Fun, lively bar just a stone’s throw from Fenchurch Street station.
The Abbey bar is a well-known drinking institution around Fenchurch Street with a large façade and open windows. In the hotter months, the music from the bar pumps out onto the street and it seems like most of the clientele are happy to stand outside drinking. Once inside, the size of the bar is quite surprising, with three levels including a seated dining area and an entire club situated in the basement. The décor is glamorous and chic – chintzy table lamps, dark wooden furniture and hanging chandeliers give the bar an elegant yet casual feel. The tables here are frequently reserved so make sure you book ahead if you plan a visit. The club downstairs is vast and can often be seen heaving with people on Thursday and Friday club nights. Bear in mind that the bar is closed on weekends in true City style.
The Abbey Bar is in the fortunate position of not being too close to the City to be classed as snobby, but being far enough away from the West End to dissuade troops of tourists. Customers here range from office workers to retail staff and labourers working in the area. However, there is a door policy, so make sure you’re semi-smart if you want to get in. The bar has a nice mix of clientele, but the common ground is that they all simply want a good drink and a chat after work. The funky music played throughout the bar gives a buzzy atmosphere, yet it’s not too loud that you can’t hear yourself speak (although this may be different in the club later on in the evening!). Abbey is certainly not pretentious in any way, and the wide range of seating options (dining, drinking, clubbing) means that it’s geared up for any occasion.
There’s a new menu in force at the Abbey bar, which offers something for everyone. For those wanting a lighter bite, there’s a bar snack menu comprising platters, sandwiches and side plates. The classic platter is recommended for any group wanting a few bits with their beers – mini burgers, fish goujons, potato wedges, spicy sausages and chips for cost £15.71. If you’re at the bar for a proper meal, there’s also a full dinner menu to choose from. The salmon fillet and nicoise salad is £10.50 while the hefty rib-eye steak (28 oz) served with fries and pepper sauce is £14.95.
The Abbey bar has a great selection of drinks available, especially if you want something different in the form of a cocktail – there's a whole menu devoted especially to these types of tipples. Why not try the Plum Pie Crush – Havana rum, pomegranate, lime juice, crushed ice and a dollop of plum jam – a sweet but satisfying drink that will set you back £6.75. Also recommended is the Spiced Pear Mojito – Absolut Pear vodka, cloudy apple juice, lime and cinnamon (£6.75). Pints are on the expensive side at £5 for a Stella and there’s currently no real ale on tap.
The Last Word
A great spot for care-free post-work dinner and drinks. Head down at lunchtime for a more chilled experience, or in the evening to dance the night away.