Situated in the beating heart of London’s historic Square Mile, we like to think 1 Lombard Street is laidback luxury at its finest. One of the longest standing restaurants in the City for wining, dining and hosting private get-togethers, our restaurant and bar hasn’t always been a place for tucking into Mark Hix’s ‘Credit Crunch ice-cream’, dancing beneath champagne showers as wedding bells ring, or for suit-clad brokers to clink glasses over sweet success stories.
It is rather peculiar for us to imagine a time where 1 Lombard Street was without knives, forks and shelves of ice-cold martini glasses, however with the earliest records of the building dating back to 1776, we often find ourselves reflecting upon the past-lives of our chic city establishment in a time unrecognisable to today, pondering over the people, moments and conversations that once existed within our walls. Once upon a time, when horse-drawn carriages clip clopped along the Square Mile’s cobbled streets through the “sooty spectre” that was London, a young Charles Darwin gazed upon Smith, Payne & Smith Bank in the early hours of the morning. We like to think it was during these moments, looking towards 1 Lombard Street, that Mr Dickens thought perhaps London wasn’t so bad after all. Centuries later, Smith, Payne & Smith Bank was nothing more than a memory, until along came Danish restaurateur, Soren Jessen, who brought life, soul and a chandelier or two back to Lombard Street!
Much of the building’s period features have been restored to show the timelessness of such architecture, including large sash windows and the original corner stone of ‘THE BANKING HOUSE’, laid in 1834. Arguably, it is a doorway draped in flowers leading to the restaurant and bar, the eclectic mix of neo-abstract art adorning the walls and the seasonally-inspired menus (headed up by Mark Hix) that gently nudge 1 Lombard Street into the twenty-first century. The Dome Bar, aptly named and situated beneath an Italian-designed glass cupola skylight, is conveniently positioned in the centre of the restaurant, offering vintage wines, Norwegian gins and house HIX cocktails made to order.
Though it’s the carefully sourced ingredients, sumptuous dishes and adventurous cocktail list that draw in eager diners from near and far, Monday to Friday, the building’s impressive banking history combined with art, design and natural lighting accentuate the building’s appropriateness for all sorts of private shindigs and soirées.
A versatile space, it takes just a moment to transform the restaurant and bar into something spectacular, should one opt for an illuminated Dome Bar, electronic house and a gin cocktail or two, depending on the tone you wish to set. We pride ourselves on bringing visions to life, whether that be dinner and dancing, celebrating nuptials with your nearest and dearest people, or cheersing to the good life with your corporate clique. At 1 Lombard Street, there’s something for everyone with a range of private party packages to pick from, all of which features dishes by Mark that celebrate deliciously British ingredients, as well as a choice of backdrops varying in style, design and size.
1776, our private dining room at 1 Lombard Street offers views overlooking our neighbour – and Lord Mayor of London – and his official Mansion House residence, accommodating 60 seated guests and 90 standing. For those looking for full run of the place, our restaurant and bar can host up to 450 people for a grand extravaganza.
To find out more about 1 Lombard Street and the story so far, or how to start party-planning with our Events team, get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article by Alex Middleton