Yay, it's the weekend! There's plenty to keep you, your friends and your family entertained in the capital this weekend. Read on for the restaurants you have to dine at...
Tuck into Spanish tapas at Iberica
Is the sunshine making you feel like you should be on holiday, sipping on a sangria and indulging in platter after platter of Spanish tapas? For those who aren't hopping abroad any time soon, take the second best option at Iberica, one of London's most popular Spanish chain restaurants. The menu features classic tapas, including the to-die-for jamon croquetas, which are perfectly smooth and creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, and everyone's favourite, patatas bravas. Padron peppers, meatballs in tomato sauce, cheese and charcuterie serving boards are also on offer, as well as bigger sharing plates. We recommend the flavoursome lamb cutlets, served with a generous side of potatoes and peppers, but the black rice and the chorizo lollipops are also worth saving space for. This month, all Iberica restaurants have an additional menu from La Mancha to celebrate the group's ten-year anniversary. Just another reason to visit!
Soak up the tropical vibes at Casa de Cuba
London is one of the best cities for rooftop bars and alfresco terraces, but if you're looking for a truly tropical setting, head to Casa de Cuba in the heart of Marylebone. The Churchill Bar has transformed its outdoor space into a Cuban hotspot, decorated with straw hats, luscious foliage and dotted with comfortable seating. The brand new cocktail menu focuses on all thing Cuban, with a big emphasis on rum and tequila. Whether you want your tipple to come served in a coconut, or have a refreshing take on a classic with the watermelon mojito, the drinks menu is full of glorious surprises. Food wise, guests can enjoy specialties including the classic Cubanito sandwich, fried plantains and huevo Habanero.
Blush a little bit at the NARS Sensory Pop up
Hey beauty lovers, this is something for YOU to do this weekend. If you love the beauty brand NARS, you need to get yourself to East London at the Truman Brewery to visit the 'Sensorial playground'. The three-day pop-up is being held in London to celebrate the NARS blusher that has been around for twenty years - Orgasm. You know the one, the cult beauty product that makes you blush, quite literally.
The pop-up kickstarts on Friday 17 May, and there are five interactive rooms to keep you busy, and there's a goodie bag to be collected at the end (hurrah!). All five rooms are dedicated to one of the senses; From sight to touch, smell, sound and taste. Our favourite room? It has to be the swing surrounded by perfumed clouds of smoke because, well, it's perfect for the 'gram.
The O by Nars at The Old Truman Brewery, 146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Open until 19 May 2019. Standard tickets: free, VIP tickets: £20, both available at theobynars.com
Take your sweet tooth to a fashion-inspired afternoon tea
Oh we do love an afternoon tea! But The Pelham's new offering is extra special. The hotel has teamed up with luxury event planners La Fête to create a tea inspired by fashion designer and style icon Mary Quant, who has an exhibition based on her at the nearby V&A. The vibrant and wackily-presented afternoon tea is a feast for the senses and pays tribute to Mary Quant's famous designs, including the mini dress and the mini skirt. Ham and mustard finger sandwiches, mini buns filled with cherry tomato and cheddar, and traditional plain and raisin scones are all on the menu. But the more eccentric pieces include dark chocolate served as a lipstick, banoffee topped with a dress made of fondant, and Eton mess which comes with raspberry coulis presented in a nail varnish bottle. Enjoy!
Brunch with a Lebanese twist
Comptoir Libanais have launched their new breakfast menu - and it's amazing! Dishes we recommend include the Shakshuka, which is a slow-cooked tomato, red onion, pepper & garlic sauce, mixed with parsley and coriander and topped with an egg & crumbled feta. It can also be served with lamb sausage. Or try the Lebanese Full Breakfast, which is a Lebanese twist on the classic. The dish consists of spicy lamb sausage, spiced hommos, za'atar roasted mushrooms, sumac fried egg, chargrilled tomato, Lebanese potatoes served with flatbread. Yum! Also, the chain has just relaunched their original site in Westfield Shepherd's Bush on 7 May. Launched over 10 years ago, Westfield was the first every Comptoir Libanais and holds a place dear in founder Tony Kitous' heart. The new restaurant has a new open plan counter, new design and their incredible food.
Enjoy a hearty Italian with no frills
This one is for West Londoners! Pasta Remoli Ealing is a low-key restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and the food is just as delicious! The new restaurant has launched their exclusive corporate masterclasses as part of a fun and rewarding team building experience. Hosted by Pasta Remoli's chef and founder Simone Remoli, each masterclass will give you the opportunity to combine new skills with fantastic food for an unforgettable corporate day out. But if you just want to pop down for food, the deep fried arancini, bruschetta and seafood linguine are ones to try!
