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 gin festivals to half-price Indian food, here are the events that you should be pencilling into your calendar and putting on your radar this weekend.
13 things to do in London this weekend
1. Get your stars and stripes out at Market Hall Fulham
4 July; Market Hall Fulham, 472 Fulham Road, SW6 1BY
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what Market Hall Fulham have got planned for Independence Day? Because it's pretty neat, to be honest. Yep, Fulham is playing host to an all-American 4th July Beer Pong party with beer bros Goose Island. Not only that, but you can also go in on some American-inspired specials from MH's top drawer traders including Hawaiian poké bowls from Ahi Poké, a classic 'American Hot' pizza from Made of Dough, a 'BBQ Sunset' Southern fried chicken burger from Butchies and many, many more. God bless America.
2. Be Frank at Honest Burgers
Available until 4 August; Various locations
This July, Honest Burgers are teaming up with Frank's RedHot Original to bring a dench Buffalo Chicken burger to all 33 of its sites – just in time for Independence Day. Available until 4 August, the Buffalo Chicken contains the following: a buttermilk fried chicken breast, smoked bacon, homemade buffalo sauce made with Frank's RedHot Original, blue cheese mayo, lettuce and pickles. Which means the Buffalo Chicken is going to do the following: make you very, very happy. The burg comes served with Honest's signature rosemary salted chips for just £12.50.
3. Eat your way through the Turning Tides Festival
5-7 July; Greenwich Peninsula, SE100SQ
Taking place across two weekends of July, Turning Tides Festival is a free-to-attend festival in honour of the launch of Greenwich Peninsula’s The Tide. Created by design duo Studio Morison, a 27-metre picnic table called the 'Seafood Disco' will be adorned with a series of feasts prepared by guest chefs throughout both weekends. Berber Q will be presenting a barbecue with a Mediterranean menu; Stevie Parle is bringing his acclaimed fresh pasta restaurant, Pastaio, to the riverside; Disappearing Dining Club are supplying British picnic fare; and chef Matt Williamson will be doing his bit by supplying oysters, whole sides of trout and smoked eel. Sounds like it will go just swimmingly.
4. Sit back and relax at the Chelsea Courtyard
5-7 July; 151 Sydney Street, SW3 6NT
Tucked away between two beautiful Victorian buildings, The Chelsea Courtyard Bistro and Bar is an Instagram haven offering alfresco drinking and dining. The Chelsea Courtyard has transformed into a botanical escape, brimming with plants and foliage. Enjoy a cocktail from an eclectic summer menu that includes drinks like The Chelsea Gardener (Ketel One Vodka, mint, cucumber and ginger beer) and The Zesty Barbie (flamed lemon zest infused rum, red vermouth, lime and orange liqueurs). If you’re hungry, you can always give Barbie an edible Ken in the form of a slow cooked lamb ragu with tagliatelle pasta.
5. Drink a free Jack Daniel's cocktail at Dinerama
5-7 July; 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
Bit hot, yeah? Well, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is here to help you keep cool this summer with a Street Feast cocktail giveaway running until 13 July. Jack Daniel's will be giving away 300 free Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey cocktails each day at Street Feast venues Dinerama and Giant Robot (150 drinks at each location). Available Wednesday to Saturday from 5-6pm, you can be in with a chance to claim free whiskey cocktail like a Honey Tonic, Lynchburg Lemon Slushy, or a Bee's Knees Highball. Street Feast vendors have also created some delicious Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey dishes to accompany the cooling cocktails.
6. Celebrate the East London Liquor Company's 5th birthday
5-7 July; Unit GF1, 221 Grove Road, E3 5SN
East London Liquor Company's 5th birthday celebrations are going to be taking place throughout this month. That big old bash involves the team offering £5 G&Ts at the distillery bar alongside a special London Dry Gin and hibiscus cocktail paired with (what else?) birthday cake. For those who like their cocktails with a side of culture, you can always have a go on one of the ELLC's Whisky Lover's Tour and Tasting sessions to find out what a real East London whisky tastes like.
7. Have a flowery brunch at Ella Canta
6 July; One Hamilton Place, W1J 7QY
In celebration of the 112th birthday of Frida Kahlo, Mexican restaurant Ella Canta will host a one-off masterclass, inviting guests to create their own bespoke flower crowns with florists, Moyses Stevens. Sip on a 'Blue House' margarita while learning the art of the festival head topper before sitting down to a delicious 3-course Mexican brunch and unlimited margaritas. Because that's what Frida would have wanted. Possibly. Maybe. We don't actually know what she would have wanted to be honest. But this sounds fun.
