1 | For Airborne Fine Dining: London in the Sky (above)
If you missed last year’s version of this, then now’s your chance to try again. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to eat dinner whilst strapped into a glass pod suspended jaw-droppingly high above the cityscape? Precisely. You want the X-factor for your date? This’ll knock anyone’s socks off, so get booking for next week.
Some of London’s best chefs are providing the food, including Martin Morales of Ceviche and Andina, Calum Franklin of the Holborn Dining Room, Robert Ortiz of Lima, and Tom Aiken. If you really want to splurge, go for the Taittinger option, which gets you a couple of glasses of champagne and some canapés on top of dinner.
On the flip side, if you want to start your day with some oomph, breakfast partners include Duck & Waffle’s Dan Doherty (who knows how to make things taste agonizingly good), and chefs from Marcus Wareing’s Tredwell’s and the Newman Street Tavern in Fitzrovia.
Flights can be booked online, and we are promised that it’s all perfectly safe. Just make sure you’ve been to the loo before you board. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
17 – 30 September
99a Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PP; eventsinthesky.co.uk
2 | For Extra Special G&Ts: Gin Journeys at Sanderson
For the next month or so, the terrace at the Sanderson Hotel is serving a lot of gin. Slap bang in the middle of London, this hotel may not already be on your radar, but it should be now that Bombay Sapphire has taken over its atrium.
Exhibiting the 10 botanicals that make up the gin, this pop-up’s theme will alter every fortnight to take drinkers from the Mediterranean, to West Africa and then Asia, with all the flavours in between, such as lemon peel, liquorice, cassia bar, coriander, angelica root and the sweet African spice known as Grains of Paradise.
Alongside G&T variations you’d never have thought of, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will have free tasting sessions with Bombay Sapphire’s brand ambassador, who leads an immersive multisensory experience complete with perfume bottles filled with different flavours to spritz on your tongue, blindfolded sampling and all sorts, plus a taster of the very special Star of Bombay, which only went on-sale this summer.
Sign up online, and you won’t believe the lesson’s free. And then just use the terrace as your new outdoor bar (heaters provided, obviously)!
3 | For A Blow-Your-Mind Special Dinner: Restaurant Story
With a tenacious young chef at the helm, this place earned a Michelin star just a few months after opening back in 2013 and, though you might automatically head to one of those posh Mayfair or Chelsea kinds of places when trying to impress a certain someone, venturing out to Tower Bridge could be your best idea yet.
You’ll need to book well (and we mean well) ahead, but you should also keep an eye out on Twitter where last-minute cancellations are advertised for anyone keen to snap tables up. You want to surprise the Mrs? This would go down an absolute storm.
Sellers likes to tell a story through his food. Though this would sound naff from many others, this guy trained with Tom Aikens and has a year at Noma under his belt (agreed as the best restaurant in the world), so when he says it’s storytime, you bloody well listen.
A Half Story is about 7 courses, and a Full one is about 11. I say 'about' because you are brought surprise courses along the way, and everyone starts with ‘snacks,’ which are ingenious little amuse-bouches like the Storeo (looks like an Oreo but is a squid ink biscuit sandwiching eel mousse).
Every dish is artful and full of surprises, the prize for best novelty going to the ‘Bread and Dripping,’ which comes in the form of a candle – that’s the beef dripping, which you douse your bread into as it melts tantalizingly on the table in front of you. And the flavour that guy gets out of almond and dill to form a desert is something near sorcery.
When you’re done, the treats trolley is wheeled round for you to try whatever petit fours take your fancy – it’s like a dream.
And make sure to get the drinks pairings; quirky and well thought-out, they range from beautiful wines to unusual ciders, local ales, and even some cocktails dreamt up by Matt Whiley (aka The Talented Mr Fox).
199 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2JX; restaurantstory.co.uk
4 | For Flamingo Croquet: Chambord Chapter Eight Games
And from the sublime to the downright ridiculous, Chambord (that black raspberry liqueur in a bottle that looks like an orb) is hosting a pop up over the weekend to celebrate the 150th birthday of Alice in Wonderland. Up on the rooftop of the Hothouse Bulding in London Fields, a flamingo croquet maze is ready and waiting for you to compete on.
In the books, the Queen of Hearst takes these contests rather seriously, which we don’t entirely recommend, but this is a brilliantly absurd way of spending your free time at the end of summer if you can get down there. And there's nothing wrong with a little bit of healthy competition...
A £5 ticket to play said flamingo croquet on the roof will also get you a Chambord Royale cocktail, and there will be burgers on the go from the French-American guys of Le Bun.
Proof, Field Works, Martello Steret, London, E8 3QW; eventbrite.co.uk