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!
Free punch for those who voted, delicious vegan eats from Biff's Jack Shack and a Christmas lobster feast from Burger and Lobster are all ripe for the taking this weekend. What are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy yourself this weekend.
11 things to do in London this weekend
1. Free punch at The Sun Tavern
12 December; 441 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
Booze and democracy – what more could you ask for? From 12pm-2am on December 12, The Sun Tavern will be offering a free glass of Polling Punch to anyone that can prove they voted in the general election. All you've got to do is present your polling card or a selfie of yourself outside a polling station to redeem that delicious free drink. What's in the Polling Punch? Lemon, honey, Poitín, Umbrella Brewing ginger beer, and kaffir lime cordial. What's in the ballot box? The future of our nation.
2. Edible Christmas gifts cookery course at KitchenAid
12 December; 98 Wigmore Street, W1U 3RN
Treat yourself and everyone in the vicinity of your kitchen with KitchenAid's Edible Christmas Gifts Class this weekend. Not only will you enjoy a fun, festive afternoon while brushing up on your baking skills but you'll also get to create culinary sweet treats that can double up as Christmas presents for your loved ones. Two birds, one stone, etc. An expert will take you on a step-by-step journey on how to make festive treats, combining a mix of demos and hands-on-cooking, and you'll also be shown how to use a range of appliances from the stand mixer to multifunctional ovens, hobs and speciality products.
13-15 December; 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Christmas has come early in the form of the capital's newest winter BBQ festival – a regular Wing-ter Wonderland taking place from 13-15 December. If chicken wings, fall-off-the-bone ribs and raclette smothered grilled steaks are your thing, then you'd better book a ticket to GrillJam this weekend. You can work your way through street food tasters for as little as £1 washed down with some crafty brews in partnership with Goose Island. Each ticket gets you a free beer or cocktail from Goose Island on entry and a Flying Goose Sriracha keyring.
4. Casa do Frango Shoreditch opening
16 December; 2 King John Court, EC2A 3EZ
Casa do Frango, the Portuguese grilled chicken connoisseurs, are bringing a pocket of the sun-soaked Algarve to East London with the opening of a new restaurant in Shoreditch on 16 December. As with the first London Bridge site, charcoal-grilled piri piri chicken will take centre stage while the overall vibe of the restaurant will channel Portugal's café culture. The ground floor will house a bespoke dark oak bar where customers will be able to enjoy a menu of petiscos -– the Portuguese equivalent of tapas – and there'll even be an open plan Pasteleria where several varieties of pastéis de nata will be baked daily.
5. Vegan Xmas at Biff's Jack Shack
33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
Have yourself a meat-free Merry Christmas this weekend by testing out the vegan festive offerings on the menu at Biff's Jack Shack. Expect the likes of 'Prancer's Poutine', 'Festive Filthy Fries', and 'Crackin' Crumble Wingz' to deliver your cranberry and walnut fix in the most animal-friendly way possible. But it's not just about stuffing your empty sack of a stomach, mate. Every £1 from the sale of the Santa's Little Helper (crispy fried jackfruit, spiced meatloaf with roasted walnuts and dried cranberries, smoked cheeze, smoked sprouts sautéed in paprika butter, kale and cranberry gel in a toasted brioche) will be donated directly to Serbia's Forgotten Paws – an independent animal sanctuary.
6. Christmas lobster feast at Burger and Lobster
This Christmas lobster feast includes mountains of rosemary and garlic roast potatoes, buttery British winter veg, sides of strong cheddar and mozzarella cauliflower cheese, and gravy. Oh, and a giant 5kg lobster. According to Burger and Lobster "each giant lobster is heavier than a bottle of Dom Pérignon and bigger than your hat box for Ascot, darling". Which I think tells you everything you need to know about B&L's prospective clientele. The feast is available at all Burger and Lobster outlets and for £54 per person, groups of up to nine people can dine on the mammoth crustacean with all the trimmings. So this is Christmas, Burger and Lobster… and what have you done?!
7. Camden Town's Beer 2019
Pretty much the champagne of beers, this seasonal brew from Camden Town Brewery is golden, lightly bubbled, and perfect for any celebration where champagne seems a bit much but a simple lager doesn't seem special enough. The limited-edition beer comes in a gold screen printed 500ml bottle designed by Bodil Jane and, at 11% ABV, it's perfect for popping open at the weekend with some mates. Aged for eight months in the classic champagne combo of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay barrels, Beer 2019 has a dry flavour profile with biscuit malt and fruit grape aromas from Hallertau Blanc and Enigma hops. You can find the stuff nationwide in Waitrose. So, hop to it.
8. Have a dinner party with Eho Chef
If you're tired of eating out but can't bear the thought of prepping another hectic dinner party spread for your friends, you might as well give Eho Chef a go this weekend. Eho Chef is a nifty little service that lets you hire the talents of local chefs in your area so that they can come into your house and cook for you. All you've got to do is let them know how many you're looking to cater for, what sort of food you're feeling, how much you're looking to spend and they'll sort the rest out. Sign up for free before December 31 and you can get £10 off your first booking. That sounds like a bargain to us.
9. Winter festivities at Greenwich Peninsula
Featuring a festive avenue of lights, a SAMPLE Christmas market, concerts and heaps of festive foods, Greenwich Peninsula's winter programme looks pretty enticing. In situ throughout December, the Peninsula will be lit up with a range of Christmas lights and, most importantly, festive eats. Fancy a seasonally inspired menu at Stevie Parle's Craft? How about mulled spiced cider and Christmas cocktails at Market Table? All day and night drinking and dining at riverside venue Mama Fuego? Premium wines and gourmet pintxos at Ardoa? You can do all that, and more in Greenwich this weekend.
10. Cocktail omakase experience at Machiya Bar
5 Panton Street, SW1Y 4DL
Step into Panton Street's Machiya Bar this weekend to embark on a mystery mixology expedition. Put your liver's fate into the hands of Machiya Bar's mixologists as they launch a cocktail omakase experience: a four-drink journey where the mixologists will improvise on a selection of drinks designed especially for you. Whether gin, rum, vodka or sake based, expect some pretty nifty drinks to be served. Guests can enjoy a welcome drink and three bespoke cocktails on weeknights for £40 per person. The cocktail omakase experience will run weekly Tuesday to Thursday from 6-9pm. The experience lasts one and a half hours and pre-booking is essential.
11. Christmas tombola at Radio Alice
This Christmas, Radio Alice will be spreading the festive cheer by giving pizza-lovers the chance to win a lifetime of light and airy sourdough pizza on the house with a spin of their Christmas tombola. The lucky grand prize winner will receive one of Radio Alice's signature pizzas on the house every week for the rest of their life, which they can eat in or take away as they choose. Other winners might be treated to a bottle of Libera Terra or a complimentary dessert. Throughout the season, Radio Alice will also be serving a new festive set menu. Inspired by the recipes of the Italian Alps, diners can dip crisp grissini into a fonduta of nutty taleggio and gorgonzola, followed by a Christmas Pizza, made with organic flour and risen for 24 hours, topped with brussels sprouts, pancetta, taleggio, creamy fiordilatte mozzarella, red wine reduction and orange zest.