London-City and East London
May 11, 2018
Splendidly located, mere steps from St Paul’s Cathedral, the Happenstance is the latest venture from the Drake and Morgan group which owns a number of bars around London, including the Anthologist and the Folly.
It’s a spacious, attractive venue, with a large, light front bar area, a stylish dining space in the back, a small deli counter and a hip private dining room in the basement.
There’s a fairground theme to the drinks list. The Fish in a Bag blends gin with mandarin vodka and rhubarb bitters, and comes served in a plastic bag with a citrus ‘fish’ swimming in it.
A Smoke and Mirrors from the Skinny Drinks section of the menu is a passion fruit julep, both sweet and sharp, with a splash of mezcal giving it an edge of smoke.
They also serve a range of Bloody Marys and a selection of cocktails to share, served bath-tub style.
The wine list features over 40 by the glass and there’s a well-stocked fridge of prosecco and champagne. The fizzy stuff is served in beautiful crystal glasses.
The food menu is full of fresh, seasonal dishes, including an above average selection of vegetarian options (something that always makes us happy). A halloumi salad was rather underseasoned but their butterbean burger is one of the best veggie burgers we’ve ever had and their vegetable antipasta plate was gorgeously presented as well as being very tasty.
Order the flambé scallops, prepared table-side if you fancy a dash of theatre with your meal.
Open from 7.30am they also serve breakfast and the coffee is of a good standard (another big plus in our book).
What really marks this place out is the attention to detail – the pots of fresh herbs on the tables, the quality glassware, the pretty willow pattern plates and the attentive and friendly service, making it a very welcome addition to this part of the City.