1 | The Hidden Foodie Rooftop: Brooksby’s Walk (above)
Summer nights were designed for dining on top of a romantic, wait for it… disused public lavatory. We kid you not. But this is, in fact, somewhat of a trend in London at the moment and a spell at Brooksby’s Walk in Homerton feels far more continental than you might think. Here for the summer (and hopefully longer), there is a small downstairs bar with high stools for quick bites and cocktails, and an upstairs dining terrace that makes you feel like you’re in on a bit of a secret. The other half of the building is still a loo – confusing on arrival, but no biggy really.
Food comes courtesy of Giorgio Ravelli, who hails from two Michelin-starred The Ledbury, with a stint at Noma in Copenhagan (oft named best restaurant in the world) too. Northern Italian in style, everything is suitably delicate for the season but absolutely brimming with flavour. All very easily shared, the grilled nectarine with coolea cheese and balsamic vinegar, the parmesan panna cotta (pictured), and the rose veal tartare are real winners. As is the bread that you start with, come to think of it. And everything is locally sourced. Giorgio’s delightful business partner Jarrod runs the front of house and will give you a warm welcome, whilst recommending some of the quirkier wines on their list (most of which are organic, which means no hangover, if the legend is to be believed).
Finish up with posh strawberries and cream, and consider popping by on a Sunday, when they barbeque all day long.
Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton, London, E9 6DA; brooksbywalk.com
2 | The Bit Of Culture: Turbine Festival
Credit: Felix's Machines
This Saturday, entrance to the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall is completely free as they host a turbo-charged day of audio-visual installations that include music, film, dancers, chefs, poets, DJs and lord knows what else. There are workshops throughout the day, most of which can be joined at whim, although there is a ‘How To’ series that you’ll need to sign up for in advance; we’re rather taken with the idea of being taught how to beatbox at 2pm.
And once you’ve exhausted your artistic side, seek refuge in Dandelyan, the bar looking out on to the river on the ground floor of the Mondrian hotel (only 5 minutes along the Southbank from the Tate Modern). It has just been named Best New International Cocktail Bar – in the whole world – and the brains behind it, Ryan Chetiyawardana, named Best International Bartender of the Year. Added to the fact that Ryan has just rejigged the botanically-inspired cocktail menu (this one has a woodland theme), then it would be rude not to raise a glass with him, now wouldn’t it?
Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG; tate.org.uk
Dandelyan, Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD; morganshotelgroup.com
3 | The Tasty Quick Fix: NY Fold
New Yorkers mean business when it comes to their pizza. Way more than us. And that’s why finding decent slices around here is so difficult. But the cavalry has arrived in the form of Bruno DiFabio, who has 10 pizzerias in America and has won all sorts of awards at international pizza championships (yes, there are such things). He has a secret recipe for his dough, strong opinions about the amount of cheese on top, and a penchant for pimped-up toppings. And now he’s opened NY Fold in the heart of the West End.
You can either grab a hulking slice of a 20-inch pizza, or brave a whole one to share, to eat in or take away. If doing the former, there is a good amount of seating and, as you’d expect, it’s all very easy going. This is your new go-to spot if you’re in a hurry, need pre or post-theatre/cinema grub, or want a cheeky bite for lunch, but don’t even think of asking for cutlery – the clue is in the name. The pizzas' dough is fluffy as anything (and high in protein so, you know, healthy… ish) and there is oodles of cheese on top so none of your barren, charred, thin or artisan rubbish here. And the toppings themselves are completely delicious; the signature is the ‘Big Daddy’ featuring fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, onion, mozzarella and lemon. You’ll be thanking us later even if your waistband doesn’t.
103 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT; nyfold.com
4 | The Quintessential Date-Night: Qcumber Canal Boat Cocktails
A canal tour through Little Venice, with cocktails and a hint of literature to make things seem highbrow? Tick, tick and tick again on the date night credentials. Book tickets for tomorrow night or any of the following three Thursdays and you can set off from Paddington on a canal boat, onto which you will be greeted by a cocktail and taken through a gin tasting and cocktail sampling session inspired by famous tales like The Wind in the Willows and The Importance of Being Earnest. It lasts for a couple of hours and you'll be dropped off again in the same place.
The whole thing’s been thought up by Qcumber – the sparkling cucumber water that goes ever so nicely with gin – so this is an ideally summery option to finish up your week with. There’ll even be cucumber sandwiches, too. Who could object to that?
Friday 24th July, Thursday 30thJuly, Thursday 6th August, Thursday 13th August
The Electric Barge, moored on the Grand Union Canal, adjacent to Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London, W2 6NA; q-cumber.co.uk