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!
Bread Ahead's opened up in Wembley, Vinegar Yard's getting a bit Christmassy and there's a hell a lot of Thanksgiving meals at Sweet Chick, Two Lights, and more for you to consume this weekend. Get eating and drinking.
14 things to do in London this weekend
1. Anglo @ Trade
From 11 November; 23 Frith Street, W1D 4RR
Private members' club TRADE has launched a new restaurant residency which will allow access for non-members for the first time. Starting from 11 November, TRADE has partnered with Mark Jarvis, chef-patron of Anglo Restaurant for Anglo @ TRADE. Taking the reins in the kitchen is newly appointed head chef Anthony Raffo. Raffo will be bringing Anglo's assured and highly-praised favourite dishes to TRADE, offering an extensive all-day menu of simple yet refined small plates, plus à la carte dishes and a five-course tasting menu. Dishes on the Anglo@TRADE tasting menu include fermented mushrooms and black truffle risotto, and venison with junipers and black pepper, celeriac and pickled blackberries.
2. Game Week at Le Bab
25 November - 1 December; Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW
This British Game Week, the British Game Alliance is partnering with Le Bab on three limited-edition game-chocked dishes that will be available to purchase throughout the week. The three dishes will highlight the versatility of feathered game, showcasing it as an accessible, sustainable, and healthier alternative to more commonly consumed poultry like chicken. Those dishes are as follows: crispy fried partridge (partridge legs fried in a polenta crust, accompanied by chermoula and lime yoghurt); pheasant shawarma (slow roasted shawarma of pheasant thighs, served with pickled endive and chilli, date purée, nutmeg mayo and celeriac crush on flatbread); and grouse adana (minced grouse kebab in the Turkish adana style, charcoal-grilled and topped with cavolo nero kimchi, smoked mayonnaise, crispy onions and pumpkin purée on flatbread).
3. Thanksgiving at Sweet Chick
25 November - 1 December; 8 Market Place, W1W 8AG
Chicken and waffle joint Sweet Chick will be spreading the love this Thanksgiving with a dedicated menu available for one week only from 25 November to 1 December. Specials will include turkey leg confit with sausage stuffing and mountains of pumpkin waffles alongside a bespoke Thanksgiving cocktail. What goes into a Thanksgiving cocktail? Well, in this case you can expect Wild Turkey Bourbon, pecan cardamom Orgeat, Amaro Meletti, orange juice and orange bitters. If you've got room for afters there's a snazzy pumpkin pie on the menu, too.
4. Wahaca's The Mexican Eye
From 25 November; Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Everyone's getting in the spirit of the festive season and even Wahaca is set to launch 'The Mexican Eye': two bespoke dining pods situated on London's Southbank. With banging views overlooking the river, the pods are available to book from 25 November and promise to take diners through a culinary journey and a vibrant feasting menu which will showcase the best of Wahaca’s dishes. The meal will begin with a range of sharing snacks including homemade guacamole with tortilla chips, duck croquetas with smoky hibiscus and chipotle salsa and crispy cauliflower bites. Then its on to sharing boards with dishes including buttermilk chicken tacos with pink pickled onions and spiced mayo, roasted butternut squash tacos with creamy cashew nut mole and pork pibil tacos slow cooked in citrus and spices. Save room for churros. And a tequila flight.
5. Bread Ahead Bakery in Wembley
From 26 November; Olympic Way, HA9 0FU
Bread Ahead's brand-new 11,000 sqft rotisserie and pizza restaurant, all-day dining cafe and state-of-the-art cooking school is officially open. That’s a lot of things. Located near Wembley Stadium, the space will include a 182 cover-restaurant, bakery, two baking classrooms plus a wholesale operation. Expect starters like whole burrata with charred beets, or a classic panzanella salad as well as mains like a whole or half free-range rotisserie chicken (sourced from Walton Meats) or the choice of margherita and n'duja pizzas, cooked in the pizza oven. For those looking for a sweet treat, a brioche butter pudding and sticky toffee pudding should sort you out. Bread Ahead's signature breakfast dishes including fresh pastries and smoked salmon brioche buns will also be knocking about and those in a rush will be able to enjoy a number of grab-and-go items from sandwiches to takeaway pizza.
6. Duck duck goose at The KPH
27 November; 139 Ladbroke Grove, W10 6HJ
Duck duck goose is coming to Notting Hill, and it's taking over The KPH. Fact. Oli Brown of duck duck goose has put together a delicious four course feast inspired by the food of Hong Kong. Fact. That menu will feature the likes of duck and foie gras spring rolls, wok fried brown crab and a selection of Cantonese BBQ. Fact. Guests can enjoy all of the above in one of London's oldest live music venues and local landmark, The KPH. Having been beautifully refurbished this summer, guests attending the duck duck goose pop-up will be sat in its cosy first floor dining room for the evening. Two separate dining sessions will be taking place on Wednesday 27 November and Wednesday 4 December.
