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 bottomless brunch at Pho to complimentary arancini at Mele e Pere, 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. Drink art at the Siren x Tate takeover
25 July; Tate Modern Terrace Bar, Hopton Street, SE1 9TG
On 25 July, Tate Modern will be welcoming back Siren Craft Brew for a special Tap Takeover at the Terrace Bar. Siren will be showcasing a range of their brews, including Thousand Things IPA, a one-off collaboration brew with Tate Eats, in celebration of the EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain. Thousand Things IPA is a beer inspired by Van Gogh's famous painting, 'Starry Night'. The brew reflects the artist's radical style by combining loud ingredients like toasted coconut, passion fruit and mango to create a creamy, full-bodied beer full of juicy fruit flavour. On the night, guests will be able to taste the Thousand Things IPA, as well as other beers from Siren's portfolios, differing in brew styles and ABVs. The Terrace Bar will also be hosting 'Meet the Brewer' sessions, and the Tate team will be around to chat more in depth about the collaboration process.
2. Do some yeasty yoga at the Little Creatures microbrewery
26 July; 1 Lewis Cubitt Walk, N1C 4DL
Loosen up your limbs and work yourself up a little appetite as Little Creatures' new free Friday morning coffee and yoga sessions have launched at its newly opened microbrewery and restaurant in King's Cross. Whether you're a total beginner or seasoned yogi, everyone is welcome to join in the zen. The Aussie-inspired venue also has an all-day brunch menu to make sure that you get in all those important post-workout nutrients. Don't forget to bring your own mat. Genuinely.
3. Go on a food journey at Just Eat Food Festival
26-27 July; 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
Like free food festivals? Yeah, we thought as much. Well, the Just Eat Food Fest is returning at a brand new venue this weekend for some top eats. Now in its fourth year, the Food Fest will offer two days of live music, cocktails and Just Eat's favourite takeaway dishes. An interesting Taste Adventure will let guests embark on their very own journey of discovery, full to the brim with delicious surprises including a 1950 retro Americana games room and Insta-worthy grub from Just Eat's restaurant partners, including Rohit Ghai's Koolcha, and trendy London based burger joint Buns. Do you like your food festivals with a side order of fun? Yeah, we thought as much.
4. Get stuck into Coupette's summer cocktails
26-28 July; 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
Coupette has announced the launch of 'Summer': a new cocktail menu created by bartender Chris Moore in collaboration with local sign writer, Ged Palmer. It's the first in a new series of seasonal menus, many of which are inspired by local creative figures from the bar's Bethnal Green location. Watermelon gimlet – Bombay Sapphire, watermelon, watermelon cordial – is the epitome of sunny refreshment while Strawberries & Cream evokes a fresh bowl of berries through the use strawberry eau de vie, rosé vermouth and wine with a creamy vanilla-scented, clarified milk punch finish. Other cocktails like the Shimmer, the Board Room and a host of refreshing and punchy mixed drinks round off the extensive menu of liquor delights.
5. Don't miss Oli Brown's last weekend at Mortimer House
26-28 July; 41 Mortimer Street, W1T 3JH
It's your last chance to tuck into July's Maslow's Mortimer House Guest Chef Series with Oli Brown of duck duck goose – a rising star in the London food scene whose acclaimed pop-up did absolute bits in Brixton for two years. Drawing inspiration from Chinese and European traditions, dishes at this residency include duck and foie gras spring roll with pickled rhubarb; crab and fennel salad with XO, chilli and dill; steamed sea bass with soy and spring onions; and crispy duck leg and pancakes with pickled cherries, hoisin and five spice sugar. Duck duck goose's emphasis on high quality produce will be utilised throughout the menu, with meat sourced from HG Walter, vegetables from Natoora and traditional Chinese ingredients sourced from Chinatown's See Woo. Don't miss out.
6. Check out the Hackney Brewery x Geffrye Museum: Summer Session
27 July; 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
Hackney Brewery and the Geffrye Museum are teaming up to present a big old Summer Session of beer, beer, and more beer. It's Hackney Brewery's 8th birthday, so the East London bev masters have invited the best breweries from across the UK to help them celebrate. Expect an afternoon of craft beer served from 10 breweries (including North Brewing Company, Wylam Brewery, Polly's Brew Co, Cloudwater Brew Co, and Left Handed Giant), industry talks/workshops and delicious street food.
