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!
Featuring the latest pop-up from Ollie Dabbous, a whole week of WSET wine education, and Bocca Di Lupo's brand-new Sicily-inspired menu, this week's weekend guide is fully loaded with great food and drink.
21 things to do in London this weekend
1. Hideaway at Chelsea Barracks
From 9 September; 1 Garrison Square, SW1W 8BG
Chelsea Barracks Kitchen has reopened with a new pop-up from the talented Ollie Dabbous. Known as 'Hideaway', the West London kitchen will be open daily from 9am for breakfast, lunch and evening drinks. Hideaway's savoury menu includes Ibaiama sauscisson, H. Forman & Son smoked salmon with basil crème fraîche and Dabbous' signature croque monsieur with an optional flourish of black truffle. Freshly baked options include buckwheat pain au chocolat, bherry blossom kougelhopf and camomile pastel de nata. Coffee connoisseurs will be thrilled by specialities like Gajah Mountain dark roast, grown on the island of Sumatra in the Aceh province and Esmeralda Special from Panama. Meanwhile, with Dabbous' HIDE collaborators Hedonism Wines in charge of the cellar, customers can expect a fine selection including the Tuscan red Le Difese from Tenuta San Guido and a white Burgundy Meursult 'Les Narvaux' from Domaine Michelot. Reservations not necessary.
2. Wine Education Week
9-15 September; various locations
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications, is celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary with the first ever global WSET Wine Education Week. The week, taking place from 9-15 September 2019, celebrates the diversity, taste and culture of the world of wine with a programme of interactive events, all of which are focused on learning about and enjoying wines from across the globe. Events like 'Welcome To Wine School!' on 14 September – walkaround wine tasting where you can taste your way through an amazing selection of wines and learn a host of tips and tricks to help you navigate the wine world – sound ace. Then again, so do all the events.
3. Love Food Streat Festival at Flat Iron Square
11 September; 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
On 11 September, Action Against Hunger is launching a new fundraiser event called Love Food Streat Festival. Hosted at Flat Iron Square and serving some of the best street food in London, the event kickstarts the annual Love Food Give Food campaign to help end child hunger. Love Food Streat Festival's maiden line-up includes the likes of Nieves Barragán Mohacho, Tom Anglesea, Chase Lovecky, Robin Gill, Nud Dudhia, Meriel Armitage, Karan Gokani and more. Peter Gordon (Crosstown Doughnuts) and Jacob Kenedy (Gelupo) have even teamed up to create an exclusive one-off dessert collaboration just for the night. Other eats will be available from Gunpowder, Laffa, Tapas Revolution, Rosa's Thai Cafe and Shake Shack. Drinks will come from Taittinger (with plenty of chances to win glasses, bottles and magnums on the night) and on-site bars will serve a selection of beers, wines and cocktails throughout the evening. Tickets are £35 (which includes a choice of three dishes, a drink and snacks) or £65 (which includes six dishes of your choice, three drinks and snacks). All funds support Action Against Hunger's mission to end child hunger. Just go!
4. Nigel Haworth at The Stafford London
11 September; 16-18 St James's Place, SW1A 1NJ
On Wednesday 11 September, Nigel Haworth will be joining Executive Head Chef Jozef Rogulski and his team at The Game Bird, the acclaimed British restaurant at The Stafford London in St James's. For one evening only, Nigel and Jozef will be cooking up five-courses of seasonal British game for a tasting menu that champions the country's finest produce. Guests can enjoy three different canapes which nod to Jozef and Nigel's respective north-west and southern upbringing including wild duck tidgy puddings with rabbit rillettes and venison eccles cakes. Larger dishes include wood pigeon with smoked hazelnut puree, pickled mulberries and bitter leaves and a game soup with dumplings, yeast-roasted barley and venison sausage roll. A refreshing partridge and wild watercress pomegranate-dressed salad will then be followed by traditional roast grouse. For something sweet, a Braeburn apple 'tarte fine' will be served alongside Somerset cider and brandy ice cream.
5. Issho-Ni's new seasonal menu
From 11 September; 185 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6AB
Issho-Ni, the stylish Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar in Bethnal Green, is launching a new seasonal menu starting from 11 September. With a focus on bold and seasonal flavours, head chef Eduardo Aguiar continues to put his own unique twist on Japan's traditional dishes with menu highlights like seabass jalapeno, squid ink yakisoba squid ink noodles, seafood, shiso, garlic chips, spring onion, and wagyu oshizushi. A plate of seared wagyu beef topped with ponzu oroshi chives? We'll see you at Issho-Ni.
