Kaspar Tells No Seafood Secrets From The Savoy London. Get It?
The Savoy in London, managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, is launching its new Art Deco restaurant concept on Thursday, May 2: Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill. By naming it Kaspar’s the hotel is keeping alive one of its most celebrated (and superstitious) guests.
Here’s the story: In 1898, South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg.
To avoid a repeat performance and damage to its reputation, The Savoy offered a member of the staff to sit amongst tables of thirteen thereafter. However, unable to discuss private matters or tell ribald jokes, this proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar the cat was born.
This three-foot sculpture of a cat was made in 1926. For 90 years , The Savoy has been happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar's company, where he wears a jaunty napkin around his neck and is given his own place setting to enjoy every course.
Kaspar will feel right at home in the restaurant’s 1920s brasserie-style room (with a kick-ass oyster bar, we’re told!) The restaurant will have two Murano glass columns, bespoke pendant lights, brass railings, Art Deco mirrors, a silver-leafed ceiling, marble floors and teal carpet –- all evocative of the hotel’s past but in keeping with its recent reno.
The chef will be Canadian-born James Pare, who has been with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts for over 13 years. Hmmm.... 13 you say? Maybe Kaspar should stay with him in the kitchen just in case?
[Photos: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts]