1 | For Italian Feasting: Palatino
Pasta in the capital has never been so good. Nor so abundant. But make sure to put Palatino on your list for a proper little taste of Rome, via Clerkenwell. It serves gurglingly good cacio e pepe (the simplest of pasta dishes yet hard to get right, made with butter, pepper and pecorino), not to mention a bright green spinach ravioli, and the heartening rigatoni with veal pajata – a type of meat you don't often see over here.
Either drop by for one big plate of carby heaven, or do the proper Italian thing of starter, small pasta dish, then main; with perfectly pink onglet steak and salsa, and a massive pork chop on the menu, it's hard to restrict yourself here. This month's bar special is a bitter spritz – refreshing yet savoury – and the only thing you really need to know is that this place serves DEEP FRIED GNOCCHI. You just think about that.
71 Central Street, London, EC1V 8AB; palatino.london
2 | For Weekend Munchies: East Village Cheese and Wine Festival
This weekend – we April fool you not – sees a free cheese and wine festival come to the former Athletes' Village from the Olympics. No tickets required, just show up and make your way round the stands. There will be a host of artisan cheese producers and vendors, such as Jacob's Ladder, Lombary Gourmet and Montadito. More substantial food will be available in the form of cheese burgers, arancini, and raclette, to be washed down with beaucoup du vin (though beer and cider will be available from the Meantime Brewery as well). Chocolate sculptures are for pudding, in case your mouth wasn't watering enough already. And real enthusiasts can book into a three-course cheese feast at 5pm at curiously-named cafe Tina We Salute You, which will have a cheesy pop quiz tagged onto the end (tickets available here).
Saturday April 1, 12-6pm; Sunday April 2, 11am-4pm
Victory Park, Celebration Avenue, Stratford, London, E20 1DB; eastvillagelondon.co.uk
3 | For Date Night: Swan, Shakespeare's Globe
The Swan restaurant at the Globe is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. Pretty but sleek, with incomparable views out of the old leaded windows, it's got a new chef (who's worked for the Roux and the Galvin brothers, among others) and serves beautiful British food that will boost either a visit to the theatre or just any old evening (especially if you pop into the buzzing downstairs bar for a drink first). The menu is full of tantalising dishes, with generous portions delicately done. Fresh scallops with Granny Smith can start you off, or a hulk of Old Spot pork belly with a stonking bit of black pudding alongside. Then you've got rich, gamey venison, Beef Wellington with truffle jus, and lots of fresh fish to look forward to. Make sure to catch the rhubarb crumble on the menu at the moment – proof that this Kentish chef doesn't half know what he's doing.
21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT; swanlondon.co.uk
4 | For Boat Race Beverages: White Hart, Barnes
The annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge takes place this Sunday, giving you the perfect excuse to while away an afternoon in anticipation. After all, someone has to nab those seats in the pub early on. So why not make sure you're in one of the better ones? Our pick is the White Hart in Barnes. Located right on the riverside, with excellent views both ways, you'll get to see a good amount of action as the crews move into the final leg of the race (fingers crossed it doesn't get decided too early on). This two-storey pub offers a smart terrace dining room upstairs, plus a more lively and cosy bar on the ground floor that also serves food. Weather permitting, it has a good bunch of group tables down on the water's edge up for grabs.
The Terrace, Riverside, Barnes, London, SW13 0NR; whitehartbarnes.co.uk
5 | For Novelty Comfort Food: Beanz Meanz Heinz Bar
And if you're after something totally different, with a good dose of novelty (not to mention nostalgia), head to the Selfridge's food hall where they have just opened a pop-up café celebrating good old Heinz baked beans. This is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the pulses' most famous advertising campaign – remember the 'Beanz Meanz Heinz' slogan? – which is also why there are special limited edition cans available to buy in the store. But sometimes, you just need the comfort of beans (sorry, Beanz) on toast and Selfridges is here to oblige with pepped up versions including things like crispy bacon, ham hock and more. Won't break the bank and does the job nicely.
Until 23 April
Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB; selfridges.com