Hooray for the weekend! Looking for fun things to do in London? You've come to the right place. Read on for restaurants you have to dine at and events you have to check out...
Take a foodie stroll through Taste of London
London's best food and drink festival of the summer is back this weekend, so if you're a foodie, head down to Regent's Park. Dozens of restaurants have set up shop, where they'll be serving their signature dishes and some are even hosting special events such as masterclasses, tasting sessions and workshops. Look out for Portuguese favourite Bar Douro, which is showcasing its suckling pig sandwich and smoked sausage croquettes among other delights. For dessert, get your phones at the ready at Jude's Ice Cream, which is rustling up its blue vanilla scoop served in a charcoal cone and topped with unicorn sprinkles and a swirl of candyfloss – very Instagrammable.
For drinks, there's plenty of choice thanks to the World Class collaboration with Taste of London. Gin lovers should check out the House of Tanqueray at No. TEN, which is hosting a Head vs Heart sensory experience – intriguing! If vodka is more your tipple, the Ketel One Kitchen is putting on its popular cocktail masterclasses, while Zacapa Rum's The Residence will let guests savour tasting menus paired with rum concoctions. A bit confused about where to start? Make a beeline for the World Class Cocktail Bar which has virtually anything you want – classic cocktails and signature serves from the world's best bartenders.
Hit the West End and watch Waitress the Musical
Brought to life by a ground-breaking all-female creative team, this feel-good musical features original music and lyrics from 6-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (Brave, love Song) with direction from Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). Inspired by Adrienne Shelley's beloved film, Waitress the Musical follows the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of leaving her small town and loveless marriage for a new life. When a baking contest in a nearby county - and a chance-meeting with a handsome stranger- show Jenna the possibility of a fresh start, she must find the courage to take a chance. The cast includes Lucie Jones (Rent, Legally Blonde) as Jenna, Marisha Wallace as Becky and Ashley Roberts (Strictly Come Dancing, The Pussycat Dolls) as Dawn.
From £75 per person for a one night's accommodation at the 3* Hampton by Hilton London Docklands including Upper Circle tickets to Waitress the Musical. Price based on arrival 11th July 2019.
Soak in the sun and head to Legoland with the kids
With the sun FINALLY coming our way, what better way to enjoy it than heading to LEGOLAND with the kids – without breaking the bank! Until the end of July families can 'Make it a Monster Summer' at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort with monster savings on all day tickets. Guests can save 40% on tickets booked online, in the Monster Summer Sale. Day tickets are from just £28 to visit the Resort, on any date until 2 November 2019*.
Guests who snap up tickets in the Monster Summer Sale can enjoy the Resort's awesome rides, live shows and attractions including the fang-tastic new, Haunted House Monster Party ride. For monstrously fun-filled family day out, there’s a splashtastic time to be had for mini monsters in the Resort's splash-tastic play areas. In Splash Safari little ones can play amongst their favourite DUPLO animal friends, brought to life with a host of water features.
Visit a seriously fun makeup pop-up
One of our favourite makeup brands - Benefit Cosmetics - has a brand new pop up that beauty junkies need to check out this weekend. Head over to Hackney for an experience like no other. First of all, Protein Studios is decked out in millennial pink and brings to life the different qualities of the brand's new foundation, in four Instagrammable rooms. From 21-22 June, get inspired by all things pink, including the world's first Benefit Supermarket.EEK! FYI - the mirror ball room is not to be missed...
Enjoy Japanese-style tapas at Robata
If you're a fan of Japanese food, you don't want to miss Robata. The newly opened Soho eatery specialises in robata grilled charcoal cooking and one dish to look out for on the menu is the Hay Flamed Beef Fillet. Served on a raised stone platter and grill, the delicately sliced cuts of meat have that gorgeous smoky flavour. Cooked medium to perfection, it's good enough to have on its own but you'll be tempted by the three sauces on offer – yakiniku, chimichurri and chilli oil. The concept is sharing dishes at Robata, and servers recommend four to five small plates between two, plus two large plates. The miso aubergine smothered in red chilli is another delight, as are the fried chicken bao buns. Made with sweet sticky spicy glaze and served with kimchi and picked daikon, these showstoppers are a mess to eat but are sinfully fantastic. There are also a range of skewers, with the hand dived scallops proving the most delectable, plus every kind of sushi and sashimi you could want. For dessert, you can't go wrong with the deconstructed Oreo cheesecake that comes with a dollop of matcha ice cream; it's a true winner. But if you're a fan of mochi, you have to try mochi ice ceam – small scoops of yuzu, matcha and vanilla ice cream enveloped in a layer of the sticky rice dumpling. It's really won a place in our hearts.
Sing-a-long around the piano
SingEasy is a small, intimate dining space located within London's West End Piano Works venue - and it's an experience that is out of this world. With an eclectic audience of all demographics, the one thing everyone in this sing-a-long dining venue have in common is that they really love music. And it makes for an incredible night out! Put in your requests and one of the gifted pianists will deliver - whether it's a West End classic, an Elton John toe-tapper, a full on ballad or something more Rock 'n' Roll, nothing is off limits. And when your friendly servers reveal their other - incredibly talented - singing sides, you'll be left in awe. Join in, sit back and listen, dance, clap - anything goes. A great venue for a special occasion but also a really great impromptu night out. Book ahead to grab a table for the night.
