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!
A brand-new menu from Kutir, the re-opening of a classic London restaurant in the form of Julie's and £1 gelato all feature on this edition of Foodism's weekend guide. What the hell are you waiting for?!
18 things to do in London this weekend
1. Try Din Tai Fung's bunny bun desserts
Until 20 September; 5 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8PT
Available until September, Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung has launched a limited edition range of bunny bun desserts to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as the Mooncake Festival). The festival – particularly famous across South East Asia – is a perfect excuse to eat some of the cutest dishes going in London. Available in steamers of one or two, the kitsch-as-hell buns will be filled with two delicious traditional flavours of the Mid-Autumn Festival – one with salted egg yolk custard and the other with lotus paste and yam. They’re so adorable you almost won’t want to eat 'em.
2. Check out the YARR pop-up at Beyond Bakery
17-20 September; 2 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SB
We hope you're ready to get a little #wellness this weekend. Chilled quark bar brand YAAR has partnered with popular gluten-free bakery, Beyond Bread to launch the UK's first customisable quark bar: the YAAR Bar. In honour of this occasion YAAR are hosting a pop-up that will allow visitors to decorate and personalise their own quark bar with a range of delicious toppings. The four-day pop-up will be held at Beyond Bread Bakery in Fitzrovia from 11am to 3pm. Each day, the first 100 customers will receive a free YAAR bar from the range to customise with toppings that complement the core quark flavours. Hungry? Good.
3. Visit the The Big Aubergine at North Yard Camden
19 September; Camden Market, NW1 8AH
On 19 September, The Big Aubergine will begin its month-long residency at Camden Market's North Yard. Spanning 10m long, this giant inflatable veg will sit against the backdrop of the restored Grade II listed building that houses the area’s eclectic line-up of new restaurants, cafes and delis. In honour of the seasonal vegetable, each venue will be creating a load of one-off specials. Highlights include Rudy's Dirty Vegan Diner's mindful moussaka burger and aubergine fries, Pamban's brinjal moju pizza, and The Cheese Bar's aubergine melt. Visit the yard on 19 September and you can pick up a free aubergine at special handout points to either take home and cook for yourself or exchange at one of the North Yard's restaurants for a chance to win of the 400 seasonal dishes they're giving away.
4. Nab a reservation at Julie's
From 19 September; 135 Portland Road, W11 4LW
Following its nifty little facelift, Julie's Restaurant has opened up once again in Holland Park and, starting from 19 September, the restaurant will begin taking reservations so you can come and check out the restoration for yourself. Many key characteristics of the original restaurant (from stained-glass windows to Gothic wood carvings and panelling) have been carefully incorporated into the redesign. As for the food? It promises to be just as excellent as it was before. Seasonal dishes include salt marsh lamb, pressed cabbage, garlic potatoes, crisp lamb breast, preserved lemon and roast Cornish cod, cuttlefish, bacon, chicken and mushroom dressing. Why not welcome Julie back to the neighbourhood this weekend?
5. Dive into the London Bridge Open Kitchen
20 September; St Thomas Street, SE1 9GU
Got plans for 20 September? You do now. The London Bridge Open Kitchen is returning this weekend to show off all that's bloody brilliant about London Bridge's dining scene. Located in the impressive al fresco Guy's Courtyard, the space will be buzzing with food stalls, pop-up bars and live music from noon til late. Street food stalls will keep your hunger at bay while local restaurants like Santo Remedio, BOB's Lobster, Kin + Deum, The Coal Shed and Rosa's Thai Cafe will also be showcasing some of their signature dishes. On the drinks side of things, Bermondsey craft beer and skate brand, Hop King, will be serving an outstanding Pale Ale alongside the perfect accompaniment to an ice cold pint: skateboards (?). For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, there's always Everleaf. Entry to the London Bridge Open Kitchen is completely free and you can get involved with a selection of dishes from just £5.
6. Attend the Vermouth 49 launch party
20 September; Lassco Ropewalk, Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
Tucked underneath a railway arch in Bermondsey is where you can find Vermouth 49 –
London's newest vermouth bar. Following a successful soft launch this summer, the bar is
holding a launch party in partnership with El Bandarra vermut on September 20. Friends, family and industry folk alike are invited to celebrate the bar's mixed identity and menu with some free El Bandarra, food, music and laughter. Being a craft vermouth from Barcelona with complex flavours and a big attitude, El Bandarra is a delicious aperitivo that pairs well with the salty offerings on the Vermouth 49 menu. Enjoy free-flowing El Bandarra vermouth and food until it runs out along with live music from Aisha Khan & The Rajahs.
