The Happenstance



You know those evenings where you can’t be bothered to go home and cook and wish there was a place close to uni where you could go and enjoy a nice meal that won’t break the bank? Well I found that place and it’s called the Happenstance.

It’s only a 15-minute walk from LSE, right next to Saint Paul’s Cathedral. It’s filled with City workers who need a drink after a stressful day at work. Dressed impeccably, they clearly know the coolest places to go in Central London after 5 pm. The lounge/bar area is at the front, but if you walk to back of the venue, you discover a huge dining room with subdued lighting and modern décor. Google calls it “industrical-chic”, which I think describes it very well. Well done, Google, as always. It’s very trendy indeed with an open kitchen, long tables and hardwood floors. During the week, it’s easy to get a table in the dining area because I guess people prefer to eat out on weekends. That’s too mainstream for me; restaurant dining on a Tuesday is much more fun and spontaneous.

But here’s the best part. You can go to the bar in the middle of the room and make your own gin and tonic. THAT’S RIGHT. There’s even a barman ready to recommend which tonics and gins go well together based on your personal tastes. If that’s not worth the visit, I don’t know what is. It was hands down the best G&T I have ever tasted. I was tempted to try every gin but refrained because, well, moderation is better than falling on the floor before ordering dinner.

Speaking of dinner, it was just as delicious as the drinks. The menu is quite varied, which at first made me skeptical because big menus can mean that the quality of the food is not quite there, but I was wrong. I was so wrong. Every dish was absolutely delightful filled with flavour and beautifully presented. Sea bass with a sweet chilli mango salad, chicken with spinach in a creamy tarragon sauce, goat cheese and lentil starter…convinced yet? For dessert, they have everything from chocolate sundaes to a warm winter crumble. The dishes take simplicity with a twist, adding an ingredient you would not have thought of. My kind of place.

If you think an evening at the Happenstance will financially ruin you, think again. Mains don’t go higher than 14 pounds a dish, so you can easily be in and out with a two-course meal in your belly for less than 20 pounds. I don’t have that kind of self-control and would probably order a drink and pudding, but hey, it’s nice to know I could have spent less than 20 pounds.

I highly recommend the Happenstance. It has a low-key vibe, it looks cool and it tastes amazing!

You worked all day at the library; I think you deserve a treat for dinner, don’t you?

The Happenstance

1 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA


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Caroline Schurman-Grenier