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!
Featuring the launch of Selin Kiazim's Oklava Wine + Bakery, an eco-conscious new residency at Crispin, and some tasty bevs from the people at Fourpure, there’s plenty of great eating and drinking to be done this weekend.
16 things to do in London this weekend
1. Oklava Bakery + Wine soft launch
15-18 January; 64 Grafton Way, W1T 5DP
GOOD NEWS ALERT: Selin Kiazaim's Oklava Bakery + Wine will be officially opening their doors on 21 January on the same site formerly occupied by Kyseri. From Wednesday 15 January, Oklava Bakery + Wine will be open for a soft launch run, offering 50% off lunch and dinner until Saturday 18 January. To celebrate the opening, the first 100 people to walk through the door on 15 January will receive one of Selin's new pastries – including a laminated pogaca morning bun; hellimli (a halloumi and olive oil muffin); tahinli spiral (a tahini and caramelised sugar spiral); a pilavuna pastry with cheese, sultanas and mint; and a zeytinli muffin made with olive and olive oil.
2. Fourpure's First Chance Friday
17 January; 22 Rotherhithe New Road, E16 3LL
Fourpure Brewing Co. is kicking off its 2020 'First Chance Friday' run of events in style on Friday 17 January, by introducing a new take on an old Fourpure classic – Imperial Beartooth .The Bermondsey brewery is offering beer lovers the chance to get their paws on its new small-batch 8.5% American Brown Ale straight from the taproom (before it's released into the wild). With vibrant caramel, chocolate and coffee flavours, this American-inspired ale is the ideal winter warmer for January. The joy doesn't stop at the beer either, live music and a fast food menu from Oh My Dog! Will also be knocking about.
3. Hellmann's Vegan Rain-Bao Truck
17-18 January 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY
This Veganuary, Hellmann's has turned its Vegan Mayo into a series of millennial-inspired pastel colours designed to be rammed into the £1 bao buns that Hellmann's will be serving out of a pop-up truck in Shoreditch. Vegans, vegetarians and anyone who likes a colourful lunch will be able to get their hands on the plant-powered range at Hellmann's Vegan Rain-Bao Truck at BOXPARK Shoreditch on 17 and 18 January from 12pm to 6pm. All proceeds from the bao-tiful buns will be donated directly to Veganuary – a charity that aims to create a kinder world and healthier planet through educating people about the benefits of a vegan diet. Glazed tofu bao? Don't mind if we do, mate.
4. Bread Ahead's Ultimate Doughnut Experience
18 January; 26-28 Olympic Way, HA9 0NP
Doughnut lovers rejoice: Bread Ahead's owner and founder Matthew Jones is hosting a Ultimate Doughnut Experience at Bread Ahead's newest venue in Wembley to let you in on the secrets behind Bread Ahead's world-renowned sweet treat. Attendees will experience Bread Ahead doughnut magic first hand, with a completely interactive bakery 90 minute session where you'll get taken through the various stages of creating, filling and eating these legendary doughnuts. If that didn't sound tempting enough, all attendees will receive a signed copy of the Bread Ahead recipe book "Bakery School" and a box of four complimentary doughnuts.
5. Roganic: The Scandinavian Series
18 January; 5-7 Blandford Street, W1U 3DB
Starting in January 2020, Simon Rogan's Michelin-starred restaurant Roganic will host some of the world's best chefs, with its debut collaboration dinners called 'Roganic: The Scandinavian Series'. Throughout the first half of 2020, Simon and team will welcome a plethora of leading chefs from Europe's culinary mecca of Scandinavia, to his Marylebone restaurant to create a special menu served for one day only. The first in the series will be chef Christian F. Puglisi cooking alongside Simon Rogan and Roganic executive chef Oli Marlow on Saturday, January 18. Christian, originally from Italy, opened Michelin-starred Relæ in Copenhagen in 2010, before launching the smaller and much-loved eatery across the street, Manfreds. Tickets for this meal are £135 per person and include snacks, eight courses and a glass of Exton Park Simon Rogan Rosé NV on arrival.
6. Officina 00 pasta masterclass
From 18 January; 156 Old Street, EC1V 9BW
Launching this January, Officina 00, a pasta restaurant and workshop on Old Street, is launching a series of pasta masterclasses to help you become a bonafide pasta master. Join the pastificios in their workshop every Saturday to find out how to make pasta like a true nonna. Learn the skills required to make everything from a basic fresh egg pasta through to Officina's signature tortellini and raviolo fritto cacio e pepe and, after your apron's off, you'll even get time to sit down for lunch where you'll feast on handmade pasta with Officina's seasonal sauces, sides and a glass of wine or prosecco. Classes are priced from £70.
7. Calçotada festival at Tapas Brindisa
From 18 January; various locations
From 18 January, Tapas Brindisa will be celebrating the traditional Catalan winter festival, Calçotada, by launching its annual calçot feasting menu. Held every year in towns and villages across Catalonia, the festival pays homage to the humble calçot onion, which are plucked out of the earth and chargrilled in huge bundles on open fires, before being dipped in romesco sauce. Kicking off festivities on the 18 with a one off vegan feast, the feasting menu will run every weekend at Brindisa Battersea and Shoreditch until the calçots run out.
8. Club Soda Mindful Drinking Festival
18-19 January; The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QR
Club Soda's seventh Mindful Drinking Festival is back once again, filling the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane with the biggest and best low and no-alcohol drinks around. The two-day event will showcase over 60 low and no alcohol drinks to try while also giving you the chance to take part in free cocktail masterclasses, beer tastings and drink talks with the country's top experts. The free to attend festival is supported by Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits, Old Mout cider, UpFlow Brewing Collective beer and Lindeman's wines.
