Love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day falling on a rather uninspiring Tuesday evening you may be wanting to make the most of romantic dinners for two this weekend instead – or perhaps a ‘love sucks’ brunch party sounds more up your street? Elsewhere you’ll find a floral pop-up in Covent Garden, a huge new exhibition at the Tate and of course the obligatory new brunches. Get planning; the weekend is in sight and we can’t wait.
What: The Must-See Exhibition
Why: This weekend sees the opening of one of Tate Britain’s biggest ever exhibitions. The David Hockney retrospective is set to be the most comprehensive exhibition to date, featuring work from six decades, including his iconic swimming pool series. The exhibition is on until the end of May but get yourself along early to get a dose of colour or visit any Friday when it stays open till 10pm.
Launches Thursday 9th February
Where: Millbank, Pimlico, SW1P 4RG
What: Californian Brunch
Why: Yes, the weather this weekend is less than balmy. We currently looking at around three degrees centigrade. Fun. You know what you can do though, imagine you’re in warmer climates by going to Notting Hill’s, Californian restaurant Pomona’s for their weekend brunch which is launching this weekend. Dishes include a softshell crab and bacon burger; buttermilk waffles with Ginger Pig bacon slab and whiskey maple syrup and a Ginger Pig ribeye steak, with jalapeño hash browns and a fried egg. For those feeling virtuous there are house-pressed juices including the Party Chard – chard, apple, peach and strawberry for everyone else there are Bloody Marys, Bellinis and alcoholic shakes.
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th and then every weekend onwards
Where: 47 Hereford Road, Notting Hill, W2 5AH
What: Festival of Flowers
Why: Kew Gardens has done it again. Following on from its winter light festival, the annual orchid festival is back, this year celebrating the vibrancy of India’s culture and horticulture – think a giant Indian flag created from cut flowers and Indian-inspired dishes in the Orangery restaurant. If work gets in the way and weekends are proving busy, you’ll be pleased to hear that Orchid Lates launch on Thursday 9th February so the festival will be open till 9.30pm complete with nature yoga classes, natural ingredient sessions and complimentary henna for ticket holders. Over 18s only.
Orchid Lates 2017, Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-9.30pm
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE
What: Cult Restaurant Now Open at the Weekend
Why: Consistently included in roundups of London’s top restaurants, Rochelle Canteen is almost faultless. An ever-changing menu, unique location (an old school bike shed) and BYOB policy, it’s understated and just pretty great. All this and it is only open in the daytime, and closed at weekends so work tends to get in the way. Until now. Opening this weekend for the first time, there’s now no excuse to see what all the fuss is about.
Open Thursday-Saturday 6-10pm, Sunday 9am-4.30pm
Where: Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, E2 7ES
What: Say it With Flowers
Why: Covent Garden is feeling the love this weekend. A floral pop-up will get us in the mood for Spring with London florist Petal to the Metal selling stunning blooms and giving lucky ladies named Rose a free…rose. Neighbouring shops are sharing the love too – think bespoke engraving and hand massages at Jo Malone and makeup tutorials at NARS on King Street to get you date ready. Visit on Tuesday for a flower crown workshop.
Saturday 11th-Tuesday 14th February
Where: Covent Garden, WC2E
What: Anti-Valentine's Brunch Party
Why: Sunday is the new Friday… at least at STK London it is. Their popular brunch party is back for a Valentine’s edition but there is a twist – the theme is ‘Love Sucks’. Think steak, egg and chips or poached egg and avocado set to a soundtrack of anti-Valentine’s music from DJ Jamie Lisa, saxophonist Chris Sharp and dance troupe The Girly Show. Brunch has never been so fierce!
Sunday 12th February, 2 sittings: 1-3pm, 3-7pm
Where: ME London, 336-337 The Strand, London WC2R 1HA
What: Celebrate Your Love the Cuban Way
Why: Can’t wait till Valentine’s Day to have a top meal out? You don’t have to. Asia de Cuba at St Martins Lane is offering a 5-course Cuban menu so you can spice things up a bit with salmon ceviche, fire and ice shrimp and black bean and plantain empanadas. Mains are designed to share; think chilli scallops with black rice and grilled flank steak with miso ginger butter. Pud is the way to our hearts so seal the deal with Mexican doughnuts drizzled in caramel or Thai chilli chocolate.
Friday 10th February until Tuesday 14th February, 5-11pm
Where: 45 St. Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
What: Bingo Gets Rebellious
Why: This is bingo but not like you know it. It’s got rebel in the name so what do you expect? If you want the thrill of two fat ladies and doctor’s orders then head over to Camden as Rebel Bingo returns. Expect a party.
Where: 180 Arlington Rd, Camden Town, NW1 7HL
What: Morning Kebabs
Why: Bababoom in Clapham have just launched their new brunch which includes their Good Morning kebab – a far cry from the usual late night/early morning kebabs we have. It’s made from date-glazed bacon, harissa labneh and sumac fried eggs or if you want to keep it vegetarian: frilled Mastelo cheese, Za’atar tomato, chermoula, aubergine, fried eggs and avocado tahini. Sweet dishes include Baba’s eggy bread, a devilish Persian style eggy bread with Nutella, clotted cream and homemade honeycomb.
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th and then every weekend onwards.
Where: 30 Battersea Rise, Clapham, SW11 1EE
What: Champagne Cruising
Why: Go cruising this weekend… Champagne in hand tearing up the London canals…OK, so it’s not quite that raucous. But London Shell Co the floating restaurant are putting on cruises for Valentine’s Day where you get to have their five course menu (trust us it’s seriously good) starting with a Champagne reception.
Saturday 11th – Sunday 19th February.
Where: Sheldon Square, Little Venice, W2 6EP
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