What to eat and drink in London this bank holiday weekend
It’s a bank holiday weekend and the opening up of London continues apace, with so many cool new things to do we can’t help thinking these lockdowns may have been inspirational.
From Powerplant, the most imaginative plant-based restaurant we can think of (with hotel attached!), to the capital’s biggest beer garden, complete with RuPaul’s Drag Race brunches, as well as a new riverside terrace and canalside cultural destination, an uber-stylish pop-up picnic event, and even an Islander Festival, where we’ll be able to watch Wimbledon together.
Creative juices are clearly flowing at tsunami level!
Free drink? That can be Oranged!
There’s only one thing we like better than a Margarita — and that’s a free Margarita!
Which is why we are edge-of-seat excited to hear that one of the coolest drinking spots in all of south London — that would be Little Orange Door in Clapham Common — has 100 frozen Margaritas, made with Cointreau and Goya Tequila, to give away this coming Sunday to celebrate the bank holiday.
Yes, you read that right: 100 free Margaritas to get your BH buzzing!
It’s still a question of booking a table for six people (until June 21, fingers crossed, after which it will be business as usual with DJs and house parties and the like), but we think it’s worth it for the free Ms, don’t you?
Sunday, 16A Clapham Common, SW4.
This is our Island in the sun…
With the next big date in our diaries being June 21 (unless they change their minds!), we’re booking early for The Islander Festival over on London City Island, otherwise known as the capital’s ‘mini Manhattan’.
It’s a programme of events including outdoor screenings, musical performances, markets, foods and (thank the baby Jesus!) drinks.
For the screenings, you get your deckchair — or beanbag, if you want to snuggle — and a pair of headphones.
And it’s not just blockbuster movies such as Wonder Woman 1984, The Greatest Showman (don’t sit near us for that one, we sing along!) and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse that they’re screening; there will also be a healthy dose of Wimbledon.
There’s even a gourmet chocolate shop!
June 27-July 18, Hopewell Square, E14.
Don’t Box me in
How do you fancy a bit of Horse Meat with your brunch? Not real horse meat, silly!
Horse Meat Disco, perhaps the finest purveyors of disco this side of Studio 54, of course. And they will be choosing the records to accompany Boxpark Shoreditch’s comeback Black Card Brunch this Sunday.
Order up your food and drinks package, take your seat with your nearest/dearest and chomp through goodies from Salt Shed, Black Bear Burgers and many more as you get into the grooves.
Oh, and what grooves they are! Meanwhile, down at Boxpark Croydon the roof terrace is being turned into Big Mike’s Rooftop Lime, which means authentic Caribbean vibes, steel pan bands, jerk chicken, the works.
Sunday, 11am, for brunch, Bethnal Green Road, E1.
Sundays from June 6 for Big Mike, 99 George Street, CR0.
Perfect place for a pilsner
Kick back with a beer and gaze at the majestic River Thames in the heart of zone one.
It’s all possible thanks to the re-emergence of the San Miguel River Terrace at Somerset House, which we think is a very romantic spot for a date (hint!).
Sheltered and heated — until this long-awaited heatwave shows itself — you get great views across to the Southbank and get to watch tourists waving at you from the boats that chug past while you chug on a San Miguel or other beverage of your choice.
And what with San Miguel being Spanish and all, there’s a nice tapas menu too!
Late night munchies sorted
Kebabs to the rescue!
You know as well as we do that when you’ve been out drinking all night there’s nothing the body demands more than a good old-fashioned kebab — the kind you find the remains of on your bedroom floor the next morning.
Well, if you’re out and about around Old Street and you want to do your kebabbing properly, let us point you in the direction of Le Bab, bringing ethical eating to the late-night Hoxton scene.
Open until 5am, you can sit in and watch your pepperoni pork shawarma or your Dirty Vegan being prepped right in front of you. Tiny — just room for 20 — this is taking the humble kebab to the next level.
231 Old Street, EC1
Your destination for deals aplenty
We already love Peckham Levels and Pop Brixton, so you can imagine how excited we are that the team behind those two have turned their attention to east London and created Hackney Bridge, a new cultural destination (and by ‘cultural’ we mean food and drinks first and foremost).
Their al fresco area, In The Courtyard, is where the drinking and dining takes place, with craft beers, cocktails and the best in street foods, from The Jewish Deli to STEAKhaus.
And that food is just £5 a dish if you make it over there on Wednesdays, while those cocktails are half price on Thursdays.
That’s not all, though — there’s a Sunday market coming soon, as well as a lavish indoor dining hall, and all in the heart of Hackney Wick, by the canal. Lovely!
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E Bay Lane, E15.
We’re quinoa you try this
Is Powerplant London’s best new vegan restaurant? That would be a yes from us.
Located just over the road from The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, this funky little hangout, which is going to be rocking when that venue re-opens, has the most imaginative plant-based menu we’ve tucked into in years. Falafel waffles, wild mushroom paratha, tofu ‘huevos’ rancheros and exotic salads (our advice: order everything!) — all washed down with only the cleverest of wines.
The staff are gorgeous, the whole place zings with cool, and if you have one too many, you can stay in their hip little community room upstairs in the Selina Hotel for next to nothing. In fact, we might just move in, seeing as there’s co-working to boot!
89 Chalk Farm Road, NW1.
Get more bang for your buck
They had us at ‘London’s biggest beer garden’, if we’re honest, before we even saw what else was happening down on London’s glittering Southbank.
With 4,000 sq ft to play with, they’ve roped in some great street food to help those drinks slip down easy and lined up an amazing array of musicians to keep you toe-tapping — we’re talking Gilles Peterson, Crazy P, Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and Norman Jay on the decks.
Oh, and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Lawrence Chaney is hosting the drag brunches!
Add mini golf, craft markets and the Colombian game Tejo — involving gunpowder and targets — and you’re looking at an explosive day out!
Between the Bridges. Opens Thursday, Queen’s Walk, SE1.
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Eat out in style
Sure, some old beach towels on the grass, a bottle of prosecco and a tub of hummus does count as a picnic.
But come on, people, we can do better than that!
Especially now that Heaps + Stacks are popping up at Love Blooms in Hackney with their fully sustainable, rentable ‘picnicscapes’. What the flip is a picnicscape?
Thank you for asking. It’s an exclusive hamper loaded with luxury blankets, napkins, upcycled glasses, candles and a dried bouquet (they’re all the rage!) — making your al fresco eats instantly Instagrammable.
And speaking of eats, while you’re there you can pick up the calories courtesy of Pique, who know what they’re doing picnic-wise.
For one weekend only (this one!), with a focus on sustainability and all funds raised going towards the Young Women’s Trust, this is both right-on and really delicious.
Saturday-Monday, Shop 7, Hackney Downs Studios, E8.
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