1 | For A Taste Of The Mediterranean: Iddu (above)
A little slice of Sicily has just been served up in South Kensington in the form of an all-day café-come-restaurant. Iddu is the brainchild of a Sicilian, with a Sicilian chef, Sicilian staff and exclusive Sicilian produce on the go. If you want – or need – refuge from the cold and drudgery of the back end of London’s winter, here it is.
While the low lamps, warm hues and mosaic tables evoke the Mediterranean inside, the (heated) alfresco tables for two will make you feel like you’re dining on cobbled streets in summer holiday air, rather than SW7. The mozzarella and the prosciutto crudo, in particular, are very special dishes, and it'd be a travesty not to sample the traditional Cannoli – a desert of fried pastry tubes filled with smooth ricotta, sprinkled with chocolate, pistachio or almond crumbs. You can guess where the excellent wines are from, and even the coffee is imported from the Northeastern city of Messina. This is the real deal.
44 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ND; iddulondon.com
2 | For A Fizzy Pop Pop-Up: The Contour Centenary Bar
Fact: Coca-Cola tastes approximately two million times better from one of the proper glass bottles than it does from a plastic one or a can. And, as it happens, 2015 marks 100 years since that bottle itself was designed. Recognised the world over, the original brief called for something “highly distinctive” that could be “recognized by touch alone and identifiable even when in the dark.” Looks like they smashed it then.
This week you have a chance to join in the birthday celebrations by stepping back to 1915 (the year of the contour bottle’s creation) during a period-themed three-day pop-up in Soho. There will be old artwork from throughout Coca-Cola’s history, a piano tinkling in the background and, as you can imagine, quite a lot of the fizzy stuff. If it's good enough for Rita Ora, it's well worth a visit.
14 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DP, From 2pm on Thursday 19th March, and between 11am – 8pm on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March
3 | For Surviving Meat-Free Week: Picture Restaurant
Meat Free Week starts on Monday. While this may not sound like too much of a laugh, there are marked benefits (not least to your health) from reigning back on the amount of meat and poultry you consume, and it gives you the chance to check out some of London's best sans-animal menus.
Great Portland Street's Picture restaurant has a six-course tasting menu with a brilliant vegetarian option for just £35. Dreamed up by three former colleagues from the Arbutus and Wild Honey set of restaurants, the food here is equally on point but much more reasonably priced. The slow-cooked hen’s egg with celeriac marmalade and sage, for one, will make you forget about having any sort of flesh on your plate, and the ravioli is delectable. Best of all, Mondays are BOYB, so if you really can't get over a meat-free meal, you can always drink away the pain.
4 | For A Cheese Feast: Morty & Bob’s at The Hat and Tun
Cheese toasties are one of life’s richest pleasures. Much like tea, there are few problems they cannot fix. And if you’ve ever tried, or even smelled the ones from Morty & Bob’s, then you’ll know that they are everything you could hope for. Usually based in Netil Market, the team is taking the show on the road and pitching up at charming Farrindgon pub The Hat and Tun both this week and next.
One bite of this monumental blend of three British Neal’s Yard cheeses on artisan sourdough bread with onions and a secret sauce, and you’ll become a committed customer for life. Mix it up with mushroom and truffle oil (with or without bacon), smoked ham hock, and maybe some jalepeños, then wash it all down with one of the pub’s signature Bloody Marys.
5.30–9pm Weds – Fri from 18th – 27th March, 3 Hatton Wall, London, EC1N 8HX; thehatandtun.com