9. Paul's Galette des Rois
Eat like a king this weekend by picking up a slice of galette frangipane from Paul. Be quick though: these delicious little fellas sellout quick.
10. Kricket Brixton's all-vegetarian menu
41-43 Atlantic Road, W9 8JL
In case you hadn't heard, Kricket Brixton has turned its menus vegetarian for the month of January. This temporary upheaval of the restaurant's offering will celebrate the best of British seasonal vegetables while using the same bold and fragrant Indian flavours the restaurant is known for. Brand new dishes include a Jerusalem artichoke shorba with spring onion and coriander seed as well as meat-free twists on Kricket classics like the Keralan fried hen of the woods mushroom, with pickled mooli and fried curry leaves. The vegetarian menu will be run until the end of the month.
11. A Cali-Mexican Veganuary at Madera
14-15 Langham Place, W1B 2QS
LA-inspired restaurant Madera is the place to get your gob around a Cali-Mexican breakfast and a la carte vegan menu. Boasting a diverse vegan offerings, Madera's menus includes a vegan breakfast with scrambled tofu, frijoles negros, grilled tomatoes with papas bravas, mushroom, spinach and avocado as well as a soyrizo bowl with scrambled tofu over soyrizo, crispy Yucatan potatoes and tres chiles salsa. Ever had a Mexican-flavoured coconut sashimi before? No? Do you want to? Head to Madera.
12. Fallow at Crispin
Pavilion on The Corner, E1 7NF
If you're in need of a swanky date location this month, you're in luck. Sustainable dining duo Fallow are embarking on a two-month residency at the lovely Crispin from 7 January to 7 March. The chef double act – comprised of Jack Croft and Will Murray – focus on bold, modern flavours and are committed to proper nose to tail and root to stem cooking approach.Fallow will be treating East Londoners to pared-back dishes like 'ribbed corn with kombu salt', 'hen kofta yakitori with house sriracha' and 'crispy egg with charred leaves and mustard dressing'. Plates range from £4 to £16 and really, very good.
13. Sweet Chick's brunch
8 Market Place, W1W 8AG
Available on Saturdays and Sundays, the new brunch at Sweet Chick is really something else. In fact, all the convincing you should need is a glance at the menu. Ricotta pancakes with seasonal compote and macadamia butter; eggs benny on biscuits with shredded smoked chicken, smoked ham and hollandaise; and the fried chicken and waffles.
14. Anatolian Veganuary at Rüya
30 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7PH
Rüya is one of the few restaurants in Mayfair that has a vegetarian menu, vegan menu and a gluten-free menu. Basically, if you can't find something that suits your dietary restrictions at Rüya, it's on you. As for the rest of us, expect to tuck into menu with an array of Anatolian classics – many of which are traditionally vegan, such as isli patlican (aubergine puree with walnuts, crispy coated aubergine chips), karpuz peynir (burnt watermelon, tomato and pine nuts) and guvec (clay pot vegetables with tomato and red pepper sauce).
15. Sons + Daughters – Pidgin sandwich special
Until 31 January; Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
We love a good sanger here at Foodism, which is why we're buzzing that the first in a series of special sandwich collaborations from Sons + Daughters has finally arrived in King's Cross. To kick off the series, S+D has teamed up with its siblings over at Pidgin where head chefs Michael Robins and Hamish Pearce have created a fresh take on the classic tuna melt. This version (which costs £9.50) features sustainably sourced pole-caught tuna, horseradish aioli, smoked applewood cheddar, spiced onion relish, mango chutney, iceberg lettuce and herb dipping sauce served on soft white bloomer from Paul Rhodes Bakery. To quote Paul Walker from Fast and Furious: "I like the tuna here".
16. Arabica's vegan menu
Arabica has launched its first vegan lunch menu at the Borough Market and King's Cross sites. Why on Earth haven't you eaten it yet? Priced at £15 for 3 plates, the plant-based menu includes dishes like babaganoush man'ousheh flatbread with smoked aubergine and tahini and berbere-spiced cauliflower with tahini, pistachios and pomegranate. Add a glass of vino for just £5 to fight the January blues. Yes, please.
17. Dishoom's non-alcoholic cocktails
The cocktails at Dishoom are damn fine drinks to accompany any meal. However, if you are one of those folk taking part in Dry January this year, the restaurant group's selection of teetotal tipples are worth a punt, too. The sober-curious among you can enjoy serves like the Dry Old-Fashioned (muddled with smoked demerara, orange bitters, cayenne and orange peel), the Sober Martini (blessed with a gin-like bitterness and warmth and flavours of ginger and gentian root), or the Teetotal Monsoon Martini (made with Dishoom's alcohol-free secret spirit essence). We'll drink to that – and feel really smug about it the next day.
18. 2-4-1 cocktails at Double Standard
The Standard, 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG
For everyone not jumping on the Dry January bandwagon, Double Standard is offering 2-4-1 on selected cocktails throughout the entirety of January (anytime except Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 6pm to 10pm). Two negronis for the price of one? Two bloody marys for the price of one? Yeah, sounds alright to us. If none of those take your fancy then the G & Tea (Tanqueray London Dry gin flash-infused with Earl Grey tea, Mediterranean tonic and pink grapefruit) is a shout.