In A Word
Bankers (as in, people in Bank – and who possibly work in banks…in Bank) – The Anthologist has a wide appeal. Everybody’s welcome (well, I imagine everybody’s welcome)
Actual anthologists, literati, journalists, bookworms and people who like words arranged on paper. And books. Books in unusual places. And pot plants
Interior design students or interior design fans with a penchant for the wild and wacky and for spaces that take a few artistic liberties with their decor. Pot plants.
People who like any of the other Drake And Morgan restaurants. Expect consistency, yo
I’m already excited by the prospect of The Anthologist. Having been to it’s friends like The Refinery and The Drift and having had much delicious food and drink, my confirmation bias is primed and ready to enjoy their Bank offering.
As ever, confirmation bias and D&M don’t disappoint, and by the end of the night I have converted my friend/+1/’co-eater’/man date/old friend/’old mucker’ Tom that D&M is where it’s at. And by ‘at’ I mean a meal that you can tell all your friends about and humblebrag your way to a mass unfriending on the social media channel of your choice.
As ever, the place is characteristically lively, but not heaving. So, lots of people spilling out into the sunshine, but also lots of space in the bar and restaurant area itself.
We show up 10 minutes early so end up going for a walk around the lovely and prestigious local area. I discover that The Anthologist is just a stone’s throw (if you’re some kind of stone throwing stud) from the lovely Guildhall, so we go into the courtyard there and I pretend to know about the history of London for a few minutes for Tom’s benefit.
After arrival (on time this time) we’re seated on a raised alcove, which makes for lots of cool images looking down on the bar area.
Like every other Drake & Morgan I have seen, they’ve taken an unusual site and filled it with their characteristically whimsical and slightly bizzaro interior. Since this is ‘The Anthologist’ I assume that theme encompasses someone who assembles anthologies or something, but don’t quote me on that ‘cos I am making much of this up as I go along. I’d love to meet their interior designer.
Now seated, Tom hesitantly orders ‘goldfish in a bag’ (after a little encouragement).
I order shit tons of wine because shit tons of wine is delicious and there’s a lot of variety to try here.
Ed: FYI ‘shit tons of wine’ is not a specific variety of wine
Again, we are serenaded with super generic dance music at reasonable volume (and as ever I recognise none of it) – the sound system carries the bass heavily but not the mids and highs, so like many D&M’s there’s a continual rhythmic thumping in the background that you soon forget about. I am OK with this…
Another cool thing about The Anthologist is that that there’s plenty of secluded spots to explore – going with the ‘adventure’ theme in their interior design. So if you have a child (as in, the kind of child that doesn’t make life hell for you and others in public places) you can bring them and they too can have fun with oddly placed wheelbarrows and swings.
Alternatively if you have romantic intentions, then perhaps you can find yourself a quiet spot with that person you’ve taken a shine to and commence romantic/consensual sexual shenanigans? I dunno….
Many of the staff are noticeable for their (not sure if mandated) uniform of suspenders and earpieces, which makes them look a little like secret service agents in Bavarian dress or something.
One such woman (I don’t get her name) makes two cocktails and suggests I shoot them, she then promptly disappears, leaving the cocktails abandoned on the table. I take my pictures and I’m not sure what happens to them after that. I don’t take them ‘cos I’m pretty sure she wasn’t trying to give them to me.
Instead of sharing a bottle of wine in the usual fashion (there’s a bloody good wine selection here) – I try a few different kinds by the glass, whilst Tom tries to fathom how you drink a mix of gin and vodka out of a plastic bag. Some gets spilled but he gets there in the end. And by there I mean a bit drunk.
As ever, the food has always been consistently fucking splendid (swearing for emphasis here chaps) – filling, full of taste and presented with a little flourish but no pretention. The menu is identical across each one, though they change the daily specials on a daily basis (3 cheers for descriptive redundancy!). This means there’s always the element of surprise every time you return.
Here’s what we had…
Halloumi & Hummus Burger + Cowboy Fries
I convince him to go for the Halloumi/helium burger – which he does, and which he likes – wolfing down turbo fast. Like a hungry baby bird. Or a hungry Class M star that has just exhausted it’s hydrogen supplies…
The cowboy fries (in the blue container) come with a honey/BBQ glaze and are so American that they should be served to the tune of ‘Hail To The Chief’ (serving suggestion).
This one is presented like a pyramid of colour and food which I choose to eat from the top down like a civilised human. I can feel the health overpowering me as I scythe my way through the vegetables and deliciously cooked mullet, down to the tomatoes.
Arriving at the bottom, the grilled aubergines underneath are cooked at the optimal level of firmness and give me strong emotions.
Californian Hot Smoked Salmon Salad
Sweet peppers intersperse the spinach, creating flavoursome little enclaves of taste. The salmon is well done, so the juices are either absent or seared on the inside. I prefer my salmon rarer, but whatever.
It actually turns out to be a type of creamy sweet dessert. Tom mentions that it’s so sweet that he has to pace himself. I’ve never ever heard anyone say that before.
He opts for this one because it also has shortbread, and since shortbread has lots of calories, this is what he’s going for. I know, right? Tom doesn’t do stuff the way a lot of people do.
As expected, it was very friendly to my digestion, later adding my digestion on Facebook and inviting it for birthday drinks *extended metaphor trails off, suddenly*
D&M provide to be consistently good as ever. It’s probably a heady mix of confirmation bias and their quality standardisation at work here but I have and will happily return to any/all of their territories in an attempt to realise my ultimate ambition of drinking and eating everything on their menu ever and for eternity.
A: 58 Gresham St, London EC2V 7BB
P: 0845 468 0101