6. Matthew Scott at Cub
11-21 September; 153 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ
Hoxton's sustainably-minded restaurant Cub has announced a collaboration with chef Matthew Scott, previously of Hill & Szrok, taking place from 11-21 September. Scott will be creating the menu using ingredients from Cub's classic suppliers, as well as his own, and will include several items developed in the Cub Cave, Cub's newly launched fermentation lab with internationally renowned fermentation expert Dr Johnny Drain. Although the menu will be predominantly vegetarian, Scott (as a chef no stranger to a haunch of perfectly cooked bovine) will also be serving one dish using meat sourced from ethically farmed, free range and grass fed animals and using products often seen as waste. Scott helped build the nose-to-tail philosophy at Hill & Szrok and stands for rejecting the commercial farming industry and opting for more environmentally friendly suppliers whose animals contribute carbon back into the soil, where it belongs, by letting them graze and grow to maturity before being sold. Sustainability tastes great.
7. RŌNIN x BAO
12 September; 31 Windmill Street, W1T 2JN
As part of BAO Fitzrovia's ongoing U Bar Tend takeover series, RŌNIN (of World's 50 Best Restaurants fame) will be collaborating with BAO London to bring a taste of Hong Kong to London. Famous for its fish, seafood and Japanese spirits, RŌNIN will create three exciting concoctions, inspired by a Japanese whisky collection to be matched with a limited edition Shirako Tempura Bao.
8. International Chocolate Day at Doughnut Time
13 September; various locations
Chocoholics look away now. Or don't. It's your life. In celebration of International Chocolate Day on Friday 13 September, Doughnut Time has launched its newest and most chocolate- heavy doughnut yet: the 'Philled Collins'. Doughnut Time's Philled Collins (which will be priced at £4.50) is the ultimate in over-the-top. It's a chocolate dough ball filled with chocolate custard, dipped in milk chocolate ganache, topped with a Cadbury chocolate flake, chocolate cookie crumble, a Cadbury Caramel chocolate bar, and caramel drizzle. The item – which sounds like a real Easy Lover – will be available in all stores across London from 13 September.
9. British Street Food Awards Final at Hawker House
13-14 September; Canada Street, SE16 7PJ
The annual British Street Food Awards – now in its tenth year – returns to Hawker House this September for another showcase of the best of the best of the nation's street food. The winners of five regional heats will come together to do battle in the final of the British Street Food Awards.Thousands entered, hundreds competed, and now 16 finalists will cook to be crowned a champion at Hawker House on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September. Guests will have the chance to eat some of Britain's best street food in one place – tickets are just £5 including an ice-cold beer on entry. Each trader will put forward two dishes and the public will vote for their favourite over the weekend, before expert judges reveal the winners on Saturday. Get stuck into posh poutine; Malaysian fried chicken roti; beef arepas; slow-cooked lamb burgers; Filipino grilled chicken; wood-fired pizza; vegan doughnuts; and much, much more.
10. Lyle's Game Series
13-14 September; 56 Shoreditch High Street, E16JJ
On Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September, James Lowe and John Ogier will be welcoming a group of world class chefs from overseas for the sixth year of their Game Series in partnership with Holland & Holland and Craigellachie. These internationally renowned chefs will be joining James on a shooting trip in Scotland's Eastern Highlands, before bringing the best of Scottish game back to Lyle's for two ticketed dinners. Flying in for the occasion will be Christopher Kostow of three Michelin starred The Restaurant at Meadowood and Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn, Oswaldo Oliva from Lorea and Aleli Roma in Mexico City, Jowett Yu of Ho Lee Fook in Hong Kong and peripatetic chef Agata Felluga. The team will spend three days out in the wild, stalking deer, hunting duck and fly-fishing salmon on the River Dee, giving them a chance to see first-hand what's involved in bringing these celebrated ingredients to the table. Once back in London, they will collaborate on a menu centred on the produce. Tickets cost £95 per person (exclusive of drinks and service).
11. Hellmann's Real Taste, Less Waste Kitchen
13-14 September; Hawker House, SE16 7PJ
Who doesn't love a bit of mayo? Hellmann's Real Taste, Less Waste Kitchen is set to appear at the British Street Food Awards from 13-14 September. Londoners can expect free and delicious food created from the UK's top ten wasted food items throughout the two day pop-up. From cheese to potatoes, the Real Taste, Less Waste Kitchen aims to highlight the extent of the food waste problem and prove that delicious dishes can be made from commonly leftover ingredients found at the back of the fridge. Free bites offered at the popup include: cheddar bites in homemade breadcrumbs & Hellmann's Tabasco Mayo; vegan potato gnocchi with a rocket pesto & Hellmann's Vegan Mayo; and an any vegetable frittata with Hellmann's Real Mayo.
