Long-standing readers of this blog may remember that last year Lee and I spent the weekend in London for my 29th birthday and had a celebratory Sunday roast at The Happenstance, near St Paul’s – and it didn’t exactly live up to expectations. However, that was a year and a half ago now, and the bar recently got in touch to tell me that it’s now under new management. They kindly invited us back for a meal and we took them up on the offer when we were in London last week. I’m pleased to say that we had a really lovely time and it seems that the bar has really upped its game since our last visit.
The distinctive decor was just as we remembered it when we arrived on Friday lunchtime.
We sat in a different part of the restaurant this time, by the window in the back half rather than near the bar, so it was a slightly more formal setting than our last meal.
Our visit got off to a great start with some Prosecco, which I think has to be my very favourite alcoholic drink. This was served with some really tasty green olives, which were full of flavour and fell smoothly off the stone.
There were so many tempting dishes on the menu that it was hard to choose, but in the end I settled for a crispy duck salad, which was served with cucumber, onion, Hoisin sauce and a liberal helping of red chillis, which gave it quite a kick! I was glad of the bottle of white wine to wash it down with! The duck was so tasty and I was very happy with my choice.
Lee chose steak and chips for his main course, which came with a delicious Bearnaise sauce. He was really pleased with it and even let me try a bit, which I agreed was excellent.
I was very glad that we had room for dessert, because the chocolate and salted caramel tart I chose was even better than the main course. Salted caramel is very much in vogue at the moment, and I can definitely see why. This was apparently made in house, so compliments to the chef are in order!
Lee had a delicious chocolate brownie, which came with hot chocolate sauce and ice cream. Happily, this was pure chocolatey goodness – none of the raisins or nuts that some places insist on contaminating their brownies with!
All in all, an excellent meal and the staff were very attentive and kind throughout. We had a really good time and left feeling more than a little tipsy after our boozy lunch! If you’re interested in visiting The Happenstance, find out more here.