1 | For A Zingy Lunchtime Date: Señor Ceviche (above)
Ceviche is terribly fashionable these days, but we don’t all necessarily have the cash to splurge on some of the big wigs on the citrus-marinated raw fish scene. So we have a tip for you, and it’s located pleasingly above the crowds of Soho, on the first floor of Carnaby’s Kingly Court. Señor Ceviche opened late last year as the first permanent outpost of chef Harry Edmeades’ brilliantly fun pop-up company, Don Ceviche. Having spent time in one of Lima’s finest ceviche restaurants, Edmeades knows his stuff and has managed to bring a little slice of Peru over here.
After a hard morning’s shopping (or whatever way you decide to tire yourself out in town over the weekend), Señor Ceviche is a warm, easy-going place of zen for you, away from the hoards. The smiley staff will explain what needs explaining and then leave you be to peruse the menu, which includes a classic ceviche of sea bream, a Señor Ceviche that adds octopus into the mix, The Spaniard, which is topped with crunchy, tangy crumbles of chorizo, or the Mr Miyagi, which is a salmon variation with fresh nuggets of pomegranate.
There is a grill section too, brimming with spice and rich flavour, and you should begin by picking at the crispy cassava and ocopa sauce, with a signature Pisco Sour to hand. This place is fun, fresh and teeming with vibrant tastes that you will want to keep going at all day long.
1st Floor, Kingly Court, London, W1B 5PW; senor-ceviche.com
2 | For Cocktails Galore: London Cocktail Week
Roll up, roll up, it’s nearly London Cocktail Week once again and this year’s shenanigans are set to be better than ever, so get yourself signed up. There is an HQ on Soho’s Poland Street, which is The World Class London Cocktail Week Hub, and this is not only where you pick up your wristbands (take note) but a huge underground lair filled with pop-up bars and a liquor shop from World Class brands such as Ketel One Vodka (offering masterclasses in mixing your own cocktails), Haig Club (teaching you how to pair whisky cocktails with desserts), and Tanqueray No. TEN gin (an art deco bar serving up martinis and featuring a super cool, reto cocktail shaker – an international scoop).
Participating bars span the capital, with cocktails of every shape, size and flavour up for grabs at more than 250 establishments. Your £10 wristband will get you cheap cocktails everywhere and free ones in some – all is explained in the pocket-sized bar guide with which you will be equipped. There will even be the chance to test your own mixing skills in the World Class Studio back at the hub, where you can test out the newest, swankiest bartenders’ tools. Said hub is accessed through a door at the back of record shop the Vinyl Factory, just FYI.
5 – 11 October; drinkup.london
3 | Blue Lotus Opium Den
Calling all low-lives and scoundrels! (Not mentioning any names, obvs.) King of the pop-up restaurants, Carousel, can this week boast a pop-up bar underneath its usual home in Marylebone. The Blue Lotus Opium Den is modeled on “a seedy opium den from the 1870s” and offers an immersive experience of smoky cocktails, traditional dim sum, and entertainment. Inspiration comes from the crime-riddled streets of San Francisco way back when, from which residents used to escape in search of these secret opium bars. The Blue Lotus was the most notorious of all, and this recreation will be complete with rickety stalls and Chinese laundry, with live music and period actors ready to get you in the mood. Smoky and boozy, with a touch of sleaze - what doesn't say 'date' about that?
30 September – 1 October
Downstairs at Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, London, W1U 8AB; carousel-london.com
4 | National Champagne Week
That’s right: a whole week dedicated to bubbles. It’s a date-planning dream. All it really means is that various bars across the country will be offering deals on glasses of fizz, and there are some events to sign up to that would do no harm on the brownie point scale.
Thanks to the Searcy’s group, you can personalize cocktails with Veuve Clicquot at One New Change this Friday, or book in for a special romantic meal paired with Perrier-Jouet at the St Pancras Grand. And there’s a Bond-themed tasting dinner with Bollinger at SixtyOne, in Marble Arch if you’re stuck for something to do tonight. We’re rather taken by the idea of Tamarind’s five-course Bollinger tasting menu, which will be available at the Michelin-starred Indian restaurant throughout the week.
1 – 7 October; nationalchampagneweek.co.uk