years of doing this, she decided to follow her passion of the world of pastry, by moving to Italy to further her studies at a pastry academy. Her first role working in pastry was in an artisanal gelato laboratory, where she spent 3 years. It was the international move to London, where she began furthering her experience by working in French cuisine and then moving to the Brown’s Hotel, and then to Rhubarb in conjunction with the Royal Albert Hall. Miranda finally then transitioned to her role at The Savoy in Simpson’s. The Savoy is the perfect place for her to be right now.
Miranda loves that there are so many learning opportunities, but also chances to express herself through pastry with the team’s encouragement. Miranda loves that she can make someone happy through dessert, and make memories for people through a meal.