1 | For A Lesser-Known Treasure: Bar Termini (pictured)
The term ‘hidden gem’ is bandied about all too freely but Bar Termini most certainly is one. Squeezed along Old Compton Street, it is absolutely tiny – as is the menu – but it is the real deal for those with a taste for Italian coffee, Italian booze and bona fide Italian spirit. Run by Illy’s Marco Arrigo and cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro, this is the place to go if you want to show that you’re in the know – a dab hand at the authentic café scene.
For a morning assignation, your small but carefully formed choice of beverages includes espresso for a pound (to be downed at the bar, just like in Rome), a turbo espresso to put a spring in your step, a shot of hot chocolate that you can stand a spoon up in, and a café latte made with two types of milk so that is tastes just like Marco’s mama used to make. It’s practically priceless. Ever tried grapefruit seasoned with homemade Campari salt for breakfast? You can now. Tony’s take on a traditional Aperol spritz has the additional warm bite of rhubarb cordial (and is considered perfectly acceptable any time after 11am), and he has three types of Negroni to tempt you, which are premixed in beautifully decorated bottles so as not to dilute the flavour – or effects. Wine is red, white or fizzy: they rely on you trusting their judgment here, so just let yourself fall into their capable hands.
7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE; bar-termini.com
2 | For A Weekend Activity: Classic Car Boot Sale
Weekends are meant for moseying, and this one will see the Southbank host a car boot sale that’s actually palatable: classic cars exhibiting all sorts of vintage goods, from clothing and accessories to household items and vinyl records. It’s basically win-win – a spot of shopping teamed with a range of cars for you to ogle at rather than getting bored (such as the 1959 Ford Thunderbird, pictured). There will be DJs providing a soundtrack from an open-topped Routemaster, and plenty of food and drink on offer – all served from vintage vans, of course.
And if you want to rest your feet and team this with a spot of food, then we would suggest heading over to The Archduke, which is under the arches of the Waterloo railway lines. Part of the Black & Blue restaurant group, it has a fine selection of steaks on its menu, along with plenty of other dishes, and good wines and craft beers. It’s an easy-going but smart establishment, with live jazz every Sunday afternoon and evening, just for that extra something.
Hungerfood Bridge Car Park, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX; classiccarbootsale.co.uk
The Archduke, 153 Concert Hall Approach, London, SE1 8XY; blackandbluerestaurants.com/the-archduke
3 | For Whisky Connoisseurs: The Glenmorangie Unseen Bar
Whisky lovers can rejoice. From 13 -21st March, Soho will host the first ever pop up by Highland distillery, Glenmorangie. At the Unseen Bar, guests will be shown what goes into making this single malt with straight samples as well as a set of cocktails made by expert mixologists, on hand to answer any questions. So if you know your whisky, then you will be in your element and, if you are simply curious, then there is no better way to give it a go.
Anyone more inquisitive will be invited round to the back, into the Glenmorangie Vault, where you will be offered some of the brand’s rarest whiskies. These include some from the Prestige range, an 18-year old, a 25-year old and the rather stately Signet, which has chocolate elements in it. By the dram, you can also try the most exclusive of varieties, Glenmorangie 1963 and Pride 1978. This is for a slightly swanky, and decidedly sophisticated night out.
15 Bateman Street, London, W1D 3AQ; glenmorangie.com
4 | For Sunday Lunch: The Princess Victoria
It may be out on the Uxbridge Road, but if you’re near that part West London then you really ought to try The Princess Victoria for Sunday lunch. You will thank us later. Relatively no-frills, this is a fine old Victorian gin palace dating back to 1829. These days, it is spacious and yet homely thanks to the swooping bar, wooden furnishings, dark teal walls and large skylights set into the stucco ceilings.
And the food is simply awesome, particularly when it comes to the roasts: the hulking great rib of juicy Cumbrian beef comes with a Yorkshire pudding of epic proportions, the poussin with proper bread sauce, and the Dingly Dell pork belly with crackling to give you a sense of childish glee. There are five types of Bloody Mary to make your way through, too.
The Princess Victoria would do anytime but, given that this Sunday is Mothers’ Day (don't tell me you'd forgotten...), it would fulfil all criteria. Mums eating there will even be sent off with a box of chocolates, just as a cherry on top.
217 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 9DH; princessvictoria.co.uk