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 special halloumi burgers from Honest Burger to pop-ups at the Great Guns Social, there's plenty on this list that should whet your appetite.
20 things to do in London this weekend
1. Wine Tasting at Diogenes the Dog
14 August; 96 Rodney Road, SE17 1BG
Back due to popular demand, Diogenes the Dog's wine tasting courses are here to educate in all things...well… wine. The Elephant & Castle wine bar will be running wine tastings every other Wednesday with eac tasting cover different topics around the science of wine. Working with the in-house sommelier, guests can learn how to decipher wine lists without having to learn thousands of wines. Each session, which costs £35pp, focuses on a variety of wines that help the consumer understand how the terroir affects a wine, how wine pairing works and turns the tables on the myths of wine and food. This Wednesday's session is on International White Varietals.
2. Explore the Floating Market at Paddington Central
14-18 August; 2 Kingdom Street, W2 6AE
Following the huge success of The Floating Market last year, this canalside event is
back for its second year, transforming Paddington into a bustling hub of street food stalls and bobbingly good boat traders. From 14-18 August, the five-day event will allow visitors to purchase items on board the barges while enjoying a numerous street food stalls and a variety of live music performances from Mandolin Mondays, Wandering Hands, Camili Music and Jazz Mino. Paddington faves London Shell Co., Vagabond and Darcie May will offer you the chance to enjoy fresh seafood, wine tastings and refreshing aperitifs. If you want to take something sweet home along with you after your journey, you're also in luck: Bread Winners bakery will be knocking about alongside chocolate connoisseur NearyNogs.
3. Check out Flank's new Stratford residency
15 August; 133 High Street, E15 2RB
Meet your meat maker as Flank opens up its new summer residency at The Print House in Stratford this week. The nose-to-tail and butchery enterprise, founded by Tom Griffiths, already operates from Market Halls Victoria and Old Spitalfields Market, and will now see its barbecue empire expand ever further with this latest venture. The menu offers smaller plates such as the pig head sub roll with bbq glaze and burnt end beef naan with chilli sambal. For mains guests can select a US-style BBQ tray, served with pickles and a white slice of bread, rammed with the likes of spicy smoked offal and slow cuts; coal-buried summer squash and goats curd; and Galloway glazed short rib. If you're not salivating yet, there's something seriously, seriously wrong with you.
4. Modern Baking Cookery Course at KitchenAid
15 August; 98 Wigmore Street, W1U 3RD
This baking course at the KitchenAid Experience Store is the perfect pre-Bake Off warm up you've been looking for. Learn all the ins and outs of cake-making as you discover an array of classic and modern bakes using KitchenAid's range of snazzy appliances. Cooking everything from divine brownies to delicious red velvet cupcakes, you'll even get the chance to master the art of ganache and mirror glaze: techniques guaranteed to have you making bakes worthy of that hallowed Hollywood handshake. Experts will take you on a step-by-step journey showing you how to become the baker you've always known you can be.
5. Wine Tastings at Passo
15 August; 80 City Road, EC1Y 2AS
Head on down to Passo for an evening of wine pairing and small plates at the Old Street Italian's new wine bar on Thursday 15 August at 7pm. Zeren Wilson of Bitten & Written has selected 5 exceptional wines from the new list he's personally curated for Passo. Those juicy wines will then be matched with a selection of small Italian-inspired dishes from the Passo kitchen. Tickets are £24 and include 5 glasses of wine and 5 small dishes. Wines tasted will include Agricola di Farneto, a sustainable agriculture project in the province of Reggio Emilia and the Napa Valley Zinfandel of Sky Vineyards.
6. Celebrate National Rum Day with Duppy Share at Trailer Happiness
16 August; 177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
It's National Rum Day on Friday 16 August, and what better way is there to celebrate that day of drinking and dancing than with a carnival-themed 'Notting Chill' cocktail? Always up for a party, The Duppy Share has teamed up with Trailer Happiness to create the Notting Chill (a rum punch with hibiscus, mango, lime and nutmeg) to commemorate Notting Hill Carnival this year. The cocktail is on offer for £5 throughout August at Trailer Happiness, and will also be available at the Duppy bar on the Carnival route.
7. Drink like a sailor at The Golden Hinde
16 August; St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street, SE1 9DE
RumCask is hosting a rather ship shape 2019 National Rum Day event this year. On August 16, guests are invited to find their sea legs and board The Golden Hinde Ship in Southwark for an evening of fun and rum and, well, more rum. Perfect for rum experts and novices alike, you'll have the chance to explore the ship's various nooks and crannies and discover a variety of rum stands along the way. Dotted around the ship will be a host of experts on hand to provide you samples of over 15 exciting rums, and offer information about each spirit. Tickets start from £12.50 for standard entry while limited RumCask VIP Tasting Room tickets offer 8 guests per session a 30-minute rum talk and two exclusive rums to sample with an expert for £30. The Golden Hinde will also have a shop where you can purchase your favourite bottles from the evening. That's why all the rum is gone.
