Not sure what’s on in London this weekend? Whatever the weather, we’ve got you covered. From bottomless brunches and cocktails, to ice rinks, Christmas lights and markets, there’s something for everyone on our list of things to do in London this weekend!
From bottomless brunches to food festivals, here are the best ways to satisfy your stomach in London this weekend.
1. Feast on the flavours of New York at Sunday In Brooklyn
Fancy stuffing your face with the flavours of New York? Well, look no further than Sunday in Brooklyn. You have almost certainly seen it by now, as it has gone viral several times since it opened its doors in West London. It is brunch but with flair, taking inspiration from Sunday in Brooklyn’s original New York location. When you go, you have to get the pancakes – be warned, though, they are huge. They’re light and fluffy despite their behemoth appearance, and the hazelnut maple praline and brown butter that accompanies take them a level above the pancakes you’re used to. If you like Kinder Bueno, just trust us on this one – you’ll love the pancakes.
If you want to switch it up from brunch, there’s plenty on offer, and if you’re organised and get a group of you down, you can even try out one of their Christmas brunch or dinner menus to add a twist to your holiday celebrations.
2. Indulge in fancy comfort food at an affordable price
For all the chip-lovers out there, this one’s for you. Smith & Whistle, the 1920s-esque hotel cocktail bar tucked away beneath The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, has just launched a new comfort food menu. Taking England’s preferred side dish and making it the main event, this loaded fries menu offers indulgent toppings from Hanger steak, padron peppers and cheese to a medley of crab, shrimp and shellfish. Dishes range from £9–£14 , and there’s even recommended drinks pairings to add if you feel like making it boozy.
3. Enjoy a Mexican brunch close to Bond Street
With a striking terracotta pink facade just off Bond Street, Mexican restaurant Cavita welcomes diners on the weekend with a range of colourful dishes and cocktails for brunch. We enjoyed the smokey and moreish huevos rancheros (a deep fried tortilla, served with red and green salsa, a fried egg, and streaky bacon) and refreshingly sweet aguachile (king fish, salt, watermelon and kumquat) the most on our visit, but there are a breadth of Mexican style sharing plates on offer.
It is clear a lot of thought has gone into the presentation of both the drinks and dishes, and while the menu is limited, each dish has been perfected.
Bars & Nightlife
Whether you’re looking to let loose at a day party or dance all night, here are the best drinking and party spots to try this weekend.
4. Have a holly jolly cocktail or three at a hidden Waterloo bar
Hidden inside the huge Brewdog, Waterloo, you’ll find speakeasy cocktail bar Lost Property Office – and they’ve got something a little festive up their sleeve this season. Until January 6, the menu boasts a selection of seven Christmassy cocktails, designed to showcase the flavours associated with this time of year. Expect the likes of ‘Christmas Collins’, with mulberry and mulled distillates; ‘Mince Pie Old Fashioned’, which adds sparkle to the classic with mince pie and salted caramel flavours; and ‘Richard’s Chocolate Orange Negroni’ aka Christmas served in a glass and in a box…
5. Get grooving on a night that’ll take you to new heights
Going bouldering doesn’t usually fall under ‘bar and nightlife’; however, Substation in Brixton is turning that notion on its head. This Friday (December 9) and every second Friday of the month, they welcome a live DJ to bring cool vibes to the bouldering centre. At their Vibe and Climb sessions, you’ll take on their epic climbing wall, two LED training boards or the circuit board, which boasts 50+ moves and new routes each week, all to the soundtrack of hit tunes. After the session, you can enjoy a little post-climb drink too.
6. Dance the afternoon or night away at Amazónico
Latin American restaurant Amazónico have upped their game even more (if that is possible). The Mayfair spot has recently launched live band entertainment on Friday and Saturday lunchtimes, and come nightfall, they’ve extended opening hours until 3am (Thursday–Saturday). Post dinner, enjoy premium drinks, plus a lively DJ lineup, including the likes of Lars Moton, Juanito, Thousand Fingers and The Menendez Brothers this December.
Arts & Culture
Here are all of the best art exhibitions, pop-up installations and culturally stimulating things to do in London this weekend.
