For those of us who dont hold a swanky banking job, the area around Bank station is pretty much the last place to cross our mind when looking for a good dinner or drink after work. However given that it is still very much in zone 1 and refreshingly quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of Soho, it could still be a great night out whether you are catching up with a friend or on a dinner date.
One place that should definitely make the little black book for the area is The Anthologist. Having already reviewed its sister venue, The Parlour in Canary Wharf I was expecting great things from this place and it certainly didnt disappoint.
The Anthologist is a bright and fresh City bar
Ambience and Décor
Located a short walk away from Bank station, The Anthologist is a burst of life amongst the empty office buildings that surround it after 7pm. A lively crowd of suits was gathered outside as we approached, happily sipping on after-work drinks. Once inside, the all familiar setting also found in its sister venue with lively music by the bar on the left juxtaposed with the decadent candle lit dining area on the right reassured me that I would have yet another great experience at a Drake & Morgan bar. Whilst the mix of bar and kitchen fails in a lot of restaurants, The Anthologist manages to maintain a high standard on either sides. High tables and a large bar accommodate those popping in for a drink, whilst a large split-level dining area with low tables, dim lights and comfortable seating creates a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Given the large dining and bar areas, this city bar has no problem in hosting large crowds without it feeling crowded, furthermore the all glass facade and high ceilings ensure a comfortable atmosphere throughout.
Tucked away in the basement The Anthologist also has a private hire room in the form of Studio 58 which is currently hosting the pop-up bar The Blind Pig which looks like an exciting speakeasy.
Clientele and atmosphere
The Anthologist pulls in a predominantly office working crowd, however being such a diverse space it comfortable hosts both informal and formal meetings therefore breaks the stuffy, pretentious feeling of some neighboring joints. Due to its size, the bar and kitchen both accommodate clientele comfortably whether they choose to eat or drink. As well as the layout, perhaps more importantly it is the staff that really make you feel at home; having the chance to dine, I was very impressed by the attention and knowledge our waiter held throughout the evening. He talked us through the menu, paired each dish perfectly with wine and ensured we were accommodated for without being intrusive or overpowering.
High tables and plant pots provide a nice setting
Food and Drinks
Getting down to business, the food and drink was really why we came. The cocktail list is worth a gaze over, where drinks such as Mandarin & Rhubarb G & T and Violette Pisco sours graced the menu. We chose the latter as an aperitif and it went down a treat! Food-wise the range is extensive and a mix of sharing platters, small dishes or hearty mains can satisfy any appetite. To start we were recommended the Super food flat bread sharing platter; Roasted butternut squash, red onion, goats cheese, spinach & roasted pecans. The portion was very generous and could happily feed more than two, however it is well worth holding off on finishing the platter as mains are really what this place is about. As my companion happily tucked into a signature burger with truffle fries, I opted for Bouillabaisse mussels, clams & shrimps w/ grilled bread (both £9.95). Having tasted both dishes I can confirm that they are both excellent choices- the burger was succulent whilst my mussels were both generously portioned and flavorsome. Unable to resist some wine to accompany our mains, we were recommended a bottle of GrÃ¼ner Veltliner Am Berg Bernard Ott- a floral, aromatic and zesty white wine from Austria (£28.65 per bottle). Although I normally prefer red over white wine, I enjoyed the mix of sharp and sweet flavours of the wine and felt it accompanied my seafood main very well. If I were to compare the wine choice to my previous one from the list, I would stick to the skinny New Zealand Bella Sauvignon for its lighter and drier flavours.
Delicious food menu at The Anthologist
The Anthologist is definitely a London bar worth keeping in mind for an alternative destination for drinks and dining. This corporate part of the city is thoroughly undermined in terms of quality restaurants and bars and although a stone throws away from the busy West End and quirky East London it displays a happy medium of a great alternative for a mid week rendez-vous. The Anthologist has plenty of tricks up its sleeve complete with The Blind Pig- this secret speakeasy drinking den (held on Thursday and Fridays) andwell worth checking out on your London bar list. I can imagine that old-fashioned drinks and decadence will add a perfect glamorous ending to a great evening at The Anthologist. One of my new favourite haunts in the St. Pauls area.
Budget: Happily Affordable
Pre-designs: After work drinks, catch up's, informal dates