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!
From gin festivals to half-price Indian food, here are the events that you should be pencilling into your calendar and putting on your radar this weekend.
18 things to do in London this weekend
1. Eat the freshest and the best produce at London Seafood Festival
12-16 June; 188 Kirtling Street, SW8 5BN
From 12-16 June, the London Seafood Festival will transform Battersea Power Station's Thames riverbank into an ocean-soaked hub of food and fun with a series of one-off special events, masterclasses, al fresco demonstrations and tastings with top London chefs including José Pizarro, Asma Khan, Vivek Singh and Calum Franklin. Moving to the beat of live musicians and busking bands, the festival's five-day line-up of outdoor demonstrations will give everyone – from trained professionals to humble home cooks – the chance to see the award-winning chefs at work, searing and grilling fresh seafood against the backdrop of the iconic Battersea Power Station. Get your tickets now and find a full events programme at:
2. Try out the new vegan menu at Leon
13 June; Various locations
Fancy a plant-based feast this weekend that doesn't involve kale? Trot to any of Leon's London restaurants and check out the chain's latest vegan menu, stacked with tasty treats like a Coco Whip – a vegan 99 with dairy-free coconut soft-serve ice cream – and Jack Wings – hot and cheesy vegan bites filled with pulled jackfruit in a gluten-free crumb. While we're dubious that they're going to be as good as the real thing, all these new dishes will (according to Leon, at least) appeal to committed vegans just as much as to the most committed carnivores. We'll let you be the judge of that.
3. Smash some excellent tacos at the Homies on Donkeys Pop-up
14-15 June; 18-20 St James Street, E17 7PF
Taco War 2019 winners Homies on Donkeys are going to be joining St James Street for a special Mexican tasting menu that will be available across the weekend. Included in the ticket price is a Mexican paired cocktail to kickstart your night with and a traditional Mexican sharing and tasting menu. Further paired mexican cocktails will be available to purchase to accompany the food if you're feeling especially parched. Nowhere else but this Homies on Donkeys pop-up will you be able to find the unique combo of hip hop beats coming through the speakers, food full of colour and flavour and Chef Smokey somewhere in the background trying to crack a joke. Sounds like great craic.
4. Celebrate another year of street food at Pop Brixton's 4th Birthday
14-16 June; 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ
Pop Brixton is turning four, and you know what that means… No, not party rings and pass the parcel. It means Pop Brixton will be hosting a four-day party with music, workshops, discussions and amazing food. It's also getting a bit Willy Wonka as well as, throughout the weekend, Pop's food and drink vendors will also be giving away 40 golden envelopes to random customers, offering guests the chance to win up to £200 worth of Pop Pounds to be spent anywhere on site. Events taking place over the weekend include a Sisters of Reggae Residency, a Near Mint Record Fair, a Macrame Bag Workshop, and a hell of a lot more.
5. Get a taste of Anatolia at the Laburnum Street Food Fair
14-17 June; 212 Kingsland Road, E2 8AX
Get yourself to East London this weekend to experience all that's great about Anatolian cuisine. Just outside of the Suleymaniye mosque is where you'll be able to get your fill of a wide range of Turkish food including döner kebabs, shish kebabs, lahmacun, fried chicken, desserts, ice cream, Turkish coffee, tea and more. All of it Halal, and all of it delicious.
6. Get a slice of a zero waste pizza at 400 Rabbits
14 June-5 July; Various locations
Critically acclaimed Moxon's fishmongers has teamed up with sourdough specialists 400 Rabbits to create a mouth-watering zero-waste pizza. Launching on 14 June, pizza-goers can enjoy the exclusive special featuring Moxon's zero-waste smoked salmon belly, juicy Datterini tomatoes, gazpacho crème fraiche, capers, dill and Vadasz beetroot sauerkraut. This special collaboration pizza will be priced at £11.50 and available on the menu until 5 July. Inclusive to dine-in at their pizzerias in Crystal Palace, Nunhead, and West Norwood to take-away (for collection) or to deliver (via Deliveroo).
7. Have a gin experience to remember at the City of London Distillery
15 June; 22-24 Bride Ln, London EC4Y 8DT
Left it till the 11th hour and still stuck on what to do with your dad this Father’s Day weekend? If he's a fan of gin, you should really take him to the City of London Distillery. The good folks there are offering a series of unique tours, tastings and Gin Lab experiences, all available to book and buy online. The special 'City of London Distillery Gin Lab Experience' costs £125 and will give you the chance to learn all about distilling gin, the different botanicals involved in gin and design your own recipe and distil your very own personalised bottle of the stuff. There’s even a voucher option so dear old dad can choose his own 'ginspirational' gift on top of it all. Sounds like we're on to a real 'ginner' with this one.
