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 ice cream festivals to brand-new bottomless brunches, this here weekend guide has got a little bit for everyone.
17 things to do in London this weekend
1. Enjoy Street Feast's Bundance at Hawker House
22 August; Canada Street, SE16 7PJ
National burger day is almost upon us and Street Feast are hosting another huge burger party this year. Taking place August 22 at Hawker House, this year's bash is going by the snazzy new name of Bundance and includes this year's hottest burgers flippers Four Legs as well as Dinerama favourites Tucka Burger and London patty legends like Bleecker, Honest, and Black Bear Burger. Each burger will be served slider-sized to give you the maximum chance of ploughing through the lot. A £12 ticket includes an ice-cold beer on arrival and a MacPickleback shot. A staple of previous Burger Day parties, the much-loved burger piñata, will be back to have the ever-loving hell beaten out of it while Hawker House's six resident bars will keep the craft beer, wine and cocktails flowing.
2. Celebrate National Burger Day at Patty & Bun
22 August; various locations
To celebrate National Burger Day on 22 August, London burger legends Patty & Bun are taking the sandwich to basics with 'The Burger Day Banger': a double beef patty with aged beef fat mayo, double smoked cheddar in a brioche bun. The special will be on the menu for one day only at just £7, so once they're gone, they're gone for good.
3. Try by CHLOE's bacon cheezeburger
To celebrate National Burger Day 2019, vegan fiends by CHLOE. have launched a new meat-free bacon cheezeburger. The plant-based fast casual restaurant brand will add the juicy delight to all of its menus on 22 August. Made up of a beet-lentil-walnut patty, cheddar "cheese" and shiitake bacon, the burger is topped with pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, and packed into a potato bun, drizzled in by CHLOE’s special sauce. Priced at £10.50, the bacon cheezeburger will be available at all by CHLOE. London outlets: Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, and the joint's newest eatery at the O2 Arena.The vegan bacon cheezeburger will also be available at Street Feast's infamous National Burger Day Party at Hawker House.
4. Explore the world with OpenTable and Carousel's LDN 195
22-24 August; 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB
OpenTable and Carousel have teamed up to create a three-day pop up, 'LDN 195'. Taking place 22-24 August, 'LDN 195' will champion six of the most underrepresented cuisines in the capital, including Romanian, Goan, Slovenian, Polynesian, Armenian and Ukrainian cooking. Despite London's culinary diversity, there are still a number of cuisines that diners consider to be underrepresented in the city's restaurant scene. From Ukrainian barbecued khorovats and Goan fish curry to Armenian flatbreads and pistachio and walnut baklava, this sharing style menu includes 6 dishes, a welcome cocktail, half a bottle of wine and a digestif for £50pp.
5. Drink at the Gin & Rum Festival
23-25 August; The Oval, SE11 5SS
Like gin? Like rum? Golly, do we have the event for you. Featuring over 60 different gins and 60 different rums, this Gin & Rum Festival will be taking over iconic cricket stadium The Oval for a weekend of alcohol-fuelled tomfoolery. On arrival you'll receive a branded Copa glass, guide and glass satchel, which are all yours to take home. The guide showcases all of the different products that'll be on offer and where you can find them. Themed bars and live entertainment will hopefully ensure that you get your full money's worth. Howzat?
6. Discover English wines at Canopy Market
23-26 August; West Handyside Canopy, N1C 4BH
Set for the long August Bank Holiday, Wine Pantry is collaborating with Canopy Market to stage London's largest English wine event. Exclusive English wine merchant Wine Pantry is bringing together 10 English wine-makers, a dedicated English wine bar, tutored wine tastings and masterclasses, a live vineyard plant installation, as well as whisking visitors into the countryside for exclusive vineyard tours. The event will sit alongside Canopy Market's full staple of regular artisan produce, street food, drinks, designer-makers and live music, offering plenty to eat, drink and enjoy in the heart of King's Cross. The event itself is free to attend, though visitors will need to buy and book tickets for tasting packages, masterclasses and vineyard tours.
7. Have a bottomless brunch at Ooty
24 August; 66-70 Baker Street, W1U 7DJ
South Indian restaurant Ooty has launched a new bottomless brunch menu that's set to take place every Saturday starting from 24 August. Ooty's head chef Manmeet Singh Bali and senior sous chef Niru have crafted a four-course brunch menu that sounds like the perfect way to start your Saturday. Served from 11:30-3:30pm every Saturday, the classic brunch menu (£35) and the vegetarian option (£30) can either be enjoyed on their own or alongside free-flowing prosecco or mimosas for an additional £15. But what's the actual food like, you ask? Well, my hungry friend, you're in luck, because this isn't your run-of-the-mill brunch. A range of Indian eats including freshly baked jeera croissants, masala egg dosas, keema mattar paos, and a classy selection of mains like Andhra mutton koora, lime leaf seafood stew, and more are all available for your consumption.
8. Visit the Wimbledon Park Food and Drink Festival
24 August; Wimbledon Park, SW18
Take a journey to Wimbledon Park this August Bank Holiday weekend for the 6th year of this cracking food and drink festival. With over 45 stalls offering a wide range of food and drink (including artisan bread and pastries, cheese, charcuterie and dishes from all corners of the globe) you're guaranteed to leave with a stomach full of quality cooking. Not only will you get the chance to stuff yourself silly but the Festival Kitchen will also have a full programme of renowned chefs and food experts giving cookery demonstrations, talks and tastings to keep your mind stimulated, too. There's kids activities for the little ones and enough beer, ale, cider, gin and prosecco to keep your energy up while the seemingly endless school holidays continue to drone on.
