Weekends are for fun. Weekends are for friends. Weekends are for fitting in as many activities as you can possibly cram in over such a brief – but enjoyable – period of time. Our favourite way to spend our days off is, of course, by eating great food and drinking great drinks. Living in a city like London, you'll never be lacking for a range of ace and tasty events running over the weekend. But choosing which ones are worth your precious presence (and, moreover, worth the Google Calendar invite) is a bit more difficult.
After all, there's nothing worse than spending your Saturday and Sunday at an event with limp burgers and weak cocktails. To help you make the most of your time off work and away from your glass office, we've created this handy little weekend round-up of the best food and drink events going on across the city. Anything you think we missed out? Well, feel free to be in touch with the events that you think we should be covering next week!
With new openings like Decimo, Legare, and Chunky Buddha all worthy of your attention, there's plenty of great eating and drinking on this weekend.
24 things to do in London this weekend
1. Goatober at Hoppers
There's not many better ways to celebrate Goatober than with dishes rifling with that delicious meat. We know that, you know that, and anyone who doesn't know that is simply kidding (sorry) themselves. To honour the month in the best way possible, we'd recommend getting down to Hoppers where you can order the Sri Lankan restaurant's goat kothu roti – a street food favourite of goat curry mixed with rice and chopped roti.
2. Sober October at Seven Dials
4-13 October; Seven Dials Market, WC2H 9LX
Seven Dials Market, the newest food hall from KERB, is celebrating London Cocktail Week a little differently. As the capital's mixologists host a week of debauchery for booze-loving Londoners, Seven Dials Market is offering an oasis of calm with Square Root Soda's Temperance Bar – an alcohol-free zone that'll be stirring up mocktails and sodas (like the peach kombucha bellini or strawberry balsamic shrub) made with fresh juices. For the month of Sober October, Square Root is also launching a brand new 'Negroni Spritz' made with home-brewed non-alcoholic gin.
3. Maison Bab's birthday celebrations
7-13 October; 4 Mercer Walk, WC2H 9FA
What's better than ripping your way through one of Maison Bab's kebabs? Ripping your way through one of Maison Bab's kebabs for half the usual price. Yep, in honour of Maison Bab celebrating its first birthday this October, the restaurant is offering every kebab on its menu for half-price until 13 October as well as a free birthday shot of Grey Goose Strawberrycello for every diner. Combine that with some £1 doner beignets and you'll be well-fed for practically nothing at all.
4. Brigadiers Oktoberfest
7-14 October; 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
In true Oktoberfest fashion, Brigadiers have created a spiced version of the currywurst topped with a tempered mustard slaw in a kati roll with a Bengali kasundi mustard sauce. The Brigadiers bar team have also chosen eight beers, four produced in the UK and four German beers that will be available across the week. The beers will go head to head on 10 October for a Brigadiers "Battle of Britain: Oktoberfest Special" in collaboration with Harbour Brewing and Thornbridge, inviting drinkers into the Tap Room for an interactive beer battle. The Oktoberfest celebrations will continue in full force on the Brigadiers terrace through to the weekend of 12-13 with the terrace's wooden tables mimicking a Bavarian beer hall.
5. Tonkotsu x Visions Canteen
7-21 October; 31 New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EY
Ahead of the opening of Tonkotsu Shoreditch, the ramen experts over there have teamed up with their new neighbour Visions Canteen to create a truly glorious sandwich. Made using the chashu from Tonkotsu's Tokyo ramen along with a happy family of kewpie, bulldog sauce, pickled red cabbage, takana, and shredded iceberg lettuce sandwiched between lightly toasted white bread, this sanger looks set to be a cracker. Known as 'The Shogun Assassin', it'll be on the menu at Visions Canteen from 7-21 October for £8. Customers who purchase The Shogun Assassin will also receive a voucher for a free ramen or hiyashi, which can be exchanged at Tonkotsu Shoreditch when it opens in late October.
6. Champagne Friends at Bubbledogs
8 October; 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG
This October, Bubbledogs will be kicking off a new chapter since its revamp with the launch of Champagne Friends, a collaboration series that will see Sandia's favourite wine bars and closest friends from the wine world put their stamp on Bubbledogs' celebrated Champagne list. Some of the capital's most popular wine bars such as P. Franco, Newcomer Wines and Sager + Wilde will be taking over with an exclusive menu of Champagne and sparkling wines for one evening only. The first session on 8 October will see Sager + Wilde man the decks and work with Bubbledogs on a collaboration menu that features the best Champagne and sparkling wine London has to offer. Small plates of togashari tots, French cheeses and tempura onion petals with nori powder will help that champers go down a treat.
