Canary Wharf may be the home of towering skyscrapers, the base of banks and a playground of suits but there are cosy, homely corners to be discovered too as I found at The Pagination.
The Venue & Atmosphere
The Pagination has all the hallmarks of a swanky suits hangout - glass-fronted restaurant at the bottom of an imposing building? Check. Smartly dressed office workers sipping lager at the bar? Check. But the restaurant is also a far cry from a lifeless City bar; thanks to Drake and Morgan’s dab hand at decorating, The Pagination is a cosy nook of a bar and restaurant. The long, slim building almost has an alpine-lodge feel, faux fur covers and thick woollen blankets are slung over chairs, bright-geometric paintings are propped on sideboards and orange sofas are snuggled into corners.
As one might expect on a January Monday, the restaurant and bar were pretty quiet with only a few people dotted on the high stools or sunk into a corner spot. Outside a massive terrace was lined with seating and overlooked the dock, hinting at the venue’s popularity with the after-work crowd during the summer. For winter drinkers, heaters and rolled-up blankets provided respite on a chilly winter’s night.
The Food & Drink
Drake and Morgan are known for their creative cocktails, taking traditional spirits and adding their own signature twist. Our barwoman had won an award that day and mixed our concoctions deftly; La Magia (£10.95) was a lighter version of a margarita: tequila and a light butterfly pea tea and agave were mixed and served alongside a shot of lime juice. Tiki Punch (£8.50) was poured into a copper cup and mixed coconut-washed bacardi rum, banana liqueur, pineapple and lime with stout. The summer-perfect London Spritz (£8.95) was a lot lighter with its muddle of Tanqueray Gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint and soda.
The food menu at The Pagination was short and concise, with options for quick bites through to a full three-course menu. A classic scotch egg (£5.95) was given a gourmet twist with a chorizo casing, oozing yolk and deliciously warming smoked paprika mayonnaise. The chargrilled tuna salad (£12.95) was served with a seared piece of fish, crunchy beansprouts and green beans while there was a choice of rib-eye (£19.95) and sirloin steaks (£16.95) both of which could be slathered in a creamy peppercorn sauce. I could eat The Pagination’s parmesan and truffle topped Roman Fries (£4.50) for the rest of my life and die a fat and happy woman. Dessert was a gooey chocolate brownie (£5.95) that was intoxicatingly rich, topped with ice cream and accompanied by a pot of extra chocolate sauce.
Drake and Morgan have conquered the capital with their restaurants and The Pagination is another success. With a fun and varied cocktail list, quick bites alongside larger plates, cosy decor and a huge outdoor terrace, this is the perfect spot for an after-work hangout in Canary Wharf.