NEW: Happenstance Bar and Restaurant, St Paul’s
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