1 | Eat A Hearty Dinner: Boyd's
This new wine bar and grill is a place for people who like their steak. And we mean really like it. As is du jour, these guys know precisely where theirs comes from, ensuring that it is not just top quality but as succulent and tasty as darned well possible. Don't be fooled by the incongruous surroundings of Northumberland Avenue – this quiet spot is worthy of your time.
For lamb lovers, there is the choice of a hearty Barnsely chop, or some hugely underrated hogget rump. In addition to the wagyu beef from Sussex, there is Scottish black gold rib-eye or fillet steak and, for something a tad different, water buffalo from Hampshire; though not a massive menu, it's bloody difficult to choose from. Start off with the punchy mac and cheese: it's got the warm blast of Wookey Hole cheddar in it and comes with a smoky sauce.
And if you didn't think you liked ice cream, just you wait and see what their man Stanley can do…
8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY; boydsgrillandwinebar.co.uk
2 | Order A Spring Cocktail: 45 Jermyn St.
Spring is in. As are the rhubarbs. So the bar team at 45 Jermyn St. has thrown them into a whole load of new cocktails which are so delightful that you'll feel like you're simply totting up your five a day (or is it meant to be seven, these days?). Anyhow, there is also the beetrooty Sir Nigel's Sour, made with marmalade vodka and with a crisp on top, and the Ricky No. 6, where the booze is provided on the side for you to blend in yourself, along with a pipette of acid. It's like your very own mixology lesson. Vesper fans can sample a herby version made with spelt vodka, Islay gin, Kummel, coriander bitters and cucumber.
The venue is unfailingly chic and yet doesn't take itself too seriously, despite sitting in such a swish Mayfair patch. Classy and fun both at once? You should head straight there.
45 Jermyn Street, London, SW1 6DN; 45jermynst.com
3 | Graze On British Bites: Sourced Market, Marylebone
The St Pancras branch always has a massive queue outside it (especially if you're late for a train) so it's a relief to have a new Sourced Market to frequent. This one is a massive shop-come-deli-come bar-come-off-licence in its own right, absolutely teeming with British produce sourced (as the name would suggest) very carefully. It's a wonder how much stuff there is: myriad cheeses, charcuterie, scotch eggs (the vegetarian ones are deceptively good), sausage rolls (some surprisingly laced with chipotle), bread, doughnuts, chocolate, brownies, honey, jam, loads of wine and even more beer. Not to mention bottled cocktails for the hardy and a juice bar for the virtuous.
This is an ideal spot to nab a bite of lunch at any point during the week – a veritable haven from either work, or the shops of Oxford Street. Sharing boards are available at the tables upstairs and down below is a sort of drinks cave, into which you are greeted with a wall of beer taps: what's not to like? The array of wine down there is varied and very reasonable, also making this a useful pit stop if on your way to dinner and in need of a gift for your hosts (tip: aside from the booze, a little heart of Godminster cheddar will always go down well).
7am – 11pm, Monday – Friday68 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2SD; sourcedmarket.co.uk
4 | Win Your Weight In Wine: Berry Bros & Rudd
The oldest wine and spirit merchant in the country – and Esquire's go-to for all things wine related – houses a massively old-school set of scales that, in the past, has been used to weigh royalty, politicians and celebrities of the day, such as Lord Byron. And now Berry Bros & Rudd are offering the chance for you to have a go on the very same coffee scales with a competition running until the end of April.
All you have to do is buy an unmixed case of wine and, if you win, you'll be invited to the store to step on these now legendary scales, whilst bottles and cases of plonk are stacked up on the other side – which you'll get to take home once the balance has been reached. You'll also get a tour of the cellars. This is a delightful store to peruse, with impeccable advice on-hand, so if you needed an excuse to spend a weekend making some grape-based purchases…
3 St. James's Street, London, SW1A 1EG; bbr.com