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 deep-fried turkey drumsticks at KraPow to deep-fried camembert burgers at Honest Burgers, there's plenty of excellent grub to eat this weekend. And some of it's not even deep-fried.
13 things to do in London this weekend
1. Christmas at Carousel
Until 16 December; 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB
Available until 16 December, Ollie Templeton of Carousel has created a festive menu which draws influence from the restaurant's favourite collaborative chefs. It's like a Christmas Greatest Hits album… that you can eat. Dishes like raw Cornish scallop with turnip, green almond and gooseberries (a holy trinity of sweetness, acidity and crunch) and duck ragù open raviolo with parmesan foam (a bit of a DIY lasagne) are exactly what this time of year should be all about. And that's not even mentioning the main event of charcoal grilled dry-aged dairy cow, braised beef cheek and heirloom crapaudine beetroot served with a trio of tasty sides. Look: it's Christmas, mate. You deserve all the trimmings.
2. Christmas special at Honest Burger
Until 24 December; various locations
Returning again this year for another round in the competitive Chrimbo food ring, Honest's Christmas burger has become a comforting harbinger of the festive season. It's deep-fried camembert presence never fails to fill us up with plenty of the Christmas spirit (aka cholesterol) and warm our unusually cold hearts during the winter. Available until Christmas Eve, the Christmas burger combines Honest beef with smoked bacon, deep-fried camembert, cranberry sauce and rocket. Pair that with some rosemary salted fries and you've got the makings of a roast and all the trimmings for just £12.50.
3. The Marksman x Yard Sale Pizza
Until 6 January; various locations
Yard Sale Pizza has teamed up with its new Hackney Road neighbours at The Marksman for a fantastic-sounding festive pizza. Inspired by the traditional feasting that The Marksman is renowned for, the pizza will consist of Yard Sale's signature double-fermented dough base topped with cotechino sausage, thinly-sliced potatoes, crispy sage and plenty of parmesan. The pizza will be available at all Yard Sale locations from 2 December until 6 January and will be priced at £12.50 for the 12" version and £23.75 for the super size 18". £1 from each pizza sold will also be donated to local homeless charity Hackney Winter Night Shelter.
4. Festive duck bun at Yum Bun
From 2 December; 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
Available at both of the Yum Bun outlets at Giant Robot and Dinerama, this festive duck bun is about as good as it gets when it comes to Christmas comfort eating. It's not just your delicious but been-there-done-that shredded duck vibe, either. No, no, no. What you can expect from Yum Bun this year is a crispy duck croquette slammed in a cumulus bun and given a welcoming acid trip by the addition of winter pickles and a sweet plum sauce. It's good. Get one.
5. Christmas carols and festive beer with Anspach & Hobday
6 December; 118 Druid Street, SE1 2HH
Independent craft brewery Anspach & Hobday is ringing in the season with an annual Christmas carols celebration at its Bermondsey brewery, complete with a very special Christmas beer being served – The Pfeffernüsse Saison. That beer is inspired by the traditional tasty German Christmas 'peppernut' biscuit of the same name, an amber saison style brewed with candied sugar and spiced with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. The event will kick off from 6pm with guests able to sample the festive brew along with mince pies, a good helping of cheer and a selection of kegs from deep within the Anspach & Hobday archives. Tis the saison.
6. London Christmas Beer Festival at Canopy Market
6-8 December; 1 Wharf Road, N1C 4BZ
London Craft Beer Festival is hosting its very first seasonal beer celebration this year in the form of the aptly named London Christmas Beer Festival. Taking place from 6-8 December at Canopy Market, this free event will be full of festive fun, stocking fillers, great food, and plenty of excellent produce to take home with you. Oh, and some cheeky winter beer specials from their friends at Beavertown Brewery, The Kernel Brewery, Mikkeller HQ, The Gipsy Hill Brewing Co., and Partizan Brewing to name just a few. If you're in need of some Christmas shopping then the market – complete with a Christmas Tree shop – might be worth a visit as well as the nearby Coal Drops Yard.
7. Turkey drumstick at KraPow
6-8 December; 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
Inspired by the street food of northern Thailand, KraPow adds its own spin on that region's punchy flavours in every dish it serves at Hawker House. Inspired by what we can only imagine was one too many tokes of the Devil's lettuce, Krapow are doing a fat-off deep-fried turkey drumstick this weekend to celebrate the Christmas season. That turkey drumstick is marinated in fish sauce, cooked in a sous vide, deep fried, and finished with a chilli and cranberry glaze. Oh, and it's totally gluten free. Because if you're the sort of person who's into the idea of eating an entire deep-fried turkey drumstick, you're probably also the sort of person that watches their gluten intake, right?