8. Go to Kuldeep Mattegunta's REPUBLIC pop-up at Great Guns Social
16 August; 96 Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0EF
Chef Kuldeep Mattegunta's Republic will take over the Great Guns Social kitchen for one night only on August 16, offering a set-price menu inspired by lesser-known cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. Called 'Republic', this is the first solo pop-up by Kuldeep (current head chef at Soho fave, Kricket) and he'll be joined in the kitchen on the evening by Elroy and Akash, who have both worked together at the Michelin-starred Benares in Mayfair. The £38.50, four-course menu will feature dishes including andala masala puffs and Kuldeep's modern twist on the classic chicken tikka masala. The set menu includes a glass of prosecco on arrival and diners are urged to book tickets in advance for this one-off event.
9. Chomp some breakfast pizza at Fugitive Motel
17 August; 199 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 0EL
Pizza? Great. Eggs? Great. Eggs on pizza? That's twice the amount of greatness: we're in. Bethnal Green's Fugitive Motel is launching a new weekend brunch menu this Saturday that's full to the brim with signature breakfast pizzas and a collection of tasty toasty pick-me-ups. The breakfast pizza features mozzarella, smoked bacon, free-range eggs, parsley and cherry tomatoes. It's a like a frittata and a pizza rolled into one, and we're absolutely here for it. Bacon-adverse guests can opt for the veggie breakfast pizza topped with mozzarella, avocado, eggs, cherry tomatoes and basil. The best part of it all though? You can dip your pizza bones in a specially created dippy egg side dip while sipping on a lo-fi nitro espresso martini, a freshly made bloody mary or one of Fugitive's many low and no-alcohol craft beers. Egg and soldiers could never.
10. Buy some good glouglou at the Coal Drops Yard wine car boot
17 August; Stable Street, N1C 4DQ
Forget about Princess Diana tea sets or dog-eared copies of Jilly Cooper novels, this is our kind of car boot sale. Taking place at Coal Drops Yard, this event is free entry and offers you the chance to either shop for bottles to take away or buy a £12 Tasting Tote and hang out all day drinking quality vino. You can drink-in by the glass and bottle or spend all afternoon sampling as many wines as possible. Each "boot" consists of an independent wine shop (and the occasional producer) presenting five of its favourite wines for you to taste and buy. There will also be food from Rita's, oysters from the Drop Wine Bar and pizza from Happy Face. If that didn't sound good enough, the Wine Car Boot works to be as sustainable as possible, minimising and recycling any single-use plastics, as well as gently encouraging traders to bring low intervention, planet-friendly wines along to the party.
11. Brunch at BOB's Lobster
17-18 August; Unit 71 St Thomas Street, SE1 3QX
BOB's Lobster has launched a brand-new brunch menu available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3.30pm. That's good news for anyone that's always dreamed of eating lobster for breakfast but never known where to start. The London Bridge restaurant's menu is a proper slice of Americana that should have you full for the entirety of Saturday and Sunday. Choose from a selection of show-stopping brunch dishes. Lobster eggs benny with poached eggs, samphire and hollandaise sauce on a toasted English muffin? Lobster scrambled eggs? Crab chilaquiles? Buttermilk pancakes? Salmon and avocado smashed toast? Shrimp and grits?! There's all that, and more at BOB's Lobster. Arrive with an appetite for good eating.
12. Go bottomless at Bull in a China Shop
17 August; 196 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6LG
Mare's bottomless Mediterranean-themed gin brunch is back, coming to Bull In a China Sho in, Shoreditch for a day full of good drinking this Saturday. Gin fans will enjoy unlimited Gin Mare cocktails throughout their brunch in addition to a complimentary tipple on arrival to celebrate the last dregs of the summer. Diners will be able to kick back and relax in the beautiful Mediterranean garden setting, enjoying a menu of dishes complete with a complimentary slice of Gin Mare, rosemary and lemon drizzle cake. Tickets are £25.
13. Jasmine Afternoon Tea at Taj Hotels
17-18 August; 54 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London SW1E 6AF
It's Afternoon Tea Week (no, really) so what better way could there be to celebrate than with an indian dining twist on the traditional afternoon tea at the Taj Hotel? Using traditional spices from across India, the menu includes a variety of sandwiches (think spiced creamed cheese) and savoury eastern dishes including crispy chicken tikka spring rolls. No afternoon tea is complete without something sweet and thankfully the Taj has got some excellent gulab jamun (beautifully deep fried sugar poached milk dumplings) and a selection of cakes, scones and pastries including chocolate rasmalai, creamy cheese cake balls, and rose flavoured scones. And to drink? Well, tea.
