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!
Without further ado, here are the events that you should be pencilling into your calendar and putting on your radar this weekend:
La Banchina at Carousel
7-11 May; 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB
Carousel's latest chefs in residence are none other than Copenhagen cool kids, La Banchina. The waterfront restaurant is an ethically-minded creation that cooks with everything the sea can provide. Ex-Relæ chefs Daniel Runge Christensen and Kieran McLaughlin ensure everything (like herbs from legendary forager Thomas Laursen and fish from sustainable supplier Fiskerikajen) is biodynamic and sourced from local suppliers. Named as one of the best seafood destinations in Denmark, La Banchine are bringing a real breath of fresh sea air to the London dining scene. Expect to eat an extraordinary tasting menu of coastal delights in the smog-laden capital with dishes such as 'pike perch, bergamot and mussel juice' and 'squid, ramson and beach beet' reflecting the tiny wooden cabin's seaside location.
Little Bangkok at Greyhound Cafe
9-12 May; 37 Berners Street, W1T 3LZ
From 9-12 May, Greyhound Café in Fitzrovia will play host to a 'Little Bangkok' weekend of Thai feasting. A Bangkok-style street food market set on the restaurant's terrace will be serving up street food favourites such as moo ping (barbecued skewers sold on Bangkok street corners), pad Thai goong, som tam moo krob (papaya salad with crispy pork) and traditional coconut ice cream alongside creations from Greyhound Café's new menu. Greyhound will also be offering guests the chance to win a number of Thai-inspired prizes. Together with Tourism Thailand as part of their 'Eat Thai, Visit Thai' campaign, one lucky winner and a friend will fly to Bangkok, courtesy of Thai Airways, for the ultimate food-filled Bangkok city break, including accommodation and a Tuk Tuk tour to sample the best of Bangkok street food.
Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget at 73 Enid Street
10 May; 73 Enid Street, SE16 3RA
Join Manchester beer folk Cloudwater Brew Co at 73 Enid Street for a taste of the high life this Friday as the popular beer brand launches four totally unique new beers modelled on Champagne cocktails. Inspired by Pét Nat Slushie – Cloudwater's previous collaboration with Evil Twin – Cloudwater has brewed four more fruity, hoppy slushies. These include: the Bellini Slushie (made with peach purée); the French 75 Slushie (made with lemon juice, lemon zest and juniper berries); the Kir Royale Slushie (made with blackcurrant purée and blackberry puréel); and the Raspberry Mimosa Slushie (made with orange purée, raspberry purée and orange zest). This Friday will be the first time you'll find all of them on the bar at the same time. And what's more, two new beers brewed especially for Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen will also be purchasable. Beer heaven, indeed.
Cheese and Wine Fest
11-12 May; Battersea Power Station, SW8 4NN
Now in its third year, We Love Cheese – the free festival for fromage lovers – returns this Spring and promises to be bigger and better than ever, in a brand new venue. Taking place at Battersea Power Station, London's cheesiest food festival will take place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, expanding to 2 days in 2019 for the first time. The likes of Raclette Brothers, Mac To The Future and The Toasty Badger's oozy toasties plus all your favourite cheese board accompaniments with charcuterie, fresh breads, olives, sauces and specialty produce will be available. While the country's best cheese producers and importers such as Capo Caccia, Une Normande à Londres, Alsop & Walker, L'Ubriaco and Bath Soft Cheese will battle it out to win the coveted 'We Love Cheese Cup' voted by guests on both days. To pair with all that dairy there'll be a wine fair led by resident urban winery and kitchen, Vagabond. Voting cards for the We Love Cheese Cup are £8 in advance or £12 on the day and include tasters of all the cheeses in the competition and one complimentary drink.
Dia de la Madre at Paladar
12 May; 4-5 London Road, SE1 6JZ
Dia de la Madre, or Mother's Day, is celebrated throughout Latin-America on the second Sunday of May. Which is this weekend, buddy. To mark the occasion, Paladar is opening on a Sunday for the first time this Sunday 12 May. A two or three-course lunch menu (comprised of the likes of empanadas, braised black beef, tilapia fillet and an array of sharing sides) will be available for you and your doting ma. Piña coladas and mojitos will also be offered by the pitcher and there will be surprise live entertainment throughout the afternoon.
SÖL Pop-up at Terroirs
12 May; 5 William IV Street, WC2N 4DW
The Real Wine Fair 2019 is here in full-force. 180 winemakers are coming to rumble London up with their juices. As part of the wine onslaught, Terroirs wine bar are welcoming SÖL – a veggie-focussed restaurant and natural and sustainable wine bar from Stavanger, Norway. As the passionate trio behind SÖL's success, Nayana Engh, Claes Helbak and Magnus Haugland Paaske will be at Terroirs this Sunday to take you on a journey through sophisticated and comforting Norweigan flavours. The menu will be accompanied with a wine pairing created by SÖL and Terroirs' wine manager, Kevin Barbry. Expect SÖL sourdough & organic butter from Røros; grilled squash, fermented tomato, milk curds and ramson capers; Panfried cod, dulse, spring greens and brown butter sabayon; and multiple other Norse bangers. The five-course menu costs £50 per person.