12. Mid-Autumn Festival at XU
13-29 September; 30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL
This September, XU Teahouse & Restaurant will be celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival to commemorate the start of a new harvest season. Drawing on its Taiwanese and Chinese Heritage, XU has curated its own take on this traditional festival and welcomes guests to celebrate from 13-29 September via a special collaboration with London-based patisserie chef Lily Vanilli. XU will be partnering with dessert expert Lily Vanilli to produce a
unique and limited-edition bakewell mooncake to be enjoyed throughout the three-week period. Best known for her playful cake designs and quirky flavour creations, Lily Vanilli has also teamed up with XU for a Mid-Autumn Afternoon Tea takeover, available only on weekends. For those who aren't up for tea, simply opt for the five-course Mid-Autumn Festival Set Menu, which across this limited period will welcome Lily's Bakewell Mooncake and two brand new menu items to its current Mister XU Set Menu.
13. Beyond Food and Brigade Bar & Kitchen's 8th Birthday Supper Club
14 September; 139 Tooley Street, SE1 2HZ
Social enterprise restaurant Brigade Bar & Kitchen and its partner the Beyond Food Foundation (a charity dedicated to using food as a catalyst to break the cycle of homelessness) are celebrating their 8th birthday with a Supper Club Party at 7pm on Saturday 14 September. Held at Brigade, the event will see head chef, Pete Denhart and Brigade's current cohort of apprentices collaborating with three special guest chefs. Those guest chefs are: Cora Pearl's Aika Levns, Santo Remedio's Edson Diaz-Fuentes, and Fifteen Cornwall's Mariana Chaves. Expect an exciting one-off menu based around the fire and smoke of street food.For £45 guests will be treated to three street food dishes (think pork collar and bacon focaccia, katsu curry bun, slow cooked pork belly taco, and more), a Tiki cocktail from the East London Liquor Company, tunes on the terrace from Capital FM's Sarah Story, live funk from 'The Scary Scallops', and some inspirational words from apprentices past and present.
14. Wine Car Boot at Bloomberg Arcade
14 September; Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
On 14 September, Wine Car Boot will be bringing the very best independent wine shops, suppliers and producers to Bloomberg Arcade. The grape-heavy occasion will offer a variety of wines to suit all palates and wine enthusiasts. Each stall will showcase a selection of their favourite wines for guests to sample and buy. Now in its 7th year, Wine Car Boot havea diverse portfolio of traders ranging from classic merchants like Berry Brother's & Rudd and The Wine Society to contemporary specialists such as New Zealand Cellar, Dynamic Vines and Newcomer. Bottles from Greece, Hungary and Georgia are mixed with the very best Italians from Passione Vino and French from Authentique. Not only will there be a broad selection of wine but there will also be music and an array of food on offer within the market. During the fair, Bloomberg Arcade's unique range of restaurants will also be open to all. A glass of wine with a Bleecker burger and a triangle from Homeslice? Oh, go on then. Similar to other markets, Wine Car Boot is free to enter and guests are given the opportunity to buy a tasting pack which includes a canvas tote, glass and five tokens to begin their wine expedition within the Bloomberg Arcade.
15. End of Summer Distillery Party at Doghouse Distillery
14 September; Unit L, Broughton Street, SW8 3QR
Summer's pretty much over now and Doghouse Distillery is helping you to see the season off in style with the distillery's 5th and final mini-festival of the summer. The distillery's held one of these parties a month since May which means you can expect a good time and a great day out for the whole family (children and dogs included). When else will you get the chance to visit a local distillery and enjoy some great street food and drinks with an assortment of live music to quench your ears? As well as, of course, trying a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks made from the award-winning spirits from Doghouse. Spirits like Renegade Gin, Baller Vodka, and Limited Edition Sloe and Damson Gins will all be in attendance alongside a selection of beer and wine, too. A free distillery tour on the day and special discounts in the distillery shop cap off an already bustling day of fun. It's free to attend, just rock up and enjoy yourself.
16. We Sustain at Mercato Metropolitano
14-15 September; 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR
From 14-15 September, Mercato Metropolitano is hosting We Sustain – a series of workshops, events and talks on 'The city we want to live in', in celebration of Mercato's third anniversary in London. From cookery classes, wine tasting, art exhibitions, yoga, arts and crafts to Ted-style talks about gender equality, it promises to be an interesting weekends of events. Looking for thought-provoking discussions? Interested in learning about issues like food waste, plastic pollution, sustainable cities, urban farming, and the refugee crisis? Head on down to Mercato Metropolitano. Just want to come for the huge feast made by and for the community using 'wonky' or rejected vegetables? That's not a problem, either.