Have a dirty burger vegan style
Halo Burger are known for their mouthwatering, full-of-flavour patties, so fans of the street food joint will be thrilled to hear they have just added the Smoky Carolina BBQ Burger to their menu. Head down to Pop Brixton for a taste of the vegan delight – a thick Beyond Meat juicy patty topped with smoked Gouda style plant-based cheese and crispy onions strips, and slathered in mayo and tangy BBQ sauce. Anyone else salivating? We promise you, even non-vegans will love this patty!
Get merry at the Aperol Spritz Big Birthday Social
Aperol Spritz is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and there's no better way to celebrate than drinking the favourite Italian tipple in style. Just like something from a Great Gatsby party, Aperol are inviting everything to their party, complete with a 1919 Lido, a flowing orange waterfall and a giant Aperol Spritz glass shared ball pit. What's more, you will also find the UK's first ever revolving Aperol carousel bar. The party starts in London at Shoreditch Electric Light Station, but will continue to The Oast House in Manchester, making it possible for everyone to go wherever in the country they live. The party launches on Thursday 23 May in London for ten days, and kicks off in Manchester on Wednesday 19 June until Sunday 23 June. Tickets are £10 – including two Aperol Spritz drinks and some apertivo.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/AperolSpritzUK
See Covent Garden in bloom
If you’ve been to Covent Garden recently, you’ve probably seen the very Instagrammable flower arrangements and adorable swings (did you know it was London’s original flower market?) around the square. Their Covent Garden in Bloom installation started on 15th May and will run until 5th June, and /everywhere/ is celebrating. Restaurants in the area are getting involved too: for example, Petersham Nurseries offer an al fresco afternoon tea, and The Ivy Market Grill is joining forces with Jo Malone to add two floral themed cocktails to the menu. Plus, many shops are putting on extra services and events (such as Olivia Burton’s flower arranging workshops), so make sure you head down.
See the city from the London Eye
Is there anything wrong with feeling like a tourist in your own city? The London Eye is one of the capital’s most famous attractions, and to celebrate the Royal Chelsea Flower Show this year, they’re putting on an extra-special ‘Garden Capsule’, so that you can feel like you’re in a quintessential English garden while you’re 135m high. See the city in 360-degree panoramic view and get a selfie on the floral standing swing chair - just remember to hashtag #eyelovelondon.
Open to the public on Saturday 18th.
Try SUSHISAMBA’s delicious AND beautiful new menu
As a nod to the Fleurs De Villes celebration in Covent Garden, SUSHISAMBA is offering an ‘In Bloom’ menu which could just be /too/ pretty to eat (although trust us, it’s utterly delicious - just make sure you take a photo first!). With a focus on wellbeing and sustainability, the edible art menu showcases five custom creations curated by master sushi chef John Um. The new menu is available until 5th June, and if you try ANYTHING, make sure it’s the sashimi roses.
Enjoy a cocktail at the Chelsea Flower Show
If you’re heading to the Chelsea Flower Show this year, why not forgo the cuppa for a gin cocktail instead? Warner’s gin have a pop-up at the event this year - ticket-holders can visit the ‘Gin Barn’, which will be serving up refreshing G&Ts and cocktails using the seven gin flavour variants: Harrington Dry, Sloe, Rhubarb, Elderflower, Lemon Balm, Honeybee and Raspberry. Plus, as we all love a flower wall, it also features a living wall of growing botanicals such as coriander, lemon balm, thyme, mint, and rosemary (very fitting for the Flower show...). Chin chin!
Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Flower Show
This year marks 55 years since the iconic Chelsea restaurant, Daphne’s, was founded. To celebrate, they’ve teamed up with porcelain company Wedgwood to create a truly stunning ‘Wedgwood Wild Strawberry dessert’, which they’ll be serving up at the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s a light yet indulgent cheesecake topped with wild strawberries, and is served beautifully on a Wild Strawberry plate (which is a design that is also celebrating its 55th birthday). It’s available on the Daphne’s Chelsea Flower Show set menu, and we’d suggest getting a glass of bubbly to make the Instagram extra-gorgeous…
Have a complimentary vegan afternoon tea
PG Tips is launching a free afternoon tea next week across three locations: Cuthbert’s in Liverpool, Heartfelt Vintage in Bristol, and Saucer & Spritz in London. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can enjoy some savoury sandwiches, indulgent cakes and soft scones, complete with vegan coconut clotted cream. Enjoy it washed down with plenty of the brew and their selection of plant-based milk, of course. What’s more, for those who say the phrase ‘Can I have the Afternoon Free?’ on arrival, the experience will be exactly that – completely free of charge. Perfect for the week just before payday!