7. New Cafe Murano opening in Bermondsey
From 28 November; 184 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ
Angela Hartnett's new Cafe Murano will open its doors on Thursday 28 November. Located on London's buzzing Bermondsey Street, Angela and the team will be bringing their regional Italian cooking to the neighbourhood. The restaurant features a spacious open kitchen and 110 covers, including counter seating and a sultry private dining room space. The menu is largely inspired by the diverse regions of Italy, including the truffle-rich hillsides of Piedmont and seafood inspired by the country's coastal regions. The menu features some of the signatures that Cafe Murano has become renowned for: mushroom arancini, chicken milanese and tortelli, as well as brand new items created especially for Bermondsey, devised by Angela, executive chef Sam Williams and head chef Adam Jay. Drinks will also take centre stage at the new site with a new bar providing the perfect spot to enjoy aperitivo and cicchetti.
8. Thanksgiving at Two Lights
28 November; 28-30 Kingsland Road
Two Lights is serving a classic American-style 3-course Thanksgiving feast complete with roast turkey and all the trimmings on 28 November. Starting with potato rolls with salted butter and spreading to dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke soup, roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnut miso, and smoked butter glazed carrots, this looks like a damn fine way to see eat like a yank this winter. The meal finishes with a selection of pies (maple and pecan; apple and smoked cinnamon; spiced pumpkin custard) and ice creams to share and costs £45 per person. Go. Please.
9. Thanksgiving with Jones Family Project
28-30 November; 78 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL
The Jones Family will be celebrating Thanksgiving this November with a special menu at both of their restaurants in Shoreditch and Belgravia. From Thursday 28 November to Saturday 30 November, they'll be sharing thanks with a three-course dinner, paired with cocktails that celebrate classic American harvest fruits of apple, blueberry, grape and cranberry. The first course, cream of squash soup with pumpkin seeds and winter truffle, is paired with 'Forever in Blue Jeans' – a cocktail inspired by the Neil Diamond song. A big old roast turkey will then be served for the main course and the team at Jones haven't held back on the trimmings: buttermilk mash, greens, sprouts, garlic buttered breadcrumbs, litres of gravy, stuffing, and a side of cranberry sauce. Just make sure you save some for the dessert. It's pie. The Thanksgiving feast is £39pp or, £76pp with drinks pairings, and will run every evening at The Jones Family Project and The Jones Family Kitchen.
10. Black Bear Burger in Brixton Village
29 November; Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS
Black Bear Burger will open the doors to its first-ever sit-down restaurant on 29 November in Brixton Village. Black Bear Burger will be bringing its signature focus on quality ingredients and balanced flavours that's made it a firm favourite on the capital's burger scene. The menu will feature grass-fed and dry-aged beef sourced from native breeds raised in the South West, served on homemade buns, alongside side dishes like hand-cut fries, poutine, chicken wings, nuggets and more. Black Bear will also be serving up alcohol for the first time, with a small list of cocktails, jugs of beer and 'shot skis' available. In celebration of the opening, Black Bear will also be offering the public 50% off food only from Monday 2-8 December.
11. Sin Gusano Mezcal
From 29 November; 3 Bateman Street, W1D 4AG
Nic Crilly-Hargrave Photography
Mezcal is delicious. But mezcal is also very complicated. Did you know, for example, the term 'mezcal' can broadly be used to refer to any agave spirit, so it covers tequila, mezcal and more – and mezcal sits in its own category under the same name, just to make things complicated. So if you want to learn more about what you're drinking, it's probably worth learning from an expert. And that's exactly what you'll be able to do at Sin Gusano's three-week collaborative pop up with Pensador mezcal at Milk Bar in Soho starting from 29 November.
12. CRATE Brewery Winter Escape Festival
30 November; Unit 8, Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN
CRATE Brewery is hosting a Winter Escape Festival – a celebration of beer, music, food and creative demos, supporting sustainability and local craft – on 30 November. Hosted in Mick's Garage, CRATE's open-plan warehouse, the space will be decked out with overhead lighting and outdoor fire pits surrounded by upcycled furniture for guests to settle into. Throwing open the doors at midday, CRATE has invited its favourite London breweries to help in keeping glasses topped up throughout the afternoon, and there will be a number of local independent food producers on-hand to soak up the beer, including CRATE's stone-baked pizzas. There will also be a Makers Market full of craft makers as well as workshops and masterclasses including kombucha and pottery workshops. The festival will move to the beat of a line-up of live music including Galaxians, the Leeds-based three piece, and Lunch Money Life, London's own experimental jazz band.
13. Vinegar Yard's Christmas Market
30 November - 1 December; St Thomas Street, SE1 3QU
This December, Vinegar Yard is hosting a unique two-day Christmas market to help you get ahead of the game when it comes to: A) getting your Christmas shopping, and B) accumulating your festive mass. Complete with more than 40 Christmas gifting stalls, daily wreath making workshops, festive food and mulled drinks in a handsome new winter chalet, there's just about everything on offer here. You can even expect live Christmas choirs in the form of 'Anarchristmas' and 'The Bridge'. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Bermondsey.
14. Wembley Park Market
27-29 Olympic Way, Wembley HA9 0FR
If you're feeling a little listless this weekend you should mosey on down to Wembley and check out London's newest indoor market, Wembley Park Market. Independent and local merchants and makers along with a brand-new food zone are the major draws here. The curated food selection offers a little something for everyone from ready to heat and eat frozen meals from Gourmade and Life Fork & Spoon, and unashamedly tasty chilled pies from Mud Food through to traditional confectionery and bespoke gifts from Ask Mummy & Daddy's and gourmet popcorn from Joe & Seph's. That, and the UK's largest, fully certified organic supermarket in the form of Planet Organic. Sounds good, right?