It’s been a while since I wrote a weekend guide, normally Lottie does them but she’s away camping this week. I only break the fourth wall, Fleabag style, to tell you this because the last time I was on weekend duty was a few months back and every event was virtual and the guide was packed with delivery boxes and takeaways. Because there wasn’t anything else. How much has changed!

This listicle has all the feels of a pre-lockdown ‘what to do this weekend’. You can go to a bar and watch the football, you can peruse an art fair and get insulted at a drag brunch. You can even enjoy live music once again. We’re still three weeks from the end of restrictions, but things do feel like they’re getting back to normal.

So here are some normal ideas for you…

Celebrate The US (With American Whiskey)

This weekend marks American Independence Day. Which is slightly awks this side of the Atlantic… but not when there’s whiskey involved!

And thanks to a campaign by the venerable folks at the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. to showcase the diversity and versatility of American Whiskey here in London a number of bars have collaborated to create ‘Sip America’.

Enjoy cocktails made with American Whiskeys from across the States, including bars Satan’s Whiskers, Fitz’s, Crossroads and Little Mercies and featuring whiskeys from FEW Spirit, James E. Pepper, Westward and Jack Daniel’s.

Attend (Not) Another Drag Brunch

Drag brunches are all the rage right now, so The Book Club had a sit down to figure out how they could do something a bit different. And came up with.. Not Another Drag Brunch.

Which, it would appear, is another drag brunch. Which is fine by us, because with a three word description of ‘fierce, fun and fabulous’ and a ‘dress to kill’ dress code, we’re already looking for the dotted line to sign.

Tickets for the brunch, which launches this weekend, include a welcome cocktail followed by bottomless Prosecco or mimosas, along with a pizza rated lofty fifth best in London by dining experts, Elle Magazine. Expect bingo, outrageous games, competitions, prizes and great music.

Where: The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard Street, Shoreditch EC2A 4RH
Website: www.wearetbc.com

Watch Wimbledon (somewhere that isn’t Wimbledon)

With England’s historically unlikely continuation in the Euros (for now), beyond the Germany match, the nation has had to cancel the expected switch of our 100% attention to the tennis to keep an eye on both disciplines.

Still, as the tennis continues we’ll be increasingly drawn to its drama, beauty and the perfect excuse it provides to down glass after glass of Pimm’s.

Here are our picks for where you should head to do just that…

Or the football instead, if that’s what you’re into…

Shhh, don’t tell anyone but almost all the places on the Wimbledon list are also showing the football! Perhaps with the exception of Bluebird. So have a scan through those if you’re looking for places to watch the big matches.

Or we also have a separate footy list, recently updated (a bit) which is pretty handy too…

Experience live music again…

Technically this isn’t a weekend thing, given it’s on tonight. But the PR lady was so friendly I promised I’d include it anyway! Also, as she pointed out, ‘Thursday is the new weekend, really, isn’t it?’ Sadly my employment contract is very clear that it isn’t.

But if you’ve got the flexibility to nurse a Friday hangover then head to Soho’s 100 Wardour Street and experience the ‘sound of summer’, a series of Thursday gigs featuring a wave of top UK artists.

Tonight Babe Sila will be taking to the stage and, let’s face it, when was the last time you actually got to enjoy live music?

Where: 100 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 0TN
Website: www.100wardourst.com

Watch Aisling Bea’s live comedy

Irish comedian Aisling Bea (plus some friends) will be walking ‘the boards’ again this weekend in yet another sign that things are heading normal-wards. Lockdown has been incredibly tough on comedians, many of whom found their only source of income completely frozen for well over a year.

Although, it must be said, possibly not Aisling Bea or most of the comedians you’ve actually heard of because they were in high demand on the lucrative TV circuit.

Her ‘plus some friends’ are telly buddie Nish Kumar and Fatiha El-Ghorri.

The outdoor event (see, we’re not there yet) will take place at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this Sunday and some of the profits will go to Refuge Charity, a charity that provides specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

When: Sunday 4th July
Where:
 Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU
Website: www.openairtheatre.com

Go and visit a lion at Zoo Lates

Zoo Lates is back! Or, rather, it isn’t because ZSL London Zoo have rebranded the incredibly popular ‘Zoo Lates’ as the 75% less catchy ‘Twilight Tickets’.

The child-free evenings start this weekend and run through selected nights throughout July between 6pm and 10pm.

The zoo’s 19,000 species will be on view and it’s also noteworthy that the absence of kids means there’s booze too!

Where: Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
Website: www.zsl.org

Buy some art (on the cheap)

Investing in art is an expensive and fraught business, you probably don’t have the funds or the know-how to do it well and in any event a shopping trip to the Affordable Art Fair (clue most definitely not in the name if you were hoping to pay in coins) will set you back many thousands.

At The Other Art Fair, though, runs this weekend and their artists are all currently unrepresented by galleries. However, because the fair is sponsored by the Saatchi Gallery you can at least know that the art’s kosher.

And who knows, perhaps you’ll discover the next Banksy?

Where: West Handyside Canopy, 1 Wharf Road, King’s Cross, N1C 4BZ
Website: www.theotherartfair.com

Order in a football appropriate grazing platter…

The Venn between top-flight football, food art and Babybel (yes, the lunchbox cheese people) is incredibly narrow, but we think we’ve found it.

StargrazingCo make artistic foodie platters for all occasions, and their Euros effort is a thing of beauty and Babybels.

Created by caterer to the stars India Timmis (her clients include Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards and footballers Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Phil Jones), the platters are the perfect way to graze during England matches, like the one this weekend where the lions play Ukraine.


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