Not sure what’s on in London this weekend? Whatever the weather, we’ve got you covered. From cocktails, to brunches, markets to gigs, there’s something for everyone on our list of things to do in London this weekend!
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Where to eat this weekend
Quintessential English traditions and Caribbean flair come together at The Langham, London this winter. Until December 30, the five-star West End hotel is serving up and Caribbean Christmas dinner in their fine dining restaurant, The Good Front Room. I tried it out myself – read my review of The Langham here – and the flavours were authentic, the presentation beautiful, and the portions were hearty.
Like any good Caribbean event, you’re encouraged to pile your plate high – and every side dish is served as standard, alongside your main dish of choice. The cocktails are delicious and strong too, as is the pineapple upside-down rum cake.
Let me introduce you to Ayllu, a hidden Peruvian and Japanese fusion restaurant, located under Smith’s Bar & Grill in Royal Oak. Every Saturday, they serve up a vibrant bottomless brunch: think 90 minutes of unlimited Peruvian and Japanese brunch plates, accompanied by 90 minutes of free-flowing wine, prosecco, or cocktails, and a live samba show (plus a resident DJ).
Fill up on the likes of bao buns, ceviche, and uramaki sushi, and embrace a fun couple of hours.
3. Sink your teeth into a festive brunch in Southwark
This week marks the start of The Table‘s festive brunch offering, available all season long. For £25pp, you can nab a starter, main, and mimosa – or pay an extra tenner and get three courses. One of the dishes on the menu that caught my eye is the fried buttermilk turkey breast pancakes, served with bacon, cranberry sauce, roast turkey gravy, and maple syrup – yum! There are a number of other dishes too, including vegetarian options.
The Southwark spot also has a carefully curated cocktail menu of classic drinks, and limited edition festive specials.
Bars, pubs and nightlife to check out this weekend
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. Check out a newly renovated, historic pub in Kensal Rise
This week (November 30), the historic William IV pub in Kensal Rise will reopen under new management, with all-new menus. The newly renovated space boasts a more contemporary style indoors, and there’s a lovely outdoor area for when summer rolls back around. The food and cocktail menus have been transformed too. Pop in for a pint, or brunch, this weekend while you’re out and about in London.
Who’d have known that a train to Hoxton could take you to another world? Moments from Hoxton station, you’ll find an immersive cocktail experience, Avora. Over the course of an hour and 45 minutes, the experience will take you through a portal and into another world, where you’ll follow a storyline and create your own unique cocktails.
There are live actors, and an incredible set design (the bioluminescence is particularly spellbinding). A nice alternative to a regular weekend drink, eh?
Another immersive cocktail experience in London to check out this weekend is Moonshine Saloon. From the same team behind Avora (and the well-known Alcatraz experience), this cocktail adventure will encourage you to smuggle in illicit moonshine (i.e. BYOB) for a Wild West-inspired drink up. The bartenders will transform your booze into four personalised Old West cocktails to enjoy.
Throughout the experience, you’ll encounter cowboys, cowgirls, and questionable characters (live actors), as well as try your hand at a selection of dice and card games – all while hopefully evading the sheriff.
Top cultural attractions to visit this weekend
Here are all of the best art exhibitions, pop-up installations and culturally stimulating things to do in London this weekend.
7. Get involved with Woolwich Works’ festive schedule
South East London culture hub, Woolwich Works, has committed to providing a whole host of fun, festive activities, as part of their ’24 days of Christmas’ schedule. From the family-friendly Santa’s Grotto to the raucous cabaret, Riverside Winter Festival to the End of Term Party, there’s truly something for everyone.
This Sunday (December 3), there’ll be Festive Disco Yoga, where participants can shimmy and stretch over the course of an hour, with feel-good tunes, and dynamic guides leading the session. Your ticket price even includes a cocktail or mocktail.
8. Shop local at a Holland Park pop-up
Following three sell-out pop-ups, the Curator & Maker Pop-Up has returned to Holland Park for its fourth edition – head over before they shut up shop on Saturday (December 2).
The pop-up market champions UK brands, and features a curation of products from 14 makers, including the likes of Kate Black and Cate Kidston. Shop fashion, homeware, ceramics and more; you may source a deal, or bag a one-of-a-kind find, as products range from £20 to £500(!!). The pop-up is located at Myriad Antiques, W11 4LW, and is open daily between 11am and 6pm.
The hottest new openings in London
9. Head to this Malaysian cult favourite’s newest outpost
Roti King has garnered a loyal following since opening its first outpost in Euston nearly 10 years ago. Last year’s Battersea launch was successful, and now this Friday (December 1), the team will open up their third spot in Waterloo. The lauded Malaysian eatery will be serving up its deliciously soft, signature roti canai – made fresh daily – alongside fiery curries, noodles, and rice dishes.
At the newest outpost, there’ll be more focus on plant-forward dishes, served alongside the meaty favourites. One such dish is the Pulled Shitake Rendang, which sounds rather intriguing…
10. Bag a doner kebab created by a chef with top credentials
I Am Doner opens on Camden High Street this Friday (December 1), led by a former Michelin-star establishment chef. This is the fast food spot’s first London outpost, though residents in Dubai and other areas of the UK are already enjoying these award-winning kebabs. The kebab that’s piqued my interest the most is the Christmas Dinner Doner: turkey doner meat and all the trimmings, wrapped in a flatbread.
Feeling lucky this week? The first person in the queue on Friday will bag a £150 cash voucher to use at the eatery, while second and third place in the queue will nab a £100 and £50 voucher respectively. What’s more, the first 100 people through the door will receive an instant win scratch card with up to 40% off their next order.
Weekend getaways or staycations
Looking for inspiration for your next day trip, weekend staycation or city tour? You’ll find it here.
If popping The Holiday on the TV isn’t enough to satisfy your festive spirit this weekend, why not make a beeline for some of the Christmas movie’s filming locations? Just over an hour from London, you’ll find the village of Shere, where some of the film’s British scenes were shot.
Here, you can follow in the footsteps of Cameron Diaz’s Amanda and Jude Law’s Graham, and head on over to the White Horse Pub for a drink. Alternatively, if you’re feeling dramatic, you can take in the cottage’s beautiful hilltop views, then recreate Amanda’s climactic run back along the woodland path. Find out more about Shere here.
Secret London Picks
The Secret London team’s top picks for more fun things you can do in London this weekend.
12. Unleash your creativity at a free Christmas pottery workshop
Looking for something fun and free to do in London this weekend? Pop into Shepherd’s Bush Market on Saturday, December 2, and try your hand at pottery. The free Christmas pottery workshop will take place between 12pm and 4pm, and is suitable for all ages and abilities.
An experienced ceramicist will guide you on how to work with the clay, before letting you take creative control to make ornaments or tree decorations to take away. Make a beeline for Arch 182 at the market to get involved.
13. Sample a hot chocolate billed as one of London’s most indulgent
108 Brasserie & Bar, located in Marylebone Village, has teamed up with world-renowned chocolatier, Pierre Marcolini, to create a hot chocolate menu, billed as one of London’s most luxurious. Head to the brasserie this weekend to sample one of the velvety smooth and sweet ‘choctails’ – there are alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available.
14. Celebrate the first anniversary of Hotel AMANO’s restaurant
Penelope’s, the restaurant inside Covent Garden’s Hotel AMANO, turns one this week, and to celebrate, they’re throwing a huge party on Saturday, December 2. Step into the luxe restaurant from 7pm to find an indulgent dinner, comprising its signature Spanish-Israeli dishes, and an extensive selection of wines and cocktails.
Post-meal, there’ll be live entertainment: a saxophonist and captivating dancers will take to the stage, and rumour has it, a world-renowned DJ will fly in from Berlin to keep the tunes going into the early hours.
Also published on Medium.