Hooray for the weekend! In need of something fun to do in the city? We've rounded up some of the best events to check out and places to drink and dine in London, with a big focus on afternoon tea. It is Afternoon Tea Week after all! Read on for inspiration.
Have a rock 'n' roll time at The Gore hotel
It's one of our favourite weeks of the year – Afternoon Tea Week! But if you're after a more funky treat, you have to head down to The Gore hotel in South Kensington. The boutique hotel has teamed up with luxury event planners La Fête to create an epic rock 'n' roll tea, in homage to musicians including The Rolling Stones, who picked the hotel for the launch party of their Beggars Banquet album. The tea is a real feast for the eyes and the smallest of details have been thought of; the food is served on a record disc, there are chocolate guitars aplenty and a mini drum kit completes the fantastic display. Expect a chipolata hot dog, 'Popping Stones' paprika popcorn, sultana and plain scones, and desserts including 'Whisky A Go Go,' a mini madeleine with a whiskey ganache and chocolate heart, and 'Sweet Choux' O' Mine', a choux pastry filled with a dulcey raspberry cream and topped with a chocolate guitarist.
Pre-Proms tea with limited-edition cocktails
Looking for a pre-Proms pit stop? Or just feeling peckish mid-afternoon after a Kensington shopping spree? Then combine the thrills of dining and fashion with a visit to The Ivy Kensington Brasserie who are hosting a limited edition collaboration with the fashion brand Rixo to celebrate summer, and The Proms at the nearby Royal Albert Hall. The stunning collab features an eye-catching (and Insta-perfect) floral installation and a couple of delicious (and equally visually appealing) cocktails.
The floral installation is peppered with feathers and glitter and truly has to be seen to be believed. Pop in for bespoke cocktail - both the smooth Mint Cream or the fruity Psychedelic Butterfly are perfect precursors to a chilled summer evening on the terrace. You can tuck into the pre-Proms set menu between 11.30am and 630pm - a snip at £24. Or stop by for a post-Proms drink.
Enjoy a classic afternoon tea
You can never go wrong with a visit to The Delaunay, especially if you're after a classic afternoon tea. Served every day of the week (and not just during Afternoon Tea Week!), the restaurant offers a cream tea, a Viennese afternoon tea or the whole works, a champagne afternoon tea. The traditional Viennese tea starts with an assortment of sandwiches and poppy seed Gugelhupf (a yeast-based Bundt cake) with apricot jam and whipped cream; traditional fruit scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream are also available if you prefer. To finish, tuck into some delectable Viennese cakes and more tea or coffee. The champagne option comes with a glass of Pommery Brut Royal NV – cheers to that!
Find your new fragrance
Take a trip to the Jo Loves boutique on 42 Elizabeth Street for a complimentary experience like you've never had before! Jo Loves is proud to present their first-ever Fragrance Brasserie Bar, so call ahead and get your seat booked for a Fragrance Tapas experience. Spoiler alert: It's an extravagant and scent-ual experience. While perched at the Fragrance Brasserie Bar you will be treated to sampling multiple different products in ideal portions. First, you share with the Jo Loves fragrance expert your favourite types of scents, they then use these as a base to create your personal plate of scented tapas. Part of the experience is watching as your choice of the Jo Loves Bath Cologne is warmed in a tagine before being released via a cloud of scented steam. Then, your chosen Jo Malone Cleanser is shaken over ice and strained into a glass - like a cocktail - before finally, your choice of the Jo Loves lotion is whipped into a soft foam and swept gently onto skin with a brush, leaving you smelling divine. It's the perfect day out! And, before you leave don't forget to check out the latest limited-edition Friendship candle created by Jo Loves x HELLO! It's a treat for the senses, with three powerful floral notes (rich, creamy gardenia; light, fresh orange blossom; and the heavier tuberose) representing the bonds of friendship, plus you can personalise it making it the ideal gift for a loved one.
Indulge your sweet tooth at London Dessert Festival
If dessert is your favourite part of any meal, rejoice! There's a whole festival dedicated to those with a sweet tooth, the London Dessert Festival, which is being held on Saturday and Sunday at The Truman Brewery in Spitalfields. There will be four immersive zones (we love the sound of that!) – chocolate, patisserie, frozen treats and a vegan zone, all showcasing some of the best dessert brands. There'll be samples to taste, workshops to take part in and live demos to watch. A doughnut wall, a giant melting chocolate wall and nitrogen ice cream with a dedicated topping station are just some of the spectacles to look out for.
Try one of Meghan Markle's favourite dishes
Ever since she stated in her now defunct blog The Tig that she loves to cook chicken adobo on Sundays, we've been hunting around London for a Filipino restaurant that serves it. Cue: Romulo Café. Originally based in Manila, the Philippines, the restaurant opened its first UK outpost in west London, with a focus on traditional Filipino food but with a modern twist. A must-try dish is of course Meghan's favourite, chicken adobo – braised tender pieces of chicken and pork belly marinated in soy sauce, garlic and vinegar and served with sweet potato mash. Another classic is the crispy pata – sinfully delicious chunks of boneless crispy pork and crackling, that can be dipped into a tomato shrimp sauce and kalamansi seasoned soy sauce. If you want something hot and sizzling, order the chicken inasal sisig – diced chicken thighs swimming in ginger, chilli, garlic and lemongrass that's served on a hot plate. The menu is heavy on meat, especially pork, but make sure you try the full-of-flavour grilled aubergine, which is sautéed in soy sauce and vinegar. Add rice to the sauce and you have a winner. There are also plenty of traditional, Filipino desserts including the ube cheesecake (that's purple yam cheesecake) and the banana split Filipino style made with plantains, but we can't recommend enough the mango float. Layers of Graham crackers and fresh mango served one on top of the other, with a dollop of mango ice cream on the side – it's paradise for sugar lovers.
