Dining Room

NEW: Happenstance Bar and Restaurant, St Paul’s

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With so many bars and restaurants in the heart of London’s financial district, any new contender has to have something special about it to gain the attention of the top 5% who frequent The City.  However, the proprietors of the brand new Happenstance bar and restaurant already own 3 successful diners in the area, including The Drift in the Heron Tower, so they know a thing or 3 about food and drink.  The Happenstance has quite a reputation, so I went down on opening night to soak up the atmosphere.

Located in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, The Happenstance bar has the type of modern feel I have become accustomed to in the square mile, with floor to ceiling windows, chandeliers and an impressive selection of wines proudly displayed above the bartender’s head.   Although not a cocktail bar per se, there is an excellent selection of bespoke cocktails, such as the ‘Goldfish in a Bag’, a drink made from Little Bird gin and Hangar One mandarin vodka, all served from a fairground style goldfish bag with a straw!

Unless you are feeling peckish, you would be forgiven for not realising there is a 120 seater restaurant as it is near enough hidden from the front part of the building, situated round the corner and up a set of stairs.  But before you get there, you have to pass a rather unique deli counter which doubles up as a mixology / florist table.  Here you can buy pastries, drinks, and even a bouquet of flowers sourced directly from Borough market.  On launch night, I got to sample a mixture of both, with one of the house speciality healthy ‘skinny’ cocktails made with gin, lemongrass and ginger.

The restaurant has a contemporary, warehouse feel with an equally modern, fresh menu that mixes Italian Aperitivo and grill style dishes.  It seems to be a trend for restaurants to operate longer hours and The Happenstance is no different, open from 7.30am serving breakfast and brunch, with a huge menu offering literally everything you could possibly want from a morning meal.

A well thought out venue and I love the unusual addition of the deli counter.  Owners Drake & Morgan have a tried and tested formula to create a successful business and I have a feeling The Happenstance is sure to follow suit.

The Happenstance, 1a Ludgate Hill, EC4M 7AA.  Nearest Tube: St Paul’s


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