7. Get involved with Gelatorino's first birthday celebrations
20-22 September; 405 Upper Richmond Road, SW14 7NX
Italian gelato specialists Gelatorino is celebrating the first birthday of its Richmond shop with a weekend long party from 20-22 September. On Friday 20, locals can pop down between 10am and 4pm to receive a scoop of Gelatorino's gelato for just £1 when quoting "Happy Birthday Gelatorino!". On Saturday and Sunday, Gelatorino has teamed up with its Italian suppliers to create a series of unique tastings. Saturday morning (10am – 12pm) will see Gelatorino celebrate with an Italian breakfast, inviting locals to sample authentic Italian pastries and homemade di organic Jam Nonno Andrea. From 12pm-2pm, you tuck into Italian charcuterie appetisers and authentic non-alcoholic spritzs, followed by sweet delights from 2pm-4pm in the form of traditional Italian cookies and Gelatorino's homemade spreads. On Sunday 22nd between 9am and 4pm Gelatorino will celebrate with 'Turin from Love', showcasing a thick and creamy Italian hot chocolate, alongside chestnut spread, a North Italian sweet called a Marron Glace and organic honey with nougat.
8. Drink at Five Points End of Summer Yard Party
21 September; 61 Mare Street, E8 4RG
Head to The Five Points Warehouse on 21 September for a final summer day of drinking before the sun leaves us for another 6 months or so. For one day only, The Five Points Warehouse is reopening the gates to its yard and reviving the much-loved Five Points Summer Tap. Expect brand new beers, DJs and music all day, delicious street food from Oli Babas, and free beer if you register in advance. A brand new collaboration beer with Dugges, pouring the Five Points festival series, plus limited edition specials will all be in attendance. Cheers to that.
9. Dine with Conflict Café Philippines at Flat Iron Square
21 September; 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
The Conflict Café is a communal dining concept, created by NGO International Alert, and an interactive experience of peacebuilding through food. Following sell-out success in previous years celebrating Sri Lankan, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine, this year's Conflict Café is a collaboration with The Adobros's Anglo-Filipino chef Mark Corbyn. Corbyn will be sharing Filipino recipes (like piaparan na langka, beef kare kare and buko pie) with a contemporary twist. Book as a group, or come by yourself and join the venue's communal tables. As well as getting to know the Philippines, its conflict and its stories, you'll have the chance to get to know your fellow dining companions too. Profits from Conflict Café Philippines go towards supporting International Alert's work building peace in the region. Eatwith is donating £5 of fees per ticket to Conflict Cafe and the charity.
10. Get your Bruce on with Hungry Heart
21 September; Oval Space, E2 9DT
Hungry Heart – the world's only Bruce Springsteen-dedicated club night – is gearing up for its biggest night to date in honour of the iconic American musician's 70th birthday. Taking place on Saturday 21 September at East London’s Oval Space, the event will gather 1,000 Springsteen fans to hear seven epic hours of non-stop Springsteen. Shake Shack has also hopped on board as food partner, and will be giving free burger vouchers to the first 600 Hungry Heart attendees through the door, to be redeemed at a Shake Shack restaurant before the end of the year. Hungry Heart will also be donating a percentage of any profits taken to the Campaign to End Loneliness, recognising the bonds and friendships that Springsteen's music creates. This event sounds tougher than the rest, for sure.
11. Visit the Black Food Festival
22 September; 29–32 The Oval, E2 9DT
Things that are black: the Batmobile, Wednesday Addams' wardrobe, your soul. Things that are not usually black: food. In an attempt to change your perceptions of food, this Black Food Festival intends to toy with some of your favourite dishes, experimenting with flavour and colour from some of the city's most innovative and inventive culinary minds in an entire event dedicated to black food. Think dishes made from black ice cream flavoured with sesame or charcoal, black coffee, and black garlic to name just a few. There'll even be a panel of gastronomy professionals on the lookout for the most creative and finest products where two exhibitors will be awarded "Black Food of London 2019" and "Black Drink of London 2019" prizes.
12. Join in with Carousel's 5th Birthday celebration
24-29 September; 71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB
Carousel will mark its fifth birthday this September with a series of tasty events. Opened in 2014 by entrepreneurial cousins Ollie, Ed, Will and Anna Templeton, the team will be celebrating the milestone in style, with a curated list of speakers, exhibitions, and an all-star line-up of chef residencies. The week-long chef residency line-up will start on September 24 featuring ex-Relæ chef Kieran McLaughlin of cult Copenhagen seafood restaurant, La Banchina. Shortly followed, on Wednesday, September 25, by Céline Pham of Tontine, Paris before legendary chefs Santiago Lastra and Carl Ishizaki respectively take over the galley on 27 and 28 September. It's set to be a real week to remember.
