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!
A vegan brunch from Biff's Jack Shack sounds good, right? Yep. How about a mac ‘n’ cheese collab between The Cheese Bar and bubbledogs? That, too. What about free cookies at Somerset House? That'll do nicely. There's all that and more edible goodness going on this weekend...
13 things to do in London this weekend
1. The Cheese Bar’s ‘Return of the Mac’ with bubbledogs
11-18 November; The Cheese Bar, Unit 93-94 Camden Stables, NW1 8AH
Nothing warms our cockles like mac and cheese. Well, nothing like mac and cheese and a tasty London food collab, that is. To experience both of those wonders you need to get to The Cheese Bar in Camden for the last instalment of its ‘Return of the Mac’ series – which has seen the restaurant invite some of London's favourite restaurants to put their spin on the classic mac'n'cheese. Collaborators have been given free reign with their dishes with the only rule being that the cheese used must be British. Things are ending on a high-note this week with bubbledogs' Creamy Corn and Jalapeño mac'n'cheese.
2. The Gun's winter wonderland
From 12 November; 54 Brushfield Street, E1 6AG
This November, The Gun in Spitalfields will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring a big ass gingerbread chalet installation (with edible bricks) and seasonal food and drink menus. Expect proper winter warmers like braised beef short rib with creamy mashed potato or deep-fried brie with cranberry dip and watercress garnish. Sample the above with a glass of mulled wine and you can pat yourself on the back for a meal well done.
3. Myristica supperclub at Bucket
13 November; 107 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UW
Michelle Trusselle, a semi-finalist on BBC's MasterChef: The Professionals 2018, and her Myristica Supperclub will be taking over Westbourne Grove's much-loved seafood restaurant, Bucket on 13 November. For one night only, Trusselle will be serving up a gorgeous seafood menu, full of wonderful Caribbean flavours and ingredients that promise to bring a burst of sunshine to another typically dreary November evening. With two sittings to choose from, either at 18:30 or 20:30, guests can enjoy five-course menu including a welcome drink. Tickets cost £60 per person.
4. Free cookies at The Bailey's Treat Bar
From 13 November; Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Ushering in the start of the winter, Baileys have teamed up with coffee connoisseur, Celeste Wong to create a fancy flat white coffee made with Baileys Salted Caramel that's set to be served at the pop-up Baileys Treat Bar at Somerset House. That winter treat has been created to be paired with Paul A Young's Baileys Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies – a sweet and salty twist on one of the chocolate don's newest bakes. Why are we telling you this? Because 50 of those cookies will be given away for free at the Treat Bar every day between 13-17 November. And you're not the sort of person that's going to say no to a free cookie sandwich, are you?
5. CUB pre-Christmas fermentation masterclass
13-14 November; 153 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ
This autumn, Hoxton-based restaurant, Cub, will be hosting a festive version of their already wildly successful fermentation masterclasses, guests will learn to create their very own gift inspired or leftover saving fermented sauces and pickles, using seasonal and popular festive foods including brussel sprouts (controversial) and panettone. The Fermentation Masterclasses will be held in CUB's newly launched 'Cub Cave' underneath the restaurant, with one of the world's most prolific experts on the subject of fermentation – Dr Johnny Drain. In each special class guests will be able to make treats for the Christmas table including fermented cranberry sauce and a plethora of other goodies.
6. The UK Ibérico ham carving awards final
14 November; 24 Southwark Street, SE1 1T
Join London legends Brindisa at The Hop Exchange on 14 November in celebrating the craft and culture of ham carving; witnessing five chosen finalists compete directly against one another before one immensely lucky (or should that be immensely skilled?) contestant is crowned the winner of the prestigious art of 'tallado'. Those five expert ham carvers from all over the world will do battle to be crowned UK Ibérico Ham Carving Champion, judged by Jose-Manuel Hidalgo, a former champion carver of Spain. A range of complimentary pintxos – inspired by the region of Extremadura where the iconic Ibérico pigs roam free – will be available alongside delicately carved Ibérico meat served by Brindisa Kitchens throughout the evening. Lovely.
7. Dinings SW3 x Alvaro Clavijo
14 November; Lennox Gardens Mews, SW3 2JH
Alvaro Clavijo, the talented chef behind El Chato restaurant in Bogota, Colombia, will be joining Dinings SW3 – and executive chef Masaki Sugisaki – for a super special one-off omakase collaboration dinner on 14 November. Alvaro is making a rare visit to the UK to join forces with Masaki to create a one-off eight-course omakase menu fusing the flavours and philosophies behind Japanese and Colombian cuisine. Diners can expect innovative dishes such as 'smoked eel and arraccacia empanadas', 'plantain ceviche with eggplant sorbet' and 'short rib, tamal, matcha and cabbage'. Guests will be guided through each course personally by Masaki and Alvaro and will have the option to pair the menu with wines and sake chosen by Dinings SW3's sommelier. Seats will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at a cost of £228 (or £285 with the sake pairing).