17. Dog Day at Skylight
15 September; Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF
Tobacco Dock's Skylight Rooftop, located at is excited to announce the return of its Dog Day celebrations for 2019. Dog Day is the perfect opportunity to head to one of London's favourite rooftops with your friends, family and pooch in tow. Skylight is home to three floors of bars, street food, games and entertainment and will be mixing up special doggy cocktails and offering treats a-plenty for each four-legged friend in attendance. Skylight will also be holding an Instagram competition for 'best photo of a dog at Skylight' with prizes to be won for the handsomest hound. Dog Day cocktails will include the Frenchie 75, Paw-n star Martini and the Who's A Good Boy – a percentage of proceeds made from each special Dog Day cocktail will go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Treats will be supplied healthy and 100% natural dog food companies Soopa Pets and Devon based dog-lovers Forthglade, health food pioneers Lecker Bites as well as nutritious treats from Laughing Dog and Pet Munchies. Entry is free.
18. Whole Beast at Great Guns Social
Until 28 September; 96 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0EF
As the latest kitchen residency to camp at Great Guns Social, Whole Beast – as its name suggests – adheres to the principles of nose-to-tail dining. Chefs Sam Bryant and Alicja Specjalna, both formerly of the Coal Rooms, have a tendency to go "primitive" using flame, smoke, ember and ash to achieve some punchy flavours. Like a pair of pyromaniac sommeliers, matching different woods to different cuts for maximum taste – Bryant and Specjalna pride themselves on using every element of the animal to ensure that absolutely nothing is wasted. Fat, bones, offal and all. Starters will be under £8 and main courses cost between £12- £15. They will also offer a feasting menu for parties of eight or more, for £35 per head.
19. 'The Ginprint' at The Artyard Bar & Kitchen
17 September; 2 Blackfriars Road, SE1 9JU
This London Design Festival, No.3 London Dry Gin is putting on an exclusive event for gin-lovers to discover its award-winning liquid. Known as 'The Ginprint by No.3', the event celebrates the brand's new campaign, The Art of Perfection, as well as giving design-lovers a sneak preview of its distinctive new bottle design, which lands on shelves in October. Expect a gin masterclass and two pop-up stations, led by some of London's top bartenders, all themed around the three iconic gin serves – the G&T, martini and negroni. No.3 will also serve G&Ts throughout the night, alongside a London Design Festival-inspired cocktail and a selection of canapés. Guests will take home a complimentary, personalised 'gin print' of their favourite No.3 serve – whether that's a G&T, Martini, or Negroni. The print will feature a striking image created through a process that explores the gin in microscopic detail. Neat.
20. Golden Gai makeover at Angelina
56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH
Fancy visiting a bar that's been given a fresh lick of paint? East London's Angelina Restaurant has recently collaborated with provocative artist Mark James to give its bar, the Golden Gai, a nifty facelift. Having spent many a lost night in Tokyo's drinking dens, Mark has used his personal experiences to transform Dalston's smallest bar into a space that emulates the surreal shanty town vibes of Shinjuku. What does that mean exactly? Well, you need look further than the pink neon sign, created especially for the project, that now glows opposite the toilets. Written in Japanese, that sign pays homage to Omoide Yokoc or 'Piss Alley', an area in Shinjuku where, due to the lack of restroom facilities, the patrons would often relieve themselves on the nearby tracks. It's cheeky, it's colourful, and it's right up our alley. Minus the piss.
21. Bocca Di Lupo's sunny Sicily menu
12 Archer Street, W1D 7BB
Not ready to accept that summer's gone? Neither is Bocca Di Lupo. The iconic Italian restaurant has introduced a new range of summery Sicily-inspired dishes that explore the complex interplay of Italian and Moorish culture in Sicilian cuisine. Highlights include: watermelon salad with red onion, oregano and olive oil; pasta con le sarde – an archetypal dish of spaghetti or bucatini with sardines, anchovies, raisins, pine nuts, saffron and wild fennel; tongue stewed with pine nuts, raisins, vinegar and chocolate; Caponata – stewed aubergine and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar and capers; and a dessert of chocolate-coated cannolo of pistachio gelato, Modica chocolate and Bronte pistachios. Just when you thought Bocca Di Lupo couldn't get any better…