Melba at The Savoy: A Gourmet Take-Away

Melba at The Savoy opens this week as a take-away outlet at The Savoy. Located directly on the Strand at the corner of Savoy Court, the gourmet counter will be open seven days a week and offer a selection of pastries, sandwiches and hot and cold beverages to take away, along with gift items and an extensive selection of a new Savoy signature; éclairs.

The menu at Melba is created by executive pastry chef, Ludwig Hely, and designed to cater for the ever-increasing footfall along the Strand with the finest, gourmet take-away experience in the Northbank area. The menu includes: Comté and Black Forest ham croissant; apricot and almond Danish pastry; orange peel and dark chocolate pain au chocolat; jarred breakfasts; fruit salad and British sandwich classics, with prices ranging from £1.50 to £5.25.

Hely opens the take-away counter with The Savoy’s new signature item; éclairs, which he has chosen in recognition of his French roots and own childhood memories. Launching with a dozen sweet combinations, the éclairs will change seasonally and include flavours such as: passion fruit and milk chocolate; lychee, rose and raspberry; lemon meringue; salted caramel; cherry and pistachio, and Melba – the gourmet counter’s namesake – each priced at £2.95.

Hely wanted to produce a signature luxury item that is currently under-represented on the London food scene, but has the versatility to be served as a treat with coffee, or presented as a decadent gift box selection; “The éclair presents so much opportunity to be creative,” said Hely “As a child it was only about a simple, coffee éclair and now as a pastry chef I can play with different flavours, some classic and some more unusual, while also being artistic with the presentation. The ultimate goal is to create something that will make people smile.” But Hely’s beautiful éclair creations are not his only painstakingly hand-crafted items; the Normandy butter croissant went through over five incarnations until it was good enough for him to place on the menu. The same can be said of the sweet tarts, which come in five flavours and are priced at £3.50 each.

Occupying a footprint of 25 m sq, Melba was designed by Dolman Bowles whose past clientele include Fenwick Bond Street and Selfridges. Using accents of the art deco era and Edwardian period, evident throughout the hotel, the gourmet counter is a striking and elegant juxtaposition to the existing shops on the Strand. The design of Melba is clearly defined by The Savoy’s recent restoration and incorporates the same striking black and white marble flooring, with hand-carved woodwork interiors and grey Italian marble counter tops.What’s in a name?

Melba at The Savoy is named in honour of two greats: in the late 1800s, The Savoy’s executive chef was so enchanted by hotel guest Dame Nellie Melba after seeing her operatic performance at the Royal Opera House, that he created menu items in her name which have become cherished the world-over. Extolled for over 100 years both in the industry and public eye, Auguste Escoffier created Peach Melba and Melba toast for the singer while working at The Savoy.