1 | The Prettified Steak House: M Victoria Street
Steak houses, however good, can seem rather too macho a concept