Ottolenghi Spitalfields x Rennersistas
12 May; 50 Artillery Lane, E1 7LJ
As part of Real Wine Fair, Ottolenghi Spitalfields is hosting a supper with Stefanie Renner, one of the founding sisters of Austria's Rennersistas winemakers. Ottolenghi's chefs will be creating a special menu matching Rennersistas' wines and opening its doors on Sunday evening for those who would like to join. Price is £80 per person for the sharing food menu and wine.
Offal Monday: Smoking Goat x Breddos Tacos
13 May; 64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
On 13 May, Smoking Goat will join forces with Breddos Tacos co-founder Nud Dudhia for the latest instalment of their nose-to-tail feast, Offal Mondays. The menu will provide mash up of Smoking Goat head chef Ali Borer and Nud Dudhia's respective cooking styles. Expect dishes like: sweetbread prik laap with chili piquin; deer liver laap tetela; pig skin salad with tobiko; mam haggis quesadilla; and steamed calves' brains tostada. Smoking Goat's bar manager Kajsa Renmaker will be mixing up cocktails on the night including a Thai style michelada and a special Mezcal sour with lychee, created for the evening. Come along for an offal-ly good meal.
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Lunch at Vinegar Yard
Every Saturday and Sunday; 80-82 St Thomas Street, SE1 3QU
Get yourself within the vicinity of The Shard's shadow this weekend to sample some excellent eats at London's latest street food venue, Vinegar Yard. Meal purveyors include: Baba G's, Up In My Grill, Nanny Bill's, Sugo and Turnips. The feelings you'll get from eating at any one of those include: joy, excitement, glee and delight. You can even get naanwiches, for God's sake. Naanwiches!
Petersham Nurseries Pasta Masterclass
Every Saturday; The Counter at La Goccia, WC2E 8JD
Using the freshest ingredients, this pasta workshop is an introduction to making top shelf tagliatelle. In this interactive class, you'll learn traditional dough recipes and a range of pasta shapes including: ravioli, garganelli and tagliatelle, and a number of simple Italian sauces to drench them in. Made using organic eggs from Petersham's sister business, Haye Farm, the rich yolks transform the colour of the pasta. At the end of the workshop, you will take home your freshly made haul as well as some pasta flour, Haye Farm eggs and a homemade tomato sauce to enjoy at home.
Breddos Tacos Bottomless Brunch
12-5pm every Sunday; 82 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DB
What's the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Why, eating as many tacos as humanly possible, of course. For £20 you can get access to all-you-can-eat tacos at either of Breddos Tacos' tantalising taco joints for an hour and a half of Mexican food-based gluttony. With the option to choose between masa fried chicken, baja fish, sweet potato, and black bean tacos – you're not going to struggle for variety, either. For an extra £15 on top you can also join your tacos with a bottomless selection of frozen margaritas and michelada beers. Go loco.
Unlimited pasta at Palatino
Every Saturday; 71 Central St, London EC1V 8AB
Head to Palatino on Saturday's between 12pm-5pm where, for £25, you can get your fill of unlimited plates of pasta. Yes, you read that right. Unlimited. Pasta. There's not really much else that needs to be said, really. Though the dreamy carb deal also includes a free Palatino Spritz. Book ahead now to ensure you don't get left out on the linguine feast.
Rum Punch Brunch at Rudie's
Every Saturday and Sunday; 50 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB
If you fancy sipping on some rum-infused cocktails with some real spicy food, then get on down to Rudie's in Dalston this weekend. Running from 12-4pm every Saturday and Sunday, the rum punch brunch offer allows you to get one of Rudie's delicious main dishes (including a hearty 'Full Jamaican' of ackee & saltfish, lamb sausages, baked butter beans, sautéed spinach, boiled green banana and bakes) as well as access to bottomless rum punch for an hour and a half. All of which will only set you back a mere £18. Jerk and rum is a hard combo to top at that price, so make the most of it this weekend.
Pie and a Pint at Rochelle ICA
Every Sunday; The Mall, SW1Y 5AH
Never will you ever feel forlorn on Sunday afternoons again, because, starting from 17 February, Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold will be on hand with pints and pastry to save the day. All you have to do is get on down to the Rochelle Canteen ICA where the two chefs will be running a series of Sunday evening 'Pie and a Pint' dining menus. An excellent pie and a pint (or a glass of house wine) for £10? Monday morning doesn't seem too bad after all.