7. Celebrate Peru Independence Day at Ceviche
27-28 July; various locations
To celebrate Peru Independence Day on 28 July, chef and founder of Ceviche and Andina, Martin Morales is throwing a Peruvian fiesta weekend. Starting at Ceviche Soho on 27 July, Martin will be hosting a guest chef ceviche celebration with a menu of ceviche specials created by some of the UK's most respected chefs, including Ravinder Bhogal, Edson Diaz-Fuentes, Mitch Tonks and Tom Hunt. The party will then continue at Ceviche Old Street on 28 July with the annual Peruvian Independence Fiesta. Now into its fifth year, expect an all-day celebration of Latin spirit, delicious food and lots and lots of of pisco sours.
8. Get 50% off bottomless brunch at Pho
27 July; 15 Upper Cheapside Passage 1st, EC2V 6AG
Avocado and poached egg on toast for brunch again? Pho-get about it! You need to get yourself down to Pho St Paul's for a bottomless brunch offering that'll knock your pastel-colour-themed-Instagram, Pomona's-eating socks off. What does a Vietnamese-inspired bottomless brunch comprise of? Expect Viet twists on classic breakfast dishes in the form pandan waffles, brunch rice bowls and Vietnamese omelettes as well as, of course, Pho's signature phở. Pair one of those dishes with unlimited refills of select cocktails (Sriracha bloody mary anyone?), prosecco or beer for just £25 or go teetotal for just £13. Soft launching this Saturday (27 July), Foodism readers can get an exclusive 50% off when they book for the launch service from 11am-3pm. All you've got to do is quote Foodism on the door and Pho's crack team of broth experts will apply the discount when you pay. Although this is an exclusive preview for all you lovely Foodism readers, the brunch will be available for everyone on Saturdays and Sundays from 28 July onwards.
9. Eat Tom Anglesea's grub at the Pachamama Brunch Club
28 July; 73 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HR
Tom Anglesea of The Laughing Heart will be entering the Pachamama East kitchens on 28 July to serve a special brunch menu. The head chef of the lauded Hackney restaurant (and bonafide star of BBC Two's Great British Menu) will be collaborating with John Javier on a spread Catonese-style dishes including a particularly fetching spring onion pancake with chicken liver pate and XO sauce. Now, we won't speak for you (we don't even know your language), but that sounds pretty dynamite to us.
10. Feast yourself at the Gunpowder x ROKA Sunday lunch
28 July; 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD
They say that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer but Gunpowder have completely thrown that logic out the window with its latest series of collaborative Sunday feasts. Taking place once a month over a leisurely Sunday at Gunpowder Towerbridge, founder Harneet Baweja and chef Nirmal Save will get together with chefs from London, Paris and Hong Kong to serve one-off collaborative menus and share their love of food with friends. Kicking off on 28 July, Gunpowder x ROKA will see one of London's most renowned Japanese restaurants decamp to Tower Bridge for lunch with Harneet, Nirmal and ROKA's group executive chef Hamish Brown. Diners will get a unique opportunity to sample, among other stonking dishes, two of London's best lamb chops under the same roof: ROKA's legendary lamb cutlet with Korean spices and Gunpowder's famous ma's kashmiri lamb chop. The menu is priced at £60 per person.
11. Have a £10 toastie and cocktail combo at Red Hand
Available until 29 July; 36-38 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ
To celebrate East London Liquor Company's 5th birthday, Red Hand are joining in the planned festivities with a limited edition cocktail made with East London Liquor Company's Premium Gin Batch No. 2. This special take on a gin sour is made with Castillan bitters, sorrel and aquafaba. In addition to that lovely bev, chef Rebecca Lever has created a brand-new special to add to Red Hand's toastie menu to complement the cocktail. Using bread from the nearby Fabrique bakery, the dish will be made with La Gabarre goat's cheese topped with smoked almonds, dates and pickled fennel. Each item is priced at £7.50 each, but we'd recommend going for the meal deal at the bargain price of £10 for the gin sour and toastie combo.
12. Live like summer never ends at a Grey Goose pop-up
Available until 19 August; Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8RF
From 23 July-19 August, Grey Goose will be popping up for a special Al Fresco offering in Covent Garden's East Piazza and inviting consumers to discover what that popular spirit is actually capable of. Which means unique entertainment, food pairings and masterclasses galore.You can expect the world's first sub-zero cocktail draught tap system (showcasing four different, delicious flavours of espresso martini) as well as bookable cocktail masterclasses with some of London's leading mixologists. Chin chin.
