1 | Dine in Style at The Ivy Soho Brasserie (above)
Whist the original Ivy restaurant remains sitting pretty in Covent Garden's backstreets, its younger cousins are springing up across the rest of the city, offering good-sized and smart, yet inviting, eateries. The latest is in the heart of Soho and, unlike many of its neighbours, it is housed in a swish new building that affords a Narnia-esque amount of space once you've walked in through the cascading plants and flowers adorning the street-side terrace.
The food matches its equivalents with elegant British grub served from breakfast through to dinner, whilst the drinks menu features various new concoctions, like the sparkling Negroni, the Winter Pear Bellini, a barrel-aged Old Fashioned and a very special Espresso Martini, dedicated to the drink's supposed inventor, Dick Bradsell. Open from Tuesday.
26 – 28 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8JB; theivysohobrasserie.com
2 | Celebrate Pisco Sour Week at Casita Andina
Now that Dry January is well and truly behind us (we thought we heard clinking in the background…), don't forget to pay your respects to Pisco Sour Week, which runs from Saturday. This classic South American cocktail is made from pisco (a Peruvian type of grape brandy that tastes a bit like tequila), mixed with lemon juice and sugar syrup, and topped with egg white.
Our tip is to head to Martin Morales' Casita Andina – a tiny townhouse on Great Windmill street with low ceilings but bags of personality. It is a traditional picantería centred on warm-hearted family cooking, and you can't pick a bad dish off this menu so it's just as well the plates are all small and shareable. The ceviche is particularly good, its freshness complemented dreamily well by the zingy Pisco Sours at which the barmen are so practiced.
4 – 11 February31 Great Windmill Street, London, W1D 7LP; andinaloncon.com/casita
3 | Try Out The New Bubbledogs Menu
The winning formula of hot dogs and champagne at Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia needs no tampering with, but their chef has recently had a play around with a few additions, just for a bit of new year fun.
In addition to the beloved Horny (i.e. corn) Dog and the infamous Mac Daddy (a hot dog smothered in mac 'n' cheese then topped with crunchy crumbs of onion and bacon), you can now start off with nachos and various dips, and then get your mitts around a special made in association with The Fat Duck: a battered dog covered in minty mushy peas, tartare sauce, bite-sized pickled quails' eggs and bits of triple-cooked chips, and given a little spritz of vinegary chip shop smell to really get your mouth watering.
Finish up with the new chocolate dog (a brioche bun filled with a hulk of Jivaiza ganache, with the optional toppings of banana mayo and cherry ketchup). But if you hit the main course too hard, make do with the dainty cheddar and honey corn muffins – rather like Madeleines in size and lightness, and served with a delectable maple butter for dipping.
70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QG; bubbledogs.co.uk
4 | Join Balthazar's Super Bowl Party
Covent Garden's version of this originally New York brasserie is appropriately preoccupied with American events. And so this Sunday's Super Bowl gives them the perfect excuse for a party. Starting at 10.30pm, a £50 ticket will get you into the biggest – and most stylish – Super Bowl celebration in town, where you will be greeted with a Maker's Mark bourbon cocktail. The all-American menu will include things like nachos, chicken wings, mac 'n' cheese, corn on the cob, doughnuts, cheesecake, brownies and all that sort of thing. There'll be five big screens up around the restaurant to watch the game on (not to mention all that half-time stuff) and you'll even be joined by the capital's very own American football team, The London Warriers – plenty to keep you entertained right up until 5am. Yep, take that Monday morning!
4 – 6 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HZ; tickets available from balthazarlondon.com