Decadent cocktails with a menu to match at Blakes
For something special this weekend, head over to luxury hotel Blakes – just a stone's throw away from Kensington Palace. There, you will be able to indulge in their seasonal cocktail menu in partnership with Monkey 47 gin. Three signature cocktails are available, which have been paired with a three-course dinner menu inspired by its lavender and honey flavours -Blakes even keeps its own bees and a lavender field across the iconic black façade of the hotel. Cocktails include the must-try Blakes Bees, which features Monkey 47 gin, homemade lavender syrup and lemon juice, while the capsule menu features a beetroot cured salmon, honey glazed duck breast and a blueberry and lavender pannacotta. Be sure to go with an empty stomach and your phone on full-charge for taking Instagram-friendly photos.
Crazy Pizza for a unique dining experience
If you are looking for pizza but want something a little bit more special, why not try Crazy Pizza - the new London hotspot owned by none other than former Formula One boss Flavio Briatore. The restaurant features an impressive menu of 'crazy pizzas' – made without yeast to maximise the size and flavour. Two award-winning Italian chefs are also on hand creating specially-made mozzarella – which even has its own section on the menu. Signature pizzas include the Tartufo - topped with homemade mozzarella, fresh truffle and extra virgin oil, while classics include the four-cheese Formaggi, and the vegetarian-friendly Rustica – with peppers, courgette and aubergine. Make sure you leave room for dessert, the tiramisu is not to be missed.
Discover East London's coolest day-to-night venue
East London's newest spot 640East has just launched their new Bubbles menu which is set to get everyone into the Ab Fab spirit. From fresh fizz to refreshing sparkling rose, 640East presents a Bubbles menu that showcases the very best bubbly from around the world supplied by The Modest Merchant.The excitement doesn't just end with the bubbles menu, The Arches will also be bringing a series of events this fall including a supper club from Samambaia Project x The Modest Merchant collaborative project on 29th August 2019. This is an event not to be missed!
Dive into a beautifully cooked seasonal dish
A warm and inviting place to relax, drink and dine, The Foley is a traditional pub and restaurant serving high quality British dishes. From 28-day aged 6oz sirloin steak, traditional chicken, ham and leek pie and homemade sticky toffee pudding, the menu boasts a wide range of delicious options for even the fussiest of eaters. For those who would rather navigate their way home after a fantastic night sleep, the hotel is currently running a summer offer that includes a night stay, two-course meal and breakfast – what more could you want!
Feast on luxury house-smoked meats
The Flintgate champions an outstanding menu that runs the gamut from refined grills through to house-smoked meats, seafood, sharing boards and small plates. Enjoy their iconic Big Smoke burger, featuring a beef patty topped with smoked brisket, Swiss cheese and pickles on their all-weather terrace. The Flintgate is as passionate about beer as it is its food with their beers all sourced from small batch, independent producers and from the pub’s Big Smoke Brew Co. brewery - there certainly is something for everyone!
Al fresco dining on a beautiful terrace
If you fancy going a little further afield, nestled in the quaint village of Godstone Green is The White Hart, home to a stunning terrace that is ideal for lazy weekends in the sun. A tranquil spot for al fresco dining and drinking on balmy summer evenings, cosy up next to the roaring open fire pit whilst tucking into a wood-fired pizza. But make sure you leave enough room to try their upside-down baked vanilla cheesecake, laced with a ginger and honeycomb crumb!
Visit a ‘Portal To The Peculiar’
If your life feels a little monotonous (surely anybody with a morning commute can relate!), then this is one for YOU. Hendrick’s has created an “immersive experience to break up the drab daily grind, taking people beyond the obvious by inspiring moments of delightful peculiarity”. peculiarity. In a nod to Hendrick’s Master Distiller, Ms Lesley Gracie herself, the unassuming doorway of Lesley’s Launderette in London’s Shoreditch will take you on a journey through the senses. You can sample their new rose and cucumber gin for free and it’s open all weekend.
Book on eventbrite.
Celebrate 170 years of Cointreau with a Slushie at Mr Foggs
This summer, the bar team at Mr Fogg’s Tavern in Covent Garden has partnered with Cointreau to launch an eye-catching floral installation and summer slushie cocktail menu, available until the end of September. The Cointreau Row Row Your Boat is a made up of Cointreau (obviously!), Cabrito Blanco Tequila, Bobb’s Abbots Bitters, sugar and lime juice - erm, /yum/. And of course, grab your Instagram picture outside - their striking door garland is comprised of vivid sunflowers, orange and red roses, and intertwined with foliage. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for sunshine!
Grab your tickets for Holly Stars’ show next week
Love drag? You’ll LOVE Holly Stars, and her ‘Time Of The Month’ show will definitely cheer up your Monday. This month, the lineup is star-studded with three of the cabaret scene’s favourite queer comedy performers: the hilarious, and very serious poet, Barbara Brownskirt is returning to share her “womb words”, high-energy performer extraordinaire, Crystal Lubrikunt will be unleashing her talent on-stage, and Cynthia Seaward will definitely blow you away.
8:30pm Monday 19th August, Phoenix Arts Club