1 | The Fun One: House of Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen (above)
The Hindu festival of Holi takes place on Friday (celebrating the passing of Winter and the emergence of Spring) and popular Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen is totally getting into the spirit of things. Half hour slots are available to book, during which you don a fetching pair of overalls and enter The House of Holi – a safe-zone encircled by the looming buildings of the City where you can let loose paint-pelting to your heart’s content.
And then you can enjoy Vivek Singh’s ‘Indian with a twist’ cuisine, which is fresh, zingy and bursting with beautiful spicy flavours. There’s a special menu for the occasion, featuring a Kentish lamb ‘pasanda’ with rock moss and allspice, lotus stem korma, and tandoori king prawns. Not to mention the Holi sweets for desert and cocktail menu featuring a Holika Fire, made with Applejack. Stressful week? This is your answer.
5 – 14 March
9 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YL; cinnamon-kitchen.com
2 | The Classic Dinner: Sixtyone Restaurant
Sometimes, you just need a timeless and straightforward dinner date option. One that’s stylish but not pretentious, classy but not terrifying, and classic rather than staid. Sixtyone encompasses precisely that, and with charming service to boot that gives the whole experience an impressive sheen (should you need to earn some brownie points).
Open for just over a year, Sixtyone is part of the Searcys Group and really starting to come into its own. Tucked behind the mayhem of Marble Arch, it is an elegant venue with Franco-British food that looks pretty as a picture whilst also filling you up. In fact, the breadbasket does a good job of that first off, with their entirely moreish house special: Marmite bread. And if you do get a little carried away with the carbs, then you can opt for a liquid desert, named Tequila Mockingbird; hibiscus sorbet doused ceremoniously at your table in lashings of tequila, lime and mint. And they leave the jug there, in case you need a top up.
61 Upper Berkeley Street, London, W1H 7PP; sixtyonerestaurant.co.uk
3 | The Spruced-Up Whisky Den: Milroy’s of Soho
Milroy’s is something of an institution in Soho and has proper, old-school charm. It is London’s oldest dedicated whisky shop – originally set up by two brothers in the Sixties – and is reopening its doors this Friday after a highly anticipated makeover. Whisky lovers will be in their element, obviously, but others will be catered for in the new basement bar (named The Vault), which will also be serving wine, beer, and cocktails made with home-infused spirits.
The much-loved whisky shop itself now has a 12-seater bar, offering up more than 250 different whiskies. As a bonus, they all come in 35ml measures rather than the standard 25ml so that you can savour your drinks all the more; whisky’s not for the faint-hearted. Should you feel like splashing out, anyone who purchases a bottle of whisky costing over £200 will get a personal locker (key to take home, name on the front and everything) so that you can come back and enjoy it whenever you fancy. How’s that for swagger?
3 Greek Street, London, W1D 4NX; milroys.co.uk
4 | The One To Book Ahead: Sager + Wilde at The Typing Room
Wine bars may be continuing their stratospheric rise across London but Sager + Wilde was one of the trend’s originals. A pioneer. Run by a husband and wife team, the Hackney site is now a firm favourite thanks to its small, cosy and unassuming interior, and its knockout wine list at decidedly un-knockout prices. Stunningly curated that thing is, too, and constantly changing.
So now team these modern wine buffs with fellow nearby sensation, the Typing Room. Located in the mayor’s old typing room of the imposing former Town Hall, the restaurant is headed up by Lee Westcott, who hails from Noma and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, and looked after Jason Atherton’s Hong Kong venues. With Atherton’s backing, The Typing Room has had the food world a flutter since last Spring’s opening. And, for one night only, you can enjoy a joint Sager + Wilde/Typing Room effort with an eight-course tasting menu and wine pairings. It will all be focused on local ingredients in the food, with some more unusual bottles to accompany it. At £150 this is a treat, but a sure-fire hit.
18 March 2015, 6 – 10.30pm
Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9NF; book tickets via firstname.lastname@example.org