The weekend upon us and oh how we’ve missed it, but now it is back and with it, it brings rugby, cabaret, sandwich festivals, unique cocktails and BBQ pop-ups. Weekends, they sure are good to us.
What: National Vegetarian Week
Why: Roast; it might not be known for it’s vegetarian dishes – it’s normally all about the meat. That said, this week is National Vegetarian Week, so they are branching into new territory with the launch of new vegetarian dishes. Dishes include a quinoa and beetroot burger with pickled carrot chutney, avocado, tahini dressing and a charcoal bun; spinach, pine nut and Cheddar Scotch egg; charred cauliflower steak with quinoa, prunes, cashew nuts and smoked garlic and onion sauce and finally, Cheltenham beetroot tartare with fried pickle salad, spiced beetroot chutney and toasted rye bread. Not a mushroom risotto or goats’ cheese tart in sight.
Where: The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL
What: Your Summer Spot Launches
Why: Jimmy’s BBQ Club returns once again, but this time it’s riverside. A walk-up BBQ bar means you can saunter along the river, Aberdeen Angus steak burger in hand, but for the real experience you’ll want to head upstairs to the rooftop dining area. A 6-course tasting menu will be prepared for guests by their very own chef at a Big Green Egg grill. Dishes include a hand-dived Dorset scallop served with coal-baked cauliflower, hazelnut crumb and pickled red onion petals and build-your-own s’mores to toast over the fire pit as the sun goes down. A separate downstairs bar will be situated at the river’s edge, serving a selection of G&Ts, craft beers and ciders, meaning even if guests are not dining at The BBQ Club they can enjoy the sunset over the London skyline drink in hand.
Launches Saturday 20th May
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
What: All the Sandwiches
Why: We told you about it back in April, but this Saturday sees Sandwich Fest come to life. To round off sandwich week it’s a fitting celebration of the humble layers of bread we love so much. Expect chorizo rolls from Brindisa (we’ll class it as a sandwich for argument’s sake), toasties from Grill My Cheese and salted caramel ice cream sandwiches from Happy Endings (again – we’ll allow it). Contribute your expertise and take part in the ‘Best Sandwich’ judging process then reward yourself with cocktails and craft beer. It’s a tough life.
Saturday 20th May
Where: SPACE Gallery Courtyard, 129-131 Mare St, Hackney, E8 3RH
What: Vegetarian Feast
Why: Angela Hartnett’s Merchant’s Tavern is celebrating Vegetarian Week with a special, herbivore-friendly menu to be served at the restaurant’s Kitchen Counter, overlooking the kitchen. Vegetarian Week comes to an end on Sunday and the feast will see seasonal veggies take centre stage in either a 5 or 7-course tasting menu. Dishes include salt baked lightly-smoked celeriac with hazelnut pesto, mustard greens and raisin puree.
Available until Sunday
Where: 36 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PG
What: Bank Holiday Warm-Up
Why: Boat party meets summer festival at Hackney Wick canal this Saturday. A day and night party will start with CRATE beers, a rooftop BBQ and DJs on the 70-person ship whilst, by night, the fun will move indoors to Mick’s Garage. The warehouse will be transformed into a Mayan jungle and the party will continue right through until 2.30am.
Saturday 20th May
Where: Mick's Garage, Queens Yard, Hackney, E9 5EN
Website: Get Tickets Here
What: Cultural Festival and Late Night Party
Why: Over in Shoreditch, Old Truman Brewery’s Juju’s Bar and Stage have been hosting a whole month of cultural events. This weekend will see the Open Senses Festival – a late night party which is part of the wider Open Senses weekend, taking place across the capital. Look out for workshops, talks, exhibitions and art installations across London with a focus on multi-sensory experiences. Mysterious…
Saturday 20th May
Where: Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 6QR
Website: More Info Here
What: Feast of Rugby
Why: The HSBC World Rugby Seven Series has undergone a bit of a transformation recently, now it’s all about rugby, street food and live music and less about the fancy dress and day time drinking. This year Neil Rankin is the face of ‘Feast of Rugby’ so alongside the fast- paced rugby games you’ll be able to try out different street food, which celebrates the gastronomy of the competing nations. At least if it all goes wrong and England doesn’t win we can drown our sorrows in delicious food….
Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st May
Image: RFU Collection via Getty Images.
Where: Twickenham Stadium, Whitton Road, Twickenham TW2 7BA
What: Celebrating Sicily
Why: Spitalfields will be coming over all Mediterranean with a celebration of Sicily. SicilyFEST will bring together the best food (think pasta, beer, wine, cheese, arancini, fish and cannoli); art and photography and music and peforming arts. There’ll be performances from the Sicilian Marionettes and Puppets Theatre of Opera dei Pupi (the Puppet Opera), the chance to buy terracotta and ceramic arts and of course plenty to eat.
Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st May
Where: Spitalfields E1
What: The Cocktails Your Need to Try
Why: This week saw the launch of The Cocktail Trading Company’s new menu and now that it is the weekend it is high time you go and try them. Created by owners and award-winning bartenders, Any Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball, the cocktails have been created as a compendium of stories and in their classic style are served in bespoke vessels. For example, Blue Moon, made from Shitake Bols Genever, sharp green tea, celery and basil sherbet and violette is served in a blue hot air balloon and topped with an edible cloud or go for the Jack Rose – the drink of fairy tales, served in a hollow apple on a tree stump. Not just any ordinary cocktails are they?
Where: 68 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6GQ
What: An Urban Fete
Why: For the third year in the row, Urban Village Fete is returning to Greenwich Peninsula for a day of street food, art and design, designer marketplaces, unique pop-ups and a series of talks hosted by BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms. Entertainment will come from British DJ, Gilles Peterson as well as interactive workshops and walkabout performers. Food comes from the likes of Van Dough, The Cheese Truck, Le Swine and Craft London and you can buy clothes, jewellery and homewares from Issay Issay, StolenForm, Fetch & Follow and Earl of East London. You won’t find lucky dip, coconut shys and bouncy castles – but you know, we’re alright with that.
Sunday 21st May
Where: Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10
What: Puveyors of Dark and Daring Cabaret
Why: The Black Cat Cabaret is back with a new season at Underbelly Festival starting this Friday. Leave London behind and enter the decadent world of vintage Monmartre, for a show like no other. Inspired by the heyday of Parisian cabaret culture, the performance sees high-kicking show girls, acrobats, comic street singers, daredevil aerialists and fire-breathing sirens, all bound together with a giddy abandonment. You’ll leave on a high and wondering how long it would take you to learn acrobatics if you left your job tomorrow.
Starts Friday 20th May
Where: Underbelly Festival, Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX