1 | Aged Steaks at Little Smoke
Meat eaters have it pretty good at the moment. And they have yet another reason to rejoice with the opening of Little Smoke in Moorgate – settle in and stare up at the three huge blackboards listing what meats are on offer each day, and you'll be almost paralyzed into indecision through sheer choice alone. It's a more petite, slightly jauntier version of Islington's Smokehouse, the original being where the beef, lamb and pork is butchered and smoked (where relevant). It is thus all of the same high quality, and the owners work with a load of independent farms to obtain whole native and rare breed animals. That means lots of tasty – if not to say unusual – cuts of meat. The aged Dexter beef, for instance, tastes rich and ripe, and you can have it in whatever form you prefer.
They've extended this approach to their wines, too, with another blackboard of the special bottles available in limited quantities, the tallies of which (like the steaks) get crossed off as they're sold. Don't worry – there's a normal wine list in case it's all a bit much, plus some palate-freshening G&Ts to kick off. Side dishes are moorishly tasty so you will somehow find space for them, even if that seems improbable. Try the charred sweet potato with feta, harissa and crunchy garlic to really spruce up the warm flavours of the meat, and add some chilli greens to make yourself feel virtuous.
City Point, 1 Ropemaker Street, London, WC2Y 9AW; littlesmoke.london
2 | Election Cocktails at K Bar
If you're up for an all-nighter come America's day of reckoning, then the swish K Bar in The Kensington hotel can help. They are hosting a party from 6pm – 6am, at which there will be a range of ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek cocktails to congratulate/commiserate as results come in (the tequila-based Other Side of the Wall, the bourbon-filled Swing State, a new take on a White Lady, and so on). With your £20 ticket, you'll be greeted with a complimentary Hell Toupee, which is a twist on a Manhattan made with Rittenhouse Rye whisky, Kings Ginger liqueur and Belsazar white vermouth. Sustenance for the viewing marathon will come in the form of grilled cheese sandwiches, cobb salads, chilli dogs, hamburgers and the like. So get yourselves comfortable.
109-113 Queen's Gate, London, SW7 5LR; townhousekensington.com
3 | Bonfire Fuel at South Place Hotel
Chances are that you'll be remember-remembering this Saturday, and heading in the direction of a park or river come sundown. There is no better way of preparing to freeze in the name of fireworks than with some good old, cockle-warming bangers and mash. Not to mention a drink or two. Our pick of the crop is at the South Place Chop House, located within the hotel in the City. It comes with a truly brilliant caramelised onion and sage gravy that will do the job nicely. As will the bottomless Bellinis on the side. And that should be all the fuel you need to get you through the light shows later on.
3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com
4 | Middle Eastern Jewels at Bethan Kehdy's Pop-Up
If you don't know the name Bethan Kehdy, then you certainly will soon. The Lebanese-American food blogger is now a best-selling author (of cookbook The Jewelled Kitchen) and recently sold out a residency at London's premier pop-up venue, Carousel. Lucky for you she's back for a second pop-up, this time at East London restaurant Jago. Born in Texas, Kehdy is a former Miss Lebanon who takes inspiration from the food of her childhood as taught by her grandmother and aunties. For one week only, you can book in to enjoy five sumptuous courses of Middle Eastern and North African-style food, starting off with a lavender pepper shankleesh popsicle, then on to sour cherry kebab nests, and a table fit to bursting with charred lamb, flatbreads, whipped hummus, fattoush and so on. Must be tried.
7th – 11th November; £35 per personJago, 68-80 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JL; jagorestaurant.com
5 | Ball Pond Antics at Ballie Ballerson
If you just need to let go this weekend, then look no further than Dalston's new and absolutely massive ball pond, which opens today. Aside from the very premise posing ridiculous amounts of fun on its own, they're doing this in style with a DJ booth that rises out of the pit. Said pit contains 200,000 plastic balls, foam toys and rubber rings, all coming right up to chest height. Dancing and play flighting are "actively encouraged" and if you work up a thirst, head to the upstairs bar for a retro sweetie cocktail (choices include a Wham Bam God Damn, a Dibbie Dabberson, a Pink Shrimp Daquiri, Pinkled Onion Martinis and Skittle Sours). Food is all shareable – and spherical – and we'll be going straight for the fried cheese balls with cranberry sauce. Oh, and the chicken kiev ones.
Entry to the bar is free. Ball pit tickets are £5 but, until 10th November, are available for free via the website: ballieballerson.com79 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8AD