The Handbook
The Handbook

Restaurants, bars and alfresco venues have now reopened and we couldn’t be more excited! If you haven’t booked yourself a nail appointment, restaurant date or cocktails by the river, we have you covered with some last minute activities you can still book in for or enjoy at home. 

From Mexican pop-ups to alfresco theatre performances, here’s what to do this weekend…

Uncover a new film favourite with the Cinema Made in Italy virtual festival 

One for the film vultures, Cinema Made in Italy returns with an all new digital edition celebrating the best of Italian cinema. Partnering with MUBI, the fourteen-day event will be hosted on the popular indie streaming platform and will bring a diverse mix of some of the best Italian productions in recent years. 

Fall in love with a new film favourite, from Claudio Noce’s Padrenostro, based loosely on his childhood and follows a ten-year-old boy with a vivid imagination as he witnesses an attack on his father by a terrorist group, to Daniele Luchetti’s The Ties (Lacci), which follows the breakdown of a middle-class couple’s marriage as they devise ways to navigate their separation, while looking back on their ties that bind them together. 

Filmmaker Q&A sessions will also take place, with a selection of directors and these will be available to view via the Italian Cultural Institute’s Vimeo channel.

PADRENOSTRO
Lacci by Daniele Luchetti

Running 16th – 29th April
Available via MUBI – new MUBI members can get 30 days free on mubi.com

Venture to your favourite alfresco dining spot

It’s officially the first weekend that restaurants, bars and venues can open up for outdoor dining and it’s going to be busy! If you’re hoping to head out to your favourite alfresco spot or you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of over 45 venues in London that boast breathtaking views over the city and provide the perfect spot to while away your weekend. 

Bookings for most of these will be necessary so reserve your spot sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. 

Get your live music fix at Seven Dials Unplugged

Fall back in love with the beauty of live music this weekend and head to Seven Dials to catch the first instalment of their Unplugged sessions. Back by popular demand, this weekend sees live acoustic performances take place across the seven famous streets. 

Running every Saturday until late June, it’s the perfect stop off while you roam the streets and catch up on all important shopping. 

This week’s line-up includes Momento at 45 Monmouth Street, Stone Jets at 4 Earlham Street and Cheriton at Neal’s Yard.

Running every Saturday from 17th April – 26th June, 2-7pm
More information at sevendials.co.uk

Restaurants all booked up? Order in dinner from this virtual Mexican pop-up

Can’t get a reservation at your favourite alfresco dining spot? Fear not because we’ve found the next best thing… This weekend sees virtual Mexican pop-up Casa Calavera, from the Hakkasan Group, join forces with Tom Booton, the Head Chef at The Grill at The Dorchester, for a month-long delivery series. 

Famed for his British cooking style and being the youngest ever head chef at The Grill at The Dorchester, Tom will combine his knowledge with the authentic flavours and methods that Casa Calavera has to offer. 

Available for delivery via Deliveroo, order in the Casa Gets Grilled taco. It’s a crispy taco shell that’s packed with spicy beef tartare, egg yolk and pickled radish. Fresh and delicious, it’s the perfect treat for those celebrating Cinco de Mayo next month too. 

Running 16th April – 17th May
Order via hakkasangroup.com

Book in for Thomas Straker’s foodie pop-up at Carousel 

Renowned for its regular rotating series of foodie pop-ups by some of the world’s greatest chefs, Carousel has reopened for business, bringing with it a month-long pop-up from Thomas Straker. 

Previously at Elystan Street and Casa Cruz, as well as being a contributing chef at MOB Kitchen, Thomas has been busy working with the Carousel team throughout the last lockdown, providing Londoners with an exciting new takeout experience. This weekend sees it come to life with a month-long pop-up on Carousel’s outdoor terrace. 

Running Thursday to Sunday from 15th April, the pop-up will see a weekly changing menu comprising fresh flavours and indulgent ingredients. This week’s begins with freshly baked focaccia, winter tomatoes with burrata and olive oil; gnocco fritto with guanciale; crab tagliolini with chilli, garlic, parsley and Amalfi lemon or tagliolini with artichokes, lemon, butter and parmesan for the veggies. For pud, choose from affogato and tiramisu.

Running Thursday – Sunday from 15th April to 16th May
71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 8AB
Book your spot at carousel-london.com

Bring the theatre experience to you with these outdoor performances 

Miss heading out to the theatre? Meet Street Theatre, the new performing arts offering from some of London’s most talented performers directly to your doorstep. 

Born out of the pandemic, Street Theatre aims to support the performing arts community while theatres and venues remain closed. From classical music to dance, theatrical lovers can book a range of performances that’ll see them live out their West End dreams at home. 

Book a performance now and be wowed by some of the biggest names in the West End, including Georgina Castle (Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing), Peter Edge (La Boheme) and Araminta Wraith (Scottish Ballet, Cinderella).

More information at streettheatre.co.uk 

Enjoy a cocktail at Fulham Beach Club 

Life’s a beach… Especially if you live in Fulham. Fulham’s famed urban beach has reemerged for the summer season, bringing with it sandy shacks, cosy sofas, pergola tables and beach bubbles. 

Open for business this week, the Fulham Beach Club will also boast bottomless brunch, drag bingo and themed parties all summer long. Grab yourself a fruity cocktail and pretend you’re basking under the Spanish sun as you reunite with friends and loved ones.

Open from 12th April
Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY
Book via neverlandlondon.com

Get your brunch on at one of these restaurants 

Brunch just got a whole new makeover… Let’s face it, we’ve spent the last few months itching to get back to the life of weekend brunching and the time has finally arrived! 

From boozy brunches to riverside views, eggy baps to rooftop skylines, check out our guide to the best alfresco brunching spots in London.

Visit your favourite creatures at ZSL London Zoo 

ZSL London Zoo has reopened! Fun for all of the family, why not book in for a visit and meet some of the fluffiest, friendliest and adorable creatures. 

Catch all of your furry friends as they roam about the zoo, from the penguins through to the bleating goats.

Open from 12th April
Book via zsl.org

Check out Channel 4’s new comedy series, Frank of Ireland

For those on the search for a light-hearted, doesn’t take itself too seriously series, look to Frank of Ireland, the brand new Channel 4 comedy starring the Gleeson twins. 

The series follows Frank (Brian Gleeson), a 32-year-old layabout who still lives at home with his ma and wants to reinvent himself and take back control after his mum tells him he must move out. His best friend, Doofus (Domhnall Gleeson), sets out to help him on his journey.

Utterly wild, childish and funny, expect to feel a little better about your life after watching the outlandish problems Frank has to face…

Release Date: Friday 16th April
Stream it on Amazon Prime

Listen to our album of the week, London Grammar – Californian Soil

English pop icons, London Grammar are set to return to the social limelight with the release of their third album, Californian Soil. 

Made up of vocalist Hannah Reid and multi-instrumentalists Dan Rothman and Dominic Major, the album has already been praised as a new beginning for the band. Having dealt with pressures thrusted upon her in the already male-dominated arena, Reid’s songwriting returns with vengeance, bringing with it honest lyrics that her voice is able to propel beautifully.

Release Date: Friday 16th April
Listen on Spotify

Check out our book of the week, How To Betray Your Country – James Wolff

 

Published today, How To Betray Your Country is the second novel from author James Wolff, following his genuinely thrilling debut Beside The Syrian Sea.
Described by historian Simon Sebag Montefiore as ‘A new maestro’, Wolff imagines a swirling world of spies and espionage, set in the east-meets-west crucible of Istanbul.

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