Get into the disco spirit
Roller Disco, London's favourite nightclub on wheels, is re-opening in Tottenham! After 4 years being closed, the London institution, Roller Nation, re-opened a permanent site in January and now that they have found their feet they will be throwing an all-day housewarming 'Skate the Decades' this weekend - what's not to love?
Visit London's first ever mixed reality bar
Who wants to go to a regular bar when you can go to the capital's first ever mixed reality bar? At Rekorder-land, located on the Southbank, visitors are invited to step into a world where the lines between reality and virtuality are blurred. Fruits and flavours will come to life and the sun will hang high in the sky. The installation takes three people at a time, so make sure your book your slot in advance on Rekorderlig.seetickets.com. While you wait, hang out at the Rekorderlig bar, which is serving all kinds of fruity cider, from grapefruit and rosemary to mango and raspberry. Go on, branch out from your strawberry and lime order!
Have lunch overlooking Clapham Old Town
Trinity in Clapham has just launched its new lunch menu on the first floor of the restaurant, aptly called Upstairs. From Wednesdays to Saturdays, Upstairs is literally throwing open its windows so that visitors can have a semi-alfresco, sun-drenched dining experience. Overlooking Clapham Old Town, the eatery serves a light lunch menu of sharing plates, plenty of which are based on the regular Upstairs dining menu. We recommend the hand cut strozzapretti pasta, cooked al dente and peppered with chunky pieces of flavoursome ox cheek, as well as the new season asparagus bathed in buttermilk beurre blanc (mouthwatering!). The crispy pig's ears were a real delight, paired perfectly with apple sauce, while the focaccia with fig leaf oil, simple as it sounds, is extra moreish. Make sure you leave space for dessert because the Yesterday's salt caramel custard tart is absolutely divine and worth making a trip to the restaurant just for that. With its modern, chic and bright dining room plus relaxed atmosphere, Upstairs should be added to your bucket list pronto.
Celebrate 100 years of Negroni
To mark 100 years of popular Italian cocktail Negroni, celebrations are taking place around the UK – aptly named N100. These include the Oriole N100 Club Night on Saturday 22 June, where drinks are served up at Oriole's Negroni 100 Club. Going onto next week, other events are being held at East London hub Jealous Prints, where on Tuesday 25 June, you can go and create your very own personalised Negroni and Negroni artwork. On Thursday 27 June, meanwhile, Caollooh Cally in Shoreditch is showcasing the global history of the Negroni.
See here for more information on the Negroni Week parties
Enjoy a meal to remember in the heart of London
If you are planning to go out for dinner over the weekend, check out STK London for an unforgettable dining experience. The American steakhouse has an impressive menu, with plates ranging from gin and tonic marinated salmon, to a Vegetarian friendly watermelon and feta salad. Make sure you try out the sides too – we highly recommend the parmesan truffled chips and the mac and cheese. Cocktails are aplenty, while deserts are a must. The vanilla and caramel pecan ice cream, complete with a salted caramel brownie and marshmallow and candy floss will leave you feeling full – but it's worth it, promise!
In preparation for next weekend:
Enjoy some swiss cuisine
Delve into some swiss cuisine during the launch weekend of London’s first modern Swiss-inspired restaurant from 28th-30th June. Be one of the first to experience the new restaurant in Soho with its exclusive soft launch offer of 50% off food, lunch and dinner, from 28th – 30th June (inclusive), before it officialy opens in July. The menu will be based around sharing and prepared in an open theatre-style kitchen by Head Chef Aarik Persaud. Expect small plates such as dry-aged steak tartare with beetroot and yoghurt dressing and lobster tart with roasted fennel - and for half the price!
Book in advance to secure your place.
Visit JD Malat Gallery
JD Malat is in the heart of Mayfair, so if you’re planning a trip to Regent Street, then you /have/ to stop by the gallery to see Andy Moses’ exhibition ‘Echoes of Light’. Andy’s collection features a selection of concave paintings and coincides with the gallery’s 1st anniversary, so even more reason to visit! Commenting on his work Andy says; “My quest is to create the sensation of light that appears to be emanating from the surface of the painting rather than being reflected off of it. I use a variety of pearlescent pigments that appear to shift in hue and vibrancy as the viewer moves around the painting.”
Ends Saturday 20th July
Try a cocktail with a conscience
Patrón tequila is committed to sustainability, and last Earth Day they launched Cocktails with a Conscience to inspire drinkers to think more carefully about the environmental impact of their drink. At Eve bar in Covent Garden, you can try the ‘Adam’s Apple’ cocktail which is made from the leftovers from the pastry sectional of the venue. It includes apple infused Patron tequila, Cherry Bark infused aperitif wine, caraway, apple oleo saccharum, and is garnished with seasonal flowers. Cheers to that…