1 | For A Date-Friendly Happy Hour: Wright Brothers Soho (above)
For some of London’s finest oysters, The Wright Brothers are the people to see – their crop is organic, and comes from part of the Prince of Wales’ official estate in Cornwall. And the buzzing little Soho branch has a trick up its sleeve that is ideal for an early evening date: Oyster Happy Hour. Bet you haven’t heard that one before.
Set yourself up with a glass of bubbly and knock back fresh oysters at a pound a pop. What might feel like the height of decadence will have little effect on your bank balance, and mixes romance with novelty. Running from 3-6pm on weekday evenings, why not slip out of work early this Friday?
Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PQ, thewrightbrothers.co.uk
2 | For That Romantic Evening: Newman Street Tavern
From the outside, the Newman Street Tavern looks like a perfectly nice, rather smart pub. Inside, it is a gem. Mosy through the bar to the upstairs dining room and you will find a high-ceilinged but beautifully cosy drawing room with tall windows, dimmed lighting, art on the walls and (real) books on the shelves. Understated yet romantic, refined and yet unpretentious, it is date-night gold.
The restaurant specialises in seafood, with excellent crab, oysters and mussels to start with. But with such good Galloway beef on offer too, it would be impertinent not to try that as well – the steak tartare is particularly good, laid on a bed of fresh salsa verde. Puddings are all suitably indulgent, but the chef does a mean Madeleine if you fancy a little something sweet to share across the table. And for winos, there is a lovely big – and navigable – wine list to linger over.
48 Newman Street, London, W1T 1QQ, newmanstreettavern.co.uk
3 | For Tequila Lovers: A Patrón Christmas Carol
If you like tequila, then you’ll know all about Patrón – it’s probably on your Christmas list already. So you might be interested to hear that the premium tequila brand is putting on a Christmas pop-up with a bit of a twist. Based on Dickens’ quintessentially festive tale, this party celebrates Christmases Past (think Eighties retro), Present (full of presents – see that they did there) and Future (whacky cocktails).
Held at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, tickets get you music, entertainment and, of course, an abundance of premium cocktails. So if you’re struggling to get into the merriment that is fast encompassing us all, this could well push you in the right direction. No one likes a Humbug, now do they?
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green E2 9NF
Tickets available from £20 from patrontequila.designmynight.com
4 | For A Weekend Hangout: Artist Residence London
New to Pimlico this September, The Artist Residence is a hotel designed for – you’ve guessed it – artistic types to feel at home in. But ‘at home’ is the key, and this is a quirky but relaxing place to hang out that just so happens to have a great collection of artwork hanging on the walls.
Start with cocktails in the bar, where we recommend the cucumber martini – the most refreshing cocktail you could hope for. And then head to the restaurant for an ever-changing menu of seasonal ingredients, all prepared by the chefs right there in front of you in the open-sided kitchen. If you can get your hands on the scallops or the lamb, those are to die for. Then just recline in the lounge, next to a roaring fire (and a table made out of a tractor tyre, obviously).
52 Cambridge Street, London, SW1V 4QQ; artistresidence.co.uk