8. Mondo's 4th Birthday
15 June; 86 Stewart's Road, SW8 4UG
Join the beer folks at Mondo on 15 June to celebrate the brewery's 4th birthday, brand refresh and, just to top it all off, the launch of Mondo's first beers off its new canning line. Food from the amazing Prairie Fire BBQ will ensure you don't get too tiddly and the first 100 tickets through the door get a goodie bag. Exclusive t-shirts available on the day. Tickets are free.
9. Embrace your inner Italian at The Authentic Italian table
15 June; Shoreditch Gardens, 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
Explore Italy though your stomach this weekend at The Authentic Italian Table. Seven of the best Italian restaurants in Londo (including Osteria Romana, Enoteca Rabezzana, Obicà and others) will be moving from their fully-equipped kitchens to food trucks and gazebos for the day, preparing small dishes for guests and pairing them with Italian cocktails, wines and beers. With live music performed by Italian artists based in London and drinks provided by Campari, Ichnusam, and The Italian Job you can't be blamed for having a boogie. Come evening you'll even have the opportunity to participate in a Campari negroni masterclass. Bellissima.
10. Taste the wild side of beer at Bean & Wheat
15 June; 321 Old Street, EC1V 9LE
Adam Handling's sustainable café and bar, Bean & Wheat are collaborating with Somerset's The Wild Beer Co for an exclusive beer-tasting evening in the event space at Bean & Wheat. Showcasing an exclusive selection of their beer portfolio, The Wild Beer Co will present guests with a number of unique craft beers such as 'The Blend 2018', ' Modus Operandi' and 'Breakfast of Champignons', alongside a matching tasting menu that will include delectable dishes such as Adam's signature 'cheese doughnuts', 'cornish hake, tomato, fennel, bisque', 'retired dairy cow, courgette, basil, black olive' and 'grape, verbena & honey.' The chefs at The Frog Hoxton will take you through each innovative course to explain how the chosen ingredients perfectly complement the individual characteristics of its matched beer. If you've got an inquisitive mind to match your appetite, you'll then have the chance to quiz the brewery owners themselves during an exclusive Q&A session. We'll see you there, buddy.
11. Dads eat free at Sea Containers London
15-16 June; 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
In honour of Father's Day weekend, every dad dining at the Sea Container's Thameside restaurant this Saturday and Sunday will receive their meal completely on the house alongside a complimentary Old Fashioned when ordering either brunch or dinner. Tuck into dishes like haggis croquette with a honey mustard dressing; mushroom, parmesan and truffle oil flatbread; and roasted squid with slow cooked coco beans, chorizo, parsley and pepper. Basically, the way this works is that if there is a group of four of you, 25% will be removed from your bill. If there's a group of five, 20% will be taken off your bill. And so on and so forth. Do bear in mind that, aside from the free Old Fashioned, this discount is just for food and does not include alcohol.
12. Feast all day at Brigadiers
15-16 June; 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Brigadiers has teamed up with Kingfisher for a brand-new Cricket World Cup-themed menu that will knock you for six. The kitchens will be serving an array of mouth-watering menus including – for the first time – a special Cricket World Cup Breakfast A La Carte menu to be served from 10:30am and enjoyed during live screenings of all England and India matches. Guests can pair a thirst-quenching Kingfisher breakfast shandy (Kingfisher, mango, grapefruit soda) with the signature Brigadiers full Indian nashta or try a selection of newly created breakfast dishes like Brigadiers masala scrambled hens egg dosa with coconut chutney, tandoor smoked salmon kedgeree topped with a runny poached egg and the breakfast kati roll filled with black pepper bacon, masala sausage and a masala omelette. Come the weekend, Brigadiers' Weekend BBQ Menu will also be available for those looking to hangout and indulge all day on Brigadiers Indian barbecue staples. Everything from BBQ masala pork ribs to a mixed seafood sizzler can be enjoyed with unlimited refills of Kingfisher, sparkling wine or Palomas to ensure no glass goes dry.
13. Get stuck into a Father's Day Baking Workshop at Bread Ahead
16 June; 249 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
Treat your dad to something special this Father's Day with a one-off baking course at the popular London bakery Bread Ahead. The three-hour baking workshop, developed with dads in mind, will cover both sweet and savoury baked creations. During the session, Bread Ahead's expert bakers will teach dads and their offspring how to make an extremely moreish Guinness and cheese flavoured soda bread followed by a batch of classic Bread Ahead brownies. The Guinness and cheese soda bread can either be enjoyed hot and fresh out the oven with a thick slab of butter or you can always exhibit some restraint and leave the workshop laden with baked delights to be enjoyed at home. It's up to you, really. The Father's Day workshop is suitable for all levels of ability and will be a memorable experience for all dads, children and adults to enjoy together.