8. Fentimans gingerbread house at Skylight
From 15 November; Pennington Street, E1W 2SF
Starting from Friday 15 November, botanically brewed drinks makers, Fentimans, will be bringing sugar, spice and all things iced to Skylight Rooftop. A life-sized Pink Gingerbread House will be popping up decorated with icing, candy canes and a cosy interior complete with edible sweet filled walls and a roaring fire. Why's it pink, you ask? Fentimans recently launched a Pink Ginger soft drink. So, there. Book out the spot with a group for festive ginger-themed cocktails and sweet treats.
9. Brunch at Biff's Jack Shack
From 16 November; 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
Launching on 16 November, Biff's Jack Shack's new brunch menu looks set to be a great way to get your fill of plant-based treats to start your day off right. The new brunch menu – which includes breakfast burgers, a truffle toastie, buckwheat waffles, and a big breakfast complete with hash browns and a mini-avocado on sourdough – will be served on Saturday and Sunday between 11am-3pm. On top of the food, BJS will also be serving several beer cocktails made in collaboration with BrewDog Dalston, including a vegan michelada.
10. DIRT – ‘Salt’ wine event
17 November; 46 Exmouth Market, Farringdon, EC1R 4QE
This November, DIRT. – a wine series that celebrates the diverse soil and climates in the wine world – is returning for an exciting vino-laden event. Mattia Bianchi, co-founder of Berber & Q, will invite two leading sommeliers from London and beyond, as they hunt in search of the best bottles from their chosen soil: salt (wines from coastal regions) and magma (wines from volcanic soil). Kicking things off at Berber & Q Shawarma Bar on 17 November, Mattia will be behind the bar for the Salt session, joined by wine selectors Caroline Dubois of Where the Light Gets In in Manchester, and Antonio Crescente of Champagne Socialist in Milan. Each sommelier will be pouring glasses from a selection of wines from coastal regions where the sun is high and the sea breeze keeps it cool.
11. Supra at Ottolenghi Spitalfields
17 November; 50 Artillery Lane, E1 7LJ
Good news wine geeks: Ottolenghi Spitalfields is hosting a supra on 17 November. What the hell's a supra? We're glad you asked. A supra is a traditional mezze-style, Georgian feast hosted by a tamada (or toastmaster). Ottolenghi's tamada will be Doug Wregg, one of the founders of Les Caves De Pyrene. The Les Caves team are passionate importers of Georgian wine to London, and this particular feast will be a celebration of some excellent wines, made using ancient winemaking techniques that showcase the traditions and characteristics of their native grape varietals. Those wines will be served alongside a delicious Georgian-inspired meal, prepared by Ottolenghi Spitalfields head chef, David Bravo. The menu features classic dishes like borscht and fish kebabs with tkemali alongside wines such as Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli Bodbishkhevi and Iago Skin Contact Chinuri.
12. The Drop wine bar Piedmontese Drop-In
19 November; Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DH
From 6pm on 19 November, The Drop wine bar is hosting a casual and un-ticketed night, with a focus on the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, famed for its fine wines and exceptional produce. Head chef Karan Ghosh will be serving a menu that includes: risotto with wild mushrooms; Piedmontese cheeses such as Castelmagno and Bra Duro; and for dessert, a hazelnut torta di nocciola with chocolate and chestnut. The Drop-In will feature a carefully selected list of wines from Piedmont, primarily focusing on some of the most well-respected reds in the country. To join the Piedmontese Drop-In, simply turn up to The Drop at Coal Drops Yard from 6pm on the night.
10-50 Willow Street, EC2A 4NG
If you've always wanted to eat at Nobu but haven't ever had the sufficient funds to do so, you're in luck. Nami is a new more user-friendly offering from the restaurant group that a cutting-edge new menu of Japanese street food and cocktails, all served with Nobu flair – minus the extortionate price point. Expect high-quality ingredients at affordable prices. Priced between £7 and £18, standout dishes include the mouth-watering dashi fries – 24-hour slow-cooked confit fries, soaked in Dashi soup stock and fried twice for a golden crunchy finish; and sweet treats including kakigori strawberry – a traditional Japanese shaved ice dessert given a thoroughly British twist with fresh strawberries and cream, served with shimmering, edible gold leaf. Yes, now even you can be that person that has gold leaf on their desserts.