13. Try Pizza Pilgrim's new Laurent-Perrier collab pizza
Available until 22 August; various locations
Pizza and champagne? Yeah, that sounds alright to us. And we're not alone in thinking that, either, as Pizza Pilgrim's hot smoked salmon and mascarpone July guest pizza is a pie that's designed to be served with a glass of Laurent-Perrier's Cuvée Rosé. Featuring hot smoked salmon on a creamy mascarpone base, the Wolfgang Puck-esque pizza is topped with fresh fior di latte and parmesan before being drizzled with olive oil and black cracked pepper, chives and a lemon wedge. If that sounds like it would go great with a bit of bubbly, it's because it does. The hot smoked salmon and mascarpone pizza is available at all 11 Pizza Pilgrims locations, for a period of one month, for the price of £13.
14. Experience Jaltarang at Kutir
Available until 31 August; 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
This summer, chef Rohit Ghai is putting a big emphasis on the sea part of Chelsea via the introduction of a brand-new Jaltarang ("from the sea") menu to Kutir. The five-course menu is washing ashore in West London on 4 July and will consist of seasonal seafood and summer bangers like: soft shell crab with chickpeas, coconut, curry leaf and tomato; hand-dived Scottish scallops with aubergine fritters and mustard; prawns with mustard, mooli and salty fingers; and coriander Scottish lobster with black pepper, cumin and todi vinegar. Dessert options include your pick of either chocolate with banana, Valrhona chocolate crisps and chilli or mango cassata with cranberry, pistachio and pink peppercorns. There's only one thing to do this summer and it's go to Chelsea: because darling it's better, don't where a sweater, take it from me.
15. Taste the summer at Mele e Pere's Aperitivo Hour
Available until 31 August; 46 Brewer Street, W1F 9TF
This July, Mele e Pere is celebrating the launch of its latest summer spritz menu via the introduction of a super Italian Aperitivo Hour. Served in the wide-windowed ground floor bar every evening from 6-7pm, guests are invited to get stuck into a Mele e Pere Spritz and receive a plate of truffle arancini on the house. A refreshing summer cocktail with complimentary deep-fried rice balls? You'll know where to find us when the clock strikes 6pm.
16. See what the fuss is about the Arcade Food Theatre
103-105 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DB
Food markets are having a moment: you'll have seen Market Halls, Street Feast and Kerb expanding faster than Curtis's head was turned on this year's Love Island. Next up is Arcade Food Theatre. Its USP? It's located in Tottenham Court Road's iconic Centre Point building, and it plays host to seven of the hottest new restaurants in the city. Feast this weekend on next-level custard-stuffed pastries from Pophams Bakery, that katsu-sando from TŌU by TĀ TĀ Eatery and seriously tasty Mexican fare from Pastorcito and the restaurant group who bought you El Pastor.
17. Have a classy coffee at Ralph Lauren
Available until September 22; 1 New Bond Street, W1S 3LU
If you fancy a dressed-up coffee this weekend, head to the Ralph Lauren flagship store on New Bond Street where Ralph's Coffee is open for a limited time on the boutique's ground floor. Just like the now-iconic Ralph's Coffee Truck in the Rockefeller Center, Ralph's Coffee has arrived in the big smoke to serve, well, Ralph's Coffee along with a selection of teas, lemonade and cold-pressed juices. Some of Ralph Lauren's favourite sweet treats are also on offer, including brownies, homemade muffins and cookies. There's plenty of merch and bags of Ralph's Signature Roast up for grabs, too.
18. Try out the anniversary set menu at The Gate
Available until 9 September; various locations
Veggie experts The Gate are celebrating their 30th anniversary with a limited-edition set menu running until 9 September. The vegetarian restaurant institution will mark the milestone of their first restaurant in Hammersmith opening 30 years ago by offering a three-course set menu with a glass of prosecco, priced at a reasonable £19.89. Highlights from the menu include involtini (chargrilled panko aubergine, semi-dried tomatoes, red peppers, applewood smoked cheddar, and basil pesto); globe artichoke (stuffed with wild mushroom duxelle, braised fennels, served with potato dauphinoises, creamy wild mushroom sauce and spinach); and pressed chocolate cake with chantilly cream and a kumquat and star anise compote. The menu is available at The Gate's original Hammersmith restaurant as well as their locations in Islington, St. John's Wood, and Marylebone.