7. Chunky Buddha opening
From 8 October; 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB
Chunky Buddha – the street food creation from Lee Chau Le – is launching its "Asian tapas" plates concept and residency at Nightjar from 8 October. It's the first time Nightjar has got someone with their own brand to come into the venue in their ten years, so rest assured that Chunky Buddha will be serving up some quality cooking. The short but sweet menu is packed with bar snacks like the steak sando, an unashamedly meaty, aromatic riff on London's favourite new sandwich and a giant Vietnamese rice cracker filled with pea-green edamame hummus – both Instagram-friendly dishes of the highest order. Expect Lee Chau Le's temple dumplings and crispy duck and bao buns to also star.
8. Beer tasting at SFG Club with Melissa Cole
9 October; 7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, E15 1BB]
Head on down to the Hops on Top tent at SFG Club for a free beer tasting sessions with Melissa Cole on 9 October. The respected female beer sommelier, writer, taster and educator will be on hand to help beer-lovers sip their way around the continents.
9. Sticks'n'Sushi x Kanpai
From 9 October; 40 Beak Street, W1F 9RQ
To celebrate the opening of its new Beak Street restaurant on 9 October, Sticks'n'Sushi is releasing a sustainable and British-brewed sake made by the good people over at the Peckham-based Kanpai brewery. The new 'Rice Revived' craft sake is made from surplus rice and promises to be a bright and fruity sake that bears sustainability in mind having been bottled and labelled using recycled materials. It also does a handsome job at complementing the sushi and yakitori on the Sticks'n'Sushi menu. Rice Revived will be exclusively available at the Beak Street premises before eventually rolling out into Sticks'n'Sushi's other premises.
10. Quo Vadis & Friends: The Marksman
9 October; 26-29 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
When you look at the landscape of the London dining scene it's hard to think of two restaurants that make a better fit than Quo Vadis and The Marksman. Both of these restaurants are stone cold British classics and the chance to eat their food at the same time seems to be one that's too good to pass up. This supper sees Jeremy Lee invite the Marksman to Soho for an evening of proper pub food, focusing on exceptional London-sourced produce with a nod to traditional practices such as baking and curing. The Marksman's chef-owners, Jon Rotheram and Tom Harris, will join the QV kitchens to whip up a meal you won't forget anytime soon. Held in the 2nd floor Quo Vadis 'Marx' and 'Leoni' private dining rooms, after dinner, guests are welcome to move down into the QV Club for some post-supper entertainment.
11. Luke Selby at the National Theatre
9-10 October; Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
Great British Menu star and National Chef of the Year 2018, Luke Selby, and his brothers Nathaniel and Theodore, are hosting a pop-up dining experience at the National Theatre's House Bar & Restaurant from 9-10 October. For the first time ever, the supper club will also be available as a pre-theatre option, meaning that diners can enjoy this pop-up experience before heading in to soak up a bit of culture. Dishes will include those seen on Selby's Great British Menu appearances like the 'Banquet Starter' (barbecued sweetcorn combined with meadowsweet and butter and served with a meadow scent) and the 'Going Platinum' dessert (a contemporary take on classic millionaire shortbread). Main courses include roasted loin of venison, celeriac choucroute and purée, seasonal blackberries and a bitter cocoa sauce. How's that for gustatory theatrics?
12. Rare Tea Event at Rochelle Canteen
10 October; The Mall, SW1Y 5AH
This autumn, Rochelle Canteen at the ICA will play host to a series of food, drink and art takeovers in collaboration with artist Rirkrit Tiravanija's sake bar-inspired installation. Rochelle's founders Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold and bar manager Fin Spiteri will welcome an eclectic line-up of friends, mixologists, chefs and artists for a programme of delicious events. For the first evening on 10 October, Spiteri will delve into the world of tea with Rare Tea Co. founder Henrietta Lovell. Celebrating Henrietta's book Infused – Adventures in Tea, Fin and Henrietta will explore various concoctions, including a tea infused sake cocktail paired with Japanese-influenced snacks.