7. Delight in festive activities on the Greenwich Peninsula
For the first three weeks of December, Greenwich Peninsula will transform into a festive hub. On Friday (December 9), make a beeline for the Bureau for an evening of smooth jazz between 7pm–11pm. Then, this weekend, settle in at the pop up cinema for showings of Nightmare Before Christmas (Saturday, December 10, 1pm), Home Alone (Saturday, December 10, 4pm), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Sunday, December 11, 1pm), and It’s A Wonderful Life (Sunday, December 11, 4pm).
If you’re looking to get a little Christmas shopping done too, the Greenwich Peninsula Market has a whole host of jewellery and curios for sale, and will be keeping vendors and visitors warm with their popular churros, indulgent Spanish-style hot chocolate, and a selection of artisanal cheeses.
8. Grab brekkie at a recently opened vegan spot in Stoke Newington
WAVE Stokey opened just a few weeks ago, bringing 100% vegan versions of everyday favourites to the Stoke Newington neighbourhood. Start a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning this weekend with a peanut butter coffee, breakfast brioche, ‘salmon’ bagel, or a delicious toastie. This venue marks the second opening from the ‘We Are Vegan Everything’ team; their debut cafe is located in Hackney.
9. Add a sprinkle of green between your Christmas indulgence
If you need a little health kick between all the Christmas indulgence, atis has recently opened their fourth site in London, bringing some fab, plant-based bowls to Canary Wharf. Here, you can build your bowl from a selection of fresh ingredients, tasty toppings, and lovely salad dressings. Forget the sorry notion of a cold salad on a winter’s day; you can opt for either hot or cold bowls, and they’re hearty AF.
10. Sip luxe cocktails at Notting Hill’s new Mexican-Japanese bar
Tulum meets Tokyo at the new Notting Hill bar Viajante 87. The fusion Mexican-Japanese spot, which opened just last week, has its own mixology lab, focuses on a zero waste philosophy, and aims to create cutting-edge cocktails using experimental techniques. The bar is spearheaded by Panos Kanatsoulis, who formerly worked at one of the World’s 50 Best Bars, and he has created some 100% agave-based signature cocktails to join the menu’s classics. Head to the bar to try serves like the Frida (La Familia tequila extra anejo, citrus sherbert, chamomile-oregano syrup, rosemary bitters, plum liquor, and champagne) and the Cherry Blanco (tequila blanco, sour cherry marmalade, and clarified coca-cola).
Looking for inspiration for your next day trip, weekend staycation or city tour? You’ll find it here.
11. Combine a love of luxury and gaming with a stay in W London’s gaming suite
Gift yourself, or the gamer in your life, a night in W London‘s first ever gaming suite. The five-star Soho hotel has transformed their WOW suite into a gamer’s paradise until April 2022, filling it with cutting-edge technology, a state-of-the-art gaming chair, and the Odyssey Arc 55” screen. During the stay, keep your brain sharp for hours of tactical play with dishes from the ‘brain food’ menu, created in collaboration with DIRTEA.
Secret London Picks
The Secret London team’s top picks for more fun things you can do in London this weekend.
12. Be in the right place at the right time: in Covent Garden this weekend
Between December 1–12, The Yards Covent Garden is running an initiative that can reward you for simply being in the right place at the right time. It is entitled ’12 drops of Christmas’. How does it work? Well, using the programme Landmrk, when you scan QR codes hidden in participating shops and restaurants, the programme will recognise your geographic location and direct you to the other participating retailers and restaurants.
Once a day, there’ll be a big prize drop, rewarding a lucky winner who has scanned in and is still in The Yards vicinity, with a prize such as Clarendon Fine Art vouchers, £150 off at Hawksmoor, and even a Christmas party at The Conduit. There will be smaller prize drops throughout the day too.
13. Snap a festive family photo at the Desmond & Dempsey pop up
Snapping a ‘holiday photo’ is a rather American notion, but hey, it’s practically a rite of passage in all our fave Christmas films. This week (Thursday, December 8–Saturday, December 10) and next week, luxury PJ shop Desmond & Dempsey is opening their studio in Brixton to the general public, and inviting us to come and do some Christmas shopping, scoff mince pies, and even get a cute portrait in the style of their festive campaign. Grab your bestie, partner, family, or even Bumble date (too soon?) and head down…
Also published on Medium.