8. Dine for a cause with Hospitality Action
7 July; 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
After four successful years and over £152,000 raised, Jason Atherton's Social Sunday will be returning on 7 July 2019 to unite some of the nation's best and most respected chefs to raise money for the charity, Hospitality Action. At Pollen Street Social, Jason Atherton will be cooking alongside his Head Chef, Dale Bainbridge; culinary heavyweight, Pierre Koffmann, and celebrated Chef Patron of Cornerstone, Tom Brown. The six-course menu will feature signature dishes from each of the chefs including Tom Brown's roasted cod with curry sauce and crispy potatoes and Pierre's roasted Orkney scallop a la Koffmann. Meals will also be taking place at the recently launched No.5 Social, Claude Bosi at Bibendum and Social Eating House. Available for one service only, each event promises a unique dining experience. Lunches will be ticketed and priced between £100 and £200 per head, depending on the restaurant.
9. Get crabby at the Ministry of Crab pop-up at The Shard
5-7 July; 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9QU
Sri Lanka's legendary restaurant Ministry of Crab is coming to the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard for a two-day charity pop-up event this July. Chef Dharshan Munidasa will be preparing a five-course menu celebrating Sri Lankan cuisine to please every London-based crab lover. Dishes include a range of Munidasa's big hitters like garlic chilli crab, pepper crab and a baked crab dish that promises to add a whole new level of excitement to crab risotto. Proceeds from tickets sold will be donated to those affected by the recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka. Tickets for this charity pop-up event are priced at £85 per person for the five-course meal (beverages are priced separately) and are available for dinner on 5 July and lunch and dinner on 6 July.
To reserve a table for the Ministry of Crab event, contact SpecialEvents.SLLN@shangri-la.com or call +44 (0) 207 234 8067
10. Bring your pooch along to a bottomless dog brunch at Savage Garden
7 July; 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF
Savage Garden is going to be hosting a Truly, Madly, Deeply bottomless brunch this weekend via the introduction of its very first 'Bottomless Brunch' for dogs. The popular dog brunch is introducing a bottomless offering this Sunday where any pooches will be able to lap up free-flowing 'Pawsecco' while their human pals sip on limitless prosecco. Homosapien eating options include panko chicken cutlet, bacon and radish salad, cranberry, caper, sriracha mayo and a sunny-side fried egg, as well as bourbon glazed beef short rib, charred sourdough and poached eggs. As for the four-legged creatures among us? Well, they can chow down on the special pupcakes prepared by chefs, all made with dog-friendly ingredients. The bottomless upgrade is available for £20 per person (including all that 'Pawsecco' for your hound) with all a la carte brunch orders of two courses.
11. Parade around at Vinegar Yard's new summer terraces
5-7 July; 72-82 St Thomas Street, SE1 3QU
As if there wasn't already reason enough to go out and enjoy the good weather, Vinegar Yard has opened two new outdoor drinking spaces just in time for the sun's yearly tour of London. A Tanqueray Terrace gin bar and a shiny new craft beer emporium known as the Courtyard Bar will be gracing the yard with frozen custard specialists Secret Nicky's. To celebrate the launch, they're offering 2-4-1 on Tanqueray serves all day on 3 July. With seating for up to 200 people, there's plenty of room for you and your mates to have a grand old time. Just don't forget the sun cream.
12. Feast with the Wing Jam Festival at The Bussey Building
5-7 July; 33 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and chicken wing festival WingJam have joined forces to give London a proper taste of America this weekend. If whiskey and chicken wings are your thing (and, let's be honest, who's things aren't whiskey and wings?) then you should get down to Peckham's Bussey Building from 5-7 July for WingJam's chicken wing festival and rooftop party. Plied with a complimentary cocktail from Bulleit Whiskey's pop-up bar on arrival you can work your way through a variety of delicious chicken wings made by some of the country's top street food vendors. The array of sticky, crispy or spicy wings (all at £1) can be enjoyed at your own pace.
13. Explore a pleasant side of London at Fancy Fair 2019
6 July; Winchmore Hill, N21 1BB
Fancy a bit of a green this weekend? The Fancy Fair Free Community Festival being held in the beating heart of Winchmore Hill is just the event you've been looking for. Expect a huge selection of arts and craft stalls, street food and bars, classic fairground rides and Brighton beach-inspired donkey rides. Glastonbury eat your heart out.