1 | The Sunday Market: Slow at Rosewood London (above)
Some of the most contented Sundays are spent mosying around, ogling and picking at food stalls. Sometimes (if the night before has been particularly raucous), it’s all you’re capable of, and so combining quality time with quality food – and no airs, nor graces – is a no brainer for a relaxed date. And from this week, you can find one such market in Holborn, in the stunning surroundings of the Rosewood hotel’s courtyard.
This Sunday, for the first time, flashy cars will be booted out and replaced with the Slow Food and Living Market (it stands for ‘sustainable, local, organic and wholesome’ produce). More than 30 local and artisan merchants will be in situ, each hand picked by the brand new head chef, Amandine Chaignot. Within the hotel itself, this produce will be used in special brunch dishes at the Holborn Dining Room, Mirror Room and Scarfes Bar (the latter, by the way, aside from being a smashing place for a tipple, has a tasty new set of Indian-inspired items on its menu – from light bites, to classy curries and kebabs) so there’s plenty to entertain.
10.30am – 3pm, every Sunday from 1 March, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
2 | The Very British Pop-Up: A taste. at Startisans
Since the end of last year, Startisans has been hosting all sorts of artisan food and drink sellers in an indoor market based in Covent Garden. It’s great place for finding a cheap midweek lunch, but is now branching out to some finer dining with a pop-up restaurant called The Tasting Room. The first residency is set to go down a storm, so nab yourself some tickets to it, this Friday and Saturday.
A taste. is run by inventive chef Chris Jordan, who has a penchant for beautiful, seasonal ingredients, all sourced from nearby. This menu will be based around the good old British cuppa, in collaboration with Soho tea specialists, Yumchaa. For a mere £35, you’ll get a four-course menu subtly crafting the flavour of tea into its dishes, which include ‘Chai Black’ braised pork belly and slow roasted shoulder of lamb with an ‘Egyptian Nights’ jelly. You’ll get a Lapsang Souchong cocktail on arrival, too. BYOB is the vibe, so let the good times roll.
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February, 77 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 9JQ; Tickets at grubclub.com/a-taste
3 | The Quality Film Night: Oscar Week at The Barbican
You heard the hype, you saw the dresses and you’ll never be able to unsee John Travolta being super weird. But what if you haven’t actually watched the films nominated for Best Picture at this years Oscars? No oddball histrionics at The Grand Budapest Hotel, no code-breaking, no Navy SEALs, no fearsome drum teachers to keep you awake at night? It’s OK, you can still be amused, moved and downright disturbed by the eight nominees, as each are having a second moment in the sun at The Barbican from Friday onwards.
Film night is the quintessential date, and here is your chance to see quality-assured titles now that you know a little bit more about them. All can be enjoyed by couples with differing tastes, so the arguments over who gets to choose should be over in a flash, and you can even team an all-round lovely cinema experience with a drink at charming nearby gastropub, The Jugged Hare. They do excellent wine and beer, and if you’re stumped for time before or after your showing, grab one of the totally awesome bar snacks like game chips and gravy, or a Venison scotch egg. Winning.
4 | The Drinking Den: The Cocktail Trading Company Development Bar & Table
What this new opening on Great Marlborough Street lacks in space short it more than makes up for in character. The wood-pannelled walls, low-lighting and period paraphernalia combine to create an authentic vision of a Victorian drinking den. The cocktails on the other hand are decidedly forward-looking.
Bartenders Andy Mil, Elliot Ball and Olly Brading see the cocktail as an 'experience' and the ever-changing menu puts the accent on quirky construction and unusual combinations. It all makes for an enjoyably off-kilter hideaway in an area of London that could do with more of them.
The Basement, 22 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HU; www.thecocktailtradingco.co.uk