14. Eat at Gunpowder x Friends's Uma Nota pop-up
18 August; 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD
The next instalment of Gunpowder's Gunpowder x Friends is taking place on Sunday 18 August with celebrated chefs Gustavo Vargas and Tommy Bouremana of Uma Nota in Hong Kong and Paris manning the hots. Vargas and Bouremana will be pairing the best of Brazilian-Japanese street food with Gunpowder's home-style contemporary Indian cuisine. Expect dishes such as: coxinhas de frango (chicken and okra dumplings with homemade chilli sauce); ceviche Nikkei (white fish and octopus marinated in mirin, dashi and lime juice, served with vinegar rice and avocado); chargrilled chicken skewers with chipotle sauce, and robalo assado em folha bananeira (roasted sea bass steamed in banana leaf, friend banana and cassava farofa). All of which will be served alongside Gunpowder's regular stable of favourites. Fill your boots.
15. Party at the Rum & Wings Beach Party
18 August; 261 Brixton Road, W9 6LH
Rum & Wings is back this Sunday for a feast like no other. There'll be music from a host of London DJ's including Martin 2 Smoove, DAMNSHAQ, CVSS, and some other special guests. But, most importantly, there'll be free rum punch and free chicken wings. What else do you need to know?!
16. Pit Pop-up BBQ with LUTO at Ace Hotel London
18 August; 100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JQ
Pit magazine and LUTO are teaming up for the first of three special Pop-up BBQs on The Rooftop at Ace Hotel London. Each pop-up will feature guest chefs and unique dishes for meat eaters and vegans alike. Guest chef Mary San Pablo of LUTO will be serving a menu of Filipino-inspired barbecue dishes this weekend including: barbecued mackerel with coconut and fermented green chilli; tomatoes, daikon and salted duck egg; and adobo lamb rib and shoulder served in a Kapé and Pan pandesal bun. All of the above comes served with garlic sticky rice and charred adobo hispi cabbage. Tickets guarantee entry and are £10, which will be deducted from your final bill. Each dish on the menu itself is £15.
17. Devour the new Honest Burgers x Kupros Dairy collab
Until 1 September; various locations
Hello, is it halloumi you're looking for? Honest Burgers has teamed up with British halloumi producer Kupros Dairy this monty to bring an extra cheesy limited edition burger to all Honest sites. Kupros makes its award-winning halloumi in North London using a mix of raw British sheep's milk from a local dairy farm and Jersey cow's milk from Lancashire. The HALLOUMI burger (all caps for emphasis) celebrates the best of every bit of a cow by combining Honest beef with Kupros halloumi in a bun alongside stablemates of smoked bacon, smashed avocado, warming harissa mayo, rocket and pink pickles. Served with *those* rosemary salted chips, the burger comes in at just £12.50 and will be available exclusively until 1 September.
18. Try some La Tiao Zi noodles at Murger Han
8A Sackville Street, W1S 3DF
Ever had a bowl of La Tiao Zi noodles before? If you've never left the capital before then it's fairly likely that you haven't. In fact, it's pretty much guaranteed that you haven't. La Tiao Zi (a noodle similar in shape to udon, but slightly less thick and made with wheat flour) have just been introduced to the menu at Xi'an restaurant, Murger Han Han for the first time in London. These hand-pulled noodles have an irregular shape, ideal for holding soups and sauces, and can be enjoyed with a range of house toppings including Murger Han's newly introduced slow-cooked beef or lamb, and spicy braised chicken with green pepper and onion. Go on a noodle adventure this weekend.
19. Eat some grouse at Darby's
3 Viaduct Gardens, SW11 7AY
Darby's – the oyster bar, bakery and grill in Nine Elms – is bringing a new dish to its menu to coincide with the just-passed Glorious Twelfth. Darby's – as we're sure you're aware – is an American-influenced restaurant that draws inspiration from Manhattan and the jazz era. This new dish, however, is British through and through. Darby's dish of red grouse from North Yorkshire is served with a juniper game sauce and game liver pate on toast will be available to mark the beginning of the season. Toodlepip.
20. Drink the new menu at Scout
224 Graham Road, E8 1BP
Hackney zero waste bar, Scout has just launched a new drinks menu called 'Ecosystems', and you really need to try it out. The new menu focuses on three key sections: 'Towns & Cities'; 'Freshwater & Marine'; and 'Grasslands & Forests'. The 'Towns & Cities' zones in on sourcing locally in London, using and re-using what's within figurative and literal arm's reach in the capital. 'Freshwater & Marine', on the other hand, focuses on coastal regions and inland streams with libations inspired by the water and shoreline. 'Forests & Grasslands' is quite simply dedicated to sourcing from nature throughout the country. Currently sitting at No. 28 within the World's 50 Best Bars, Scout endeavours to ensure its environmental consciousness and sustainability ethos is represented throughout its menu. And we love that. A lot.