14. Treat your dad at Hankies
16 June; 61 Upper Berkeley Street, W1H 7PP
Why not give your dad the gift of a slap-up meal at Marylebone haunt, Hankies this Father's Day? Chef Principal Ani Arora will be serving an array of dishes to suit every dad's palate. And, more importantly, all at a cost that won't break the bank. A complimentary drink will be waiting for you on the door with the option for you and your pops to choose between an ice-cold pint of Cobra beer, a refreshing G&T or a glass of wine. Follow that up with plates from either of Hankies' Spring menu or Sunday Brunch feast menu for a day of eating you won't soon forget. Bottomless prosecco for an additional £12.99 is a hard offer to pass up, too. Cheers, dad.
15. Get a good feed and commit a good deed at Hoppers
16 June; 49 Frith Street, W1D 4SG
Hoppers Soho will be hosting its monthly Sunday Session this month on Father's Day – with all proceeds going to the charity Kind Hearted Lankans, helping those who were affected by the recent attacks in Colombo. Karan Gokani will be inviting friends Nial and Amanda Fernando to cook some of their favourite vegetarian dishes using secret family recipes that have been passed down through generations. Dishes will include okra plantain fries, beetroot kari, pumpkin and jak seed kari, pol roti and Amanda's watalappan pudding. Tickets will be priced at £35pp and there will be three sittings at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm.
16. Civilised Sunday's with Tishani Doshi at Jikoni
16 June; 19-21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
Ravinder Bhogal's Civilised Sunday series continues on the 16 June at her Marylebone restaurant, Jikoni. This time round Bhogal will be joined by award winning writer, Tishani Doshi. Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize earlier this year, Doshi will be reading from her new novel 'Small Days & Nights' and her acclaimed book of poems 'Girls are Coming out of the Woods'. Ravinder has woven together a menu inspired by Tishani's South Indian and Welsh heritage. So, we're talking a seabass ceviche cured with aam panna; a crisp soft shell crab with a Tamil peanut chutney; a seafood rasam with curry leaf rouille; and Wye Valley asparagus with smoked paneer, brown butter and almonds. The dessert is Ravinder's love note to the Italian-Indian protagonist of Tishani's novel – a tiramisu inspired coffee rasgulla, with mascarpone ice cream and an espresso caramel. All of that lovely food will, of course, be accompanied by readings from Doshi.
17. Create a bee nursery at Petersham Nurseries
16 June; Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AB
Buzz out of London this weekend and head to Richmond for a Father's Day that's guaranteed to be un-bee-lievable fun. Petersham Nurseries in Richmond is hosting a series of workshops specially aimed at fathers and their children, centred around the protection of the honeybee. Guests will learn all about the vitality of bees and ways of protecting them – including a hands on lesson in how to make their very own miniature bee nursery – all while sipping on homemade lemonade and enjoying freshly-made biscuits. After the workshop, guests will be invited to pick up a handy flower spotter sheet and explore the abundant collection of flora that Petersham Nurseries and its local surroundings have to offer. There are set to be four 45 minute workshops over the course of the day, with tickets still available for the 2pm and 3pm sessions. Tickets can be purchased online, priced at £35 for a father and two children (additional children are welcome for £10 per child, to be paid on the day).
18. Mo's Eggs x Ombra Pop-Up
16 June; One Vyner Street, E2 9DG
As part of the ongoing feel-good city-wide initiative that is the Refugee Food Festival, Mohammed Rahimeh of Mo's Eggs is teaming up with Venetian restaurant and bar, OMBRA, for a special pop-up on Sunday 16 June. Together they have created an Italian-Syrian menu for you to wolf down on Hackney's canal side. Mo's cooking is inspired by his upbringing in the beautiful, fertile mountain town of Ain al-Fijah in southern Syria. Expect an irresistibly delicious mezze of baba ghanoush with a twist, hummus, stuffed vine leaves and spring onion salad drizzled in pomegranate, followed by homemade tagliatelle with slow roasted lamb and preserved lemon or whipped feta ravioli, with spinach & pistachio for your main, and last but not least; Italian gelato with baklava and Syrian coffee. Multiple sittings are taking place throughout the day with 50% of the profits going to charities like TERN. There's also the option to add a donation of your own choosing when you buy your £25 ticket.