1 | The Dram-Fuelled Dinner: Mac & Wild (above)
Meat and whisky. What more could you need? Oh, a handsomely lit little bistro with the warm welcome of a Scottish country pile, perhaps? That’ll do nicely. Both you and your Mrs would be hard-pushed to frown at this delightful new opening from the trio behind The Wild Game Co., a long-term pop-up that has been serving Londoners excellent meat and game for the past four years. It all comes from one of their family’s estates up past Inverness and so, in this permanent residence, they can’t absolutely guarantee how much of each cut they’ll have night-to-night. But it’s more than worth the gamble. Try and get there early enough for the venison chateaubriand, if you can, or else the steak version is a great alternative. They come alongside the creamiest of creamy mashed potatoes – something very close to the owners’ hearts – and your choice of gravy. Don’t scorn the grilled cauliflower steak either, which is both substantial and uncannily tasty.
Starters and snacks include – of course – venison tartare, and a grilled fillet of mackerel with parsley and cucumber that makes a suitably fresh start to proceedings if you plan going big on the mains. The haggis pops with caramelized whisky dipping sauce are a revelation: bread-crumbed bites of warming goodness to make you practically giggle with glee.
There is a good wine selection available but the real star is the whisky: that’s what these guys truly care about and they’ll happily come to discuss your options just as any sommelier would, making suggestions to suit your tastes and menu choices so that you don’t get something that’s going to blow your head off. Unless that’s your thing, of course.
Finish up with their take on childhood teacakes and then waddle home very full and slightly hazy.
65 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7PS; macandwild.com
2 | The Partyish Pop-Up: Bayou Banquet
The subterranean warren beneath the railway arches of Waterloo is host to a two-week pop up from today, celebrating the jazz, the soul and the food of New Orleans. There’s an exhibition to visit, Deep South cocktails to be drunk and plenty of food to be had. It’s being put on by Slap Ya Papa, a supper club team determined to recreate the unique feel of the famed Louisiana city in the decidedly dank British Isles, and they are putting on one serious party.
There are various supper club nights to be booked (places are still going, just…), during which dinner will be served by Michelin-starred chefs to the sounds of rip-roaring musical performances from the likes of London favourites Kansa Smitty’s and even Mad Men’s Bryan Batt. No joke. So get booking, and go enjoy some sweet potato pie.
The Vaults Kitchen, Leake Kitchen, London, SE1 7NN; the-vaults.org
3 | The Brunch Spot: Hotel Chantelle
If the British definition of brunch tends to be eating a full English a bit later in the day, it’s the Americans who have been far better at making this maligned mealtime a proper thing in its own right. It’s with this in mind, that our ears pricked up when the popular rooftop jazz brunch from New York’s Hotel Chantelle opened its doors in London this summer, tucked away just north of Oxford Street.
With a live jazz band in the main room and a couple of al fresco terraces either side for a little more privacy, it has a buzzy international feel as soon as you cross the threshold. The menu really delivers on the originality front, with fun (though decidedly OTT) presentation: the brunch pops (pancake-crusted lollipops with a cinnamon dip) are served on a model washing line, while the Quail Eggs Benedict 4 Ways a talking point for the whole table.
The mains are more straightforward in scope, and could teach other London brunch spots a thing or two – lobster roll, skate and chips, steak and eggs, truffle pizza, baked Alaska waffle, and more. And that other brunch essential – booze – comes as genuinely interesting cocktails. Hotel Chantelle gives you a very good reason to head into town on a Saturday.
23 Orchard Street, London, W1H 6HL; hotelchantelle.com
4 | The Jazz Lover’s Dream: Krug at Metropolis Studios
If you like jazz and you can just about deal with champagne, then here is your splurge option for the month (or year): French-American pianist Jacky Terrasson is teaming up with Krug on a worldwide tour, where premium chefs in each country create food pairings to accompany one-off performances (and many glasses of bubbly, also carefully chosen). Booking is open now.
London’s event is taking place at the Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, which have been graced by artists ranging from McCartney to Madonna, The Rolling Stones to Mark Ronson. Gastronomic delights will be prepared by Andrew Fairley, who has two Michelin stars at his restaurant at the Gleneagles Hotel – the only establishment with such an honour in Scotland. Each of the four courses will have both Krug and musical accompaniments, and one of the latter will be recorded, placed onto vinyl, individually marked up for each guest and sent on after the event. More and more, restaurants and bars are altering what you hear to accentuate flavour, and Krug are intent on taking things one step further. Book now if you're curious.