13. Curry Curry Bang Bang
10 October; Canada Street, SE16 7PJ
Hawker House is welcoming some of the best curry masters in the capital for the first ever Curry Curry Bang Bang on Thursday 10 October. Sponsored by Kingfisher, this epic celebration of South Asian curries will coincide with National Curry Week (7-13 October). Each £10 ticket includes a welcome Kingfisher beer on arrival and the chance to sample some show-stopping South Asian curry creations from the likes of London favourites Bombay Café, Dishoom, Lahpet, Sparrow and others. Each dish will be a tasting size, allowing you to get your fill of as many as possible. Plus, all of Hawker House's six bars will be around to keep the craft beer, wine and cocktails flowing all night. Naan-ageddon awaits.
14. Ikoyi x 108
10 October; 1 St James's Market, SW1Y 4AH
This upcoming collaboration between Ikoyi and Copenhagen's Restaurant 108 on Thursday 10 October looks set to be one for the record books. As a creative collaboration between Kristian Baumann of 108 and Jeremy Chan of Ikoyi, this dinner will see the duo blending styles and signature dishes, taking inspiration from the best ingredients available. The menu, available for lunch or dinner, will be a blind tasting of 9 servings for £150. An optional beverage pairing is also available for £80.
15. Decimo opening
From 10 October; 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG
Duolingo lesson inbound: "décimo" means "tenth" in Spanish. As in, "I shouldn't have had that décimo cerveza last night". Decimo – the latest restaurant from chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias – is launching on the 10th floor of The Standard hotel on 10 October. Serving a host of Spanish and Mexican dishes, Decimo's menu will consist of: para picar, seafood served over ice, aguachile, tacos, salads, and meat and seafood cooked over an open fire. Individual dishes include jamon croquetas, caviar-topped tortilla, a table-side prepared Caesar salad, mushroom paella, suckling pig shoulder, XL langoustines, and a decadent rib of beef. Wines come predominantly from Spain and Latin America with an additional focus (because this is London in 2019, after all) on low intervention wines from new and emerging winemakers. If Decimo's half as good as it sounds, we're expecting 10s across the board.
16. £5 Ramen at Akira
10-12 October; 110-111 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA
Akira on Kensington High Street is launching a ramen lunch pop-up. That statement alone should be enough to get you out the door and running to West London. Akira's executive chef Akira Shimizu has created two ramen that will be available solely for takeaway on the ground floor of Japan House from 10-12 October between 12 and 4pm. The chicken ramen features crispy chicken karaage, chives, yuzu and sliced bamboo shoots in a rich chicken stock whereas the tomato-based vegan option contains vegan noodles topped with Chinese cabbage, onion, carrot, sweetcorn, yuzu and shio-konbu. Both are priced at £5. Cash only.
17. Green Hop Beer Festival
10-13 October; The Pembury Tavern, E8 1JH
Just when you thought festival season was dead and gone, The Pembury Tavern has gone and thrown the beer festival for the ages. The 2019 Green Hop Beer Festival will take place from 10-13 October and showcase the best of this autumn's green hopped beers from breweries across the country. Only available at this time of year, green hop beers use the fresh, undried and unprocessed hops picked from the vines of the hop fields to give them a completely unique flavour profile. Don't miss your chance to try the best and biggest selection of green hopped beers in London this year, including Five Points' Green Hop Bullion, Fuggles and Ernest beers, The Kernel's green hop Foeder Beer and more from Canopy, Little Earth Project and Walthamstow Brewery. Entry is free. No excuses, matey.
18. Lyon's Seafood Wine & Bar opening
From 11 October; 1 Park Road, N8 8TE
Lyon's Seafood & Wine Bar will open its doors in Crouch End on 11 October. Which means you should get there as soon as possible before it's absolutely rammed. Serving exceptional, sustainable seafood from the British Isles, Lyon's is headed up by Anthony Lyon (Hix, Wolseley, Colbert) with head chef Talia Prince (Le Gavroche, Fat Duck) working the kitchen. Lyon's menus will be decided by the fresh catch of the day boats, with much of it cooked over charcoal. Dishes include the daily changing chilled and fire-roasted shellfish platters, whole roasted fish of the day to share, and a whole side of Var salmon with a mustard glaze. Combine that with sommelier Kelvin McCabe's wine list and you should be in for an excellent meal.