9. Get your beer on at The Gipsy Hill 5th Birthday Bonanza
24 August; 8, 160 Hamilton Road, SE27 9SF
South London craft beer experts Gipsy Hill are celebrating a very special birthday this weekend. Having gone from housing just 4 tanks in 2014 to brewing up to 24,000hl by the end of this year, Gipsy Hill is turning 5 and the brewery is looking to celebrate that milestone in the most apt possible fashion: with lots and lots of beer. Head to The Taproom on Saturday for to enjoy live music, great DJ's, delicious street food and enough beer to shake a very large stick at. Tickets are free and even get you a half-pint of Hepcat on entry.
10. Carnival at Squeg and Bonez
24-25 August; 171 Mare Street, E8 3RH
On the 24 and 25 August, Squeg & Bonez will be donning some bright feathers and bringing a splash of colour to Mare Street with two days of food-filled Carnival celebrations. The kitchen team headed by brilliant chef Holly O'Leary (aka Bonez) will be serving a special Caribbean-inspired vegan menu with colourful and vibrant dishes including: salt roast yams with pineapple curry sauce; jerked aubergine with a crunchy lime salad; mini patties with tamarind and mango; and Jamaican ginger cake with salted rum caramel. Alongside the food you'll be able to find two special-edition cocktails created by Alice (aka Squeg), inspired by the duo's mums. "Lou Lou Is Your Muma" is a cold brew Bahama Mama and "Ange's Tropical Tipple" a tropical deluxe pale ale punch. To help keep the mood bouncing, S&B's resident DJ will playing the best carnival classics and the tables will be pushed aside to create a dance floor perfect for samba-ing the night away.
11. Cool off at the Covent Garden Ice Cream Fest
24-26 August; Cranbourn Street, WC2H 7AR
Covent Garden is commemorating the last Bank Holiday of the summer with a family friendly festival celebrating everyone's favourite frozen treat (ice cream, duh) from 24-26 August in the Covent Garden Piazza. Expect an array of sweet treats on offer, including over 50 flavours of ice cream from avocado soft serves (yes, we know) to refreshing granitas to and frozen cocktails. Morelli's has created a series of six bespoke ice cream flavours incorporating the area's heritage. The gelateria will be serving a delicious twist on fruits and vegetables once sold in the iconic Covent Garden Market as well as selling new flavours such as Aperol Spritz, praline, chocolate velvet and banoffee pie. Petersham Nurseries will even be serving the quintessentially British strawberry ice creams made from organic Haye Farm strawberries.
12. Relax at the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival
24-26 August; Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
Spend your August Bank Holiday weekend at the royally good Hampton Court Palace (the former home of Henry VIII) to feast on delicious street food, sip on cocktails, explore the gardens and maze, enjoy live music, kids' entertainment, cookery demos, and more. You can put on your best Henners impression while the likes of Nadiya Hussein, Michel Roux Jr., and a host of other top chefs and experts educate on the best way to move around the kitchen.
13. Get eco with it at Green Rooms Market
25 August; 4-5 Dovedale Trading Estate, SE15 4QN
It's not easy being green in London, but is easy in Peckham this weekend. Green Rooms Market is returning to Peckham Springs during the late Summer Bank holiday for a day of plant-related shopping, plant advice, music, food and drinks. Make the trip down South East to shop and learn from London's finest botanical businesses in the lush and verdant surrounds of Peckham Springs. It's free entry for the whole family (dog included!).
14. Go meat-free at a Vegan Day Party
26 August; 261 Brixton Road, SW9 6LH
You're not going to be at work so you might as well spend your Monday eating some excellent food, really. If you'd like to do that without hurting any animals in the process, Brixton Jamm have got you covered. This Vegan Day Party will be taking over the venue rom midday-7pm on the last bank holiday Monday of the year for a day filled with amazing vegan food, drink, artisan shopping, health and wellbeing and plenty of additional entertainment. Tickets are £3.50 for limited early-bird passes, second release are £5 and tickets on the door are still only £7. Sign off the summer in the biggest and best plant-based way possible.
15. Get 30% off at BaoziInn London Bridge
Until 1 September; 34-36 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU
What's better than a plate of dumplings? How about a plate of dumplings that costs 30% less than it usually would? Baozilnn London Bridge is running an extended soft launch through until Sunday 1 September with 30% off food at lunch and dinner. Don't worry if you don't manage to get there while the discount is on as BaoziInn's latest and greatest will be open fully to the public on Tuesday 3 September.
16. Visit GOAT Croydon
99 George Street, CR0 1LD
As the latest addition to Boxpark Croydon's ever-evolving roster of food concepts, Chef James Cochran's latest food concept, GOAT has been an opening to bleat about. Cochran's first street food concept unsurprisingly specialises in goat, offering a barbecue Jamaican jerk spiced shoulder of goat that comes wrapped in a flatbread with a choice of sauce toppings including Cochran's popular scotch bonnet jam. Vegetarians (or billy goat lovers) can order coal roasted jerk spiced cauliflower, and all dishes come with coriander, corn nut and crispy shallots.