13. Try out 'The Popeye' at Pizza Pilgrims
Until 19 October; various locations
Ahoy! Pizza Pilgrims' latest guest pizza 'The Popeye' is ready for your consumption. Making the most of fresh and seasonal produce, the pizza is comprised of a bianca base with fior de latte topped with creamed spinach (hence the name), ricotta, garlic oil, grilled artichoke and finished a crispy parmesan crust. 'The Popeye' is available at all 11 Pizza Pilgrims locations, for a period of one month, until 19 October, for the price of £12.
14. Explore Ceviche's new Autumn chilli menu
Until 20 October; various locations
This September, Peruvian chef Martin Morales is set to pay homage to the warming properties of Peruvian chillis with a spicy new 'Turn Up the Heat' menu at his restaurants Ceviche and Andina. Morales has created a menu based around the four main chillies: amarillo, rocoto, panca and limo, with special dishes to bring the heat – from street bites, ceviches, and a boozy chilli themed cocktail – perfect to inject some warmth into the oncoming Autumn. Expect dishes like tempura fried amarillo chilli with bacon-fresco cheese filling and chocolate and chia brownie with passionfruit and panca chilli coulis. The brave and thirsty can even get to grips with a spicy cocktail special known as the 'Peru Bravo'; a mix of pineapple and limo-chilli infused pisco with pomegranate liquor, lime and ginger ale. That’s the spice of life, eh?
15. Devour the Hunters Expedition Menu at Kutir
Until end of February; 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
Kutir is getting a little wild this September with the launch of a brand-new Hunters Expedition Menu. Rohit Ghai's five-course menu (priced at £55 per person) celebrates seasonal game and features some creative new dishes from the restaurant’s kitchen. Kutir's signature quail naan with truffle will be joined by tandoor-baked partridge samosa with macerated cauliflower chutney; grouse marinated in single malt Indian whisky with beetroot jam and chilli; and a slow-baked yoghurt-marinated venison served with three types of green chilli, paratha, black daal and steamed rice. All game is supplied by a local Berkshire farm, and the menu will run until the end of the season in February (grouse, which has a shorter season, will be replaced by pheasant in November).
16. Order from the 'Green menu' at The Good Egg, Soho
From September; Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
The all-day food gurus at The Good Egg are looking out for you (and the planet) this month via the launch of new "green" brunch and dinner menus. These menus will feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options and prove that meat-free cooking doesn't have to be flavour-free. Dishes include: an Iraqi aubergine pita (fluffy pita stuffed with tahini, amba, zhoug, dak dak, fudgy egg, pickles and fried aubergine); a beetroot reuben (roasted beetroot with tabasco-spiked cashew Russian dressing, dairy-free coconut cheese sauce, garlic, dill kraut and crispy onions on soft and chewy house pretzel challah); clay-oven cauliflower (spiced and roasted cauliflower wedge with turmeric-laced tahini dressing, sweet date molasses, crispy chickpeas and fresh); and aubergine shawarma (burnt aubergine slow roasted in the clay oven and served with green whipped feta and toasted pumpkin seed, preserved lemon and chilli).
17. Grab lunch at Pasta Remoli’s latest restaurant
From September; 10 Exhibition Way, HA9 0FU
Quality pasta restaurant openings in London have been coming thick and fast this year. This latest opening from the Pasta Remoli group looks to be another in the city's ever-growing repertoire. The group’s new Wembley Park restaurant is the perfect place to settle down for a meal with the family when you're in dire need of a carbohydrate pick-me-up. The Pasta Remoli concept literally couldn't be simpler: choose your pasta, choose a sauce, add cheese, enjoy. Even the pickiest of eaters should be down with that – whether you're in the mood for seafood spaghetti or oxtail agnolotti, Pasta Remoli has got you sorted.
18. Toast the weekend with Jameson Caskmates Fourpure Edition
Until stocks last; various location
Are you the kind of person that always orders a beer back at the bar? If so, you're in for a treat. Jameson Irish Whiskey has announced the launch of Jameson Caskmates Fourpure Edition – a spirit exclusively available to buy from September 2019. Whiskey and beer aren't exactly strangers, but this latest limited-edition sees Jameson's famous triple-distilled Irish whiskey rested in Fourpure's Shapeshifter West Coast IPA seasoned barrels. The result? A whiskey that features the signature smoothness of whiskey with the additional notes of tropical fruits, sweet clementine and full-bodied hops of an IPA. It's the perfect bev for craft beer and whiskey enthusiasts alike. You'll need to be quick to avoid disappointment though; the limited edition is only available to buy on drinksupermarket.com and in select bars across the UK including Young's Pubs and key independents like Homeboy while stocks last.