19. Rugby World Cup with Sean O'Brien at Darby's
12 October; 3 Viaduct Gardens, SW11 7AY
Darby's is teaming up with Guinness for exclusive live screenings of the England v France and Ireland v Samoa matches on Saturday 12 October. But that's not all. Legendary rugby player Sean O'Brien will be there on the day with host Alex Payne to discuss the proceedings throughout. Darby's will be ramping up its breakfast offering with steak, eggs and crispy beef fat potatoes and a dish of smoked haddock, Cacklebean egg, hollandaise and brown butter waffle as well as offering some of the restaurant's signature oyster bar snacks. And Guinness. Lots of Guinness.
20. Rita's Dining x Gunpowder
13 October; 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD
The final Gunpowder & Friends collaboration of 2019 is taking place on 13 October with Gabriel Pryce and Missy Flynn of cult favourite Rita's Dining gracing Tower Bridge for the last hurrah. Priced at just £25pp, the 6-course Sunday lunch will feature Gunpowder favourites like the classic aloo chat along with one-off specials such as Kerala-style bone marrow and egg curry and prawn and pepper masala rice. Chef Pryce will be serving a refreshing red chili ceviche tostada, fried chicken curry – a riff on Rita's famous fried chicken that comes simmering in a fragrant curry sauce – and a horchata rice pudding flavoured with hibiscus and rose. Eat your heart out.
21. Smoke Sundays at Honey and Smoke with Olia Hercules
13 October; 216 Great Portland Street, W1W 5QW
This October, Honey & Smoke will be celebrating its third birthday with Smoke Sundays – a series of three special feast events in collaboration with three of Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich's favourite fire-loving chefs. Gill Meller, Ben Chapman and Olia Hercules, will be sharing their stories about making a life in food for a live recording of Packer and Srulovich's podcast before taking to the grills to cook a one-off sharing feast. Kicking off the Smoke Sundays series on 13 October will be Olia Hercules, the award-winning food writer and chef, with an Eastern European inspired menu cooked over the coals.
22. Gridiron Guests feat. Lee Westcott
14 October; 19 Old Park Lane W1K 1LB
Gridiron by COMO is hosting the third of its Gridiron Guests series with Lee Westcott of Pensons on 14 October. For one night only, Lee Westcott (who recently got himself a shiny new Michelin star) will be returning to London to cook an exclusive autumnal feast, celebrating the finest British game and autumnal produce. The menu for the evening will include an array of produce from the Netherwood Estate – such as damsons and redcurrants, gathered and preserved on the estate, as well as locally sourced beetroot and hispi cabbage, alongside British game. Dishes will include oysters with venison faggots and chilli vinegar, game pie with eel liquor, and grouse served with hispi cabbage, cep and red-currants. The Gridiron bar team have also created a special smoked whiskey cocktail for the event. Made with Ardbeg 10yr whisky from the Kildalton Coast of Islay, it's a cocktail full of coastal air and smoke and packs a powerful, peaty punch. The menu prices start at £65 per person, with a wine pairing option for an additional £45 per person.
23. 50% off at Legare
14-15 October; Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, SE1 2YB
We're suckers for a good plate of pasta here at Foodism, so rest assured that when there's a chance to eat discounted heaps of the stuff we'll be the first ones to sideways crab our ways through the door. Launching on 14 October in London Bridge, Legare – a new Italian restaurant from Jay Patel and chef Matt Beardmore – is marking its launch by offering 50% off food on 14-15 October when you make a reservation. With a menu spilling over with homemade orecchiette with fennel sausage and cavolo nero ragù (yes), agnolotti with Neal's Yard goat's curd and tomato consommé (yes) and gilt-head bream with citrus dressing and espelette pepper (oh, yes), you'd be remiss not to visit Legare and eat twice as much as you normally would, for half the price.
24. Goatober at Temper
Until 31 October; 25 Broadwick Street W1F 0DF
Keep your Stoptober and your halloween, Goatober is our favourite reason to celebrate the month of October. And to help us do that celebrating in the tastiest way possible, Temper Soho will be serving their smoked goat tacos for the duration of October. The animals are butchered and smoked in-house and used in their entirety. Now, that's good eating.