8. Tanqueray Townhouse
6-14 December; 2-3 Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2RL
This Christmas, Tanqueray No. TEN will be transforming Bloomsbury House into the Tanqueray Townhouse. From 6 December the venue will open its doors and invite guests into the glamorous world of Tanqueray gin for a ten-day residency. A series of immersive experiences will also offer guests range of delicious cocktails. Adding a touch of festive enchantment, world-renowned Magic Circle artists will travel around the Townhouse each evening, performing illusions. Tickets for the event cost £12 and include two Tanqueray cocktails and an access to all areas.
9. Christmas shopping at Melrose and Morgan
7 December; 42 Gloucester Avenue, NW1 8JD
Still not got round to doing any of your Christmas shopping yet? Starting to feel pressured by online advertisements into buying your brother an Oral B electric toothbrush that he may or may not use? Same. To help you sort all your festive presents in one fell swoop, Melrose and Morgan are hosting a Christmas shopping event from 1pm to 5pm on 7 December. Featuring mulled wine and tasty treats for all shoppers, there'll be a wine tasting by the folks at Noble Rot and a tasting of cheeses from La Fromagerie and Secret Smokehouse salmon. Not only that but you'll also be able to nap yourself a 15% discount on hampers made to order on that day and get a 10% discount on all cases of wine bought. Now, that's what we call Christmas.
10. Le Deli Robuchon opening
From 7 December; 82 Piccadilly, W1J 8JA
Le Deli Robuchon is set to open up shop on Saturday 7 December. You should probably go. Located in Piccadilly, Le Deli will offer a casual yet sophisticated all-day dining space serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with eat-in or take-away options. And there's a patisserie. Yep, Le Deli will also offer a carefully selected range of wines, teas, cheeses, pastries and breads while the off-site boulangerie will offer a wealth of freshly baked pastries ranging from banana bread with mascarpone and caramelised almonds, porridge with dry fruits and chia seeds to traditional handmade croissants. In the mood for a jambon beurre? They've got them, too.
11. Patty&Bun burger giveaways
9 December; various locations
Monday 9 December is set to be a mega day for Patty&Bun as the burger joint has got two new sites opening up – one on Liverpool Street and one on Kingly Street – with two major burger giveaways taking place on the day to celebrate. To salute the new Liverpool Street location there will be a 500 burger giveaway of a free Ari Gold, Dig It or Whoopi Goldburger. As for the Patty&Bun Kingly Street? Expect a sticker hunt to celebrate where 50 stickers have been hidden around the Carnaby area that can be traded in-store for a free burger. Happy hunting, and happy hamburger-ing.
12. Weekend at Birdies
8 Arches Lane, Battersea, SW11 8AB
Like your crazy golf with a side of… sides? Birdies in Battersea is offer Londoners crazy golf, a cocktail bar and a host of decent eats from its own street food offering, Taco Yaki. After a few rounds of getting far too competitive over a game that essentially doesn't matter, we'd recommend burying the hatchet with some dishes from Ian Pengelley's menu of yakitori and and filled tacos. Spicy cactus, sweetcorn, ginger edamame, coconut feta with toasted fennel? Chicken thigh, bell peppers, anticucho sauce and salsa en polvo? Octopus dumplings with Japanese mayo, signature sauce and pickled ginger? Those'll do just fine, thanks. Combine that with a boozy chocolate fountain, CBD-infused cocktails, nuclear daiquiris and an exclusive 'choose-your-own-ingredients' waterslide, and you're not exactly going to go thirsty anytime soon.
13. Hot Chocolate at Chin Chin
19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ
Whether your drink of choice is a warm and comforting eggnog, horchata or mulled wine, winter is the perfect time of the year to indulge in your favourite hot drinks. This hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows from dessert magnates Chin Chin is perhaps the most decadent hot drink going at Dinerama. A thick and viscous Valrhona chocolate base (which is a hell of a lot sexier than it sounds…) sits comfortable under a hat of marshmallow fluff that's torched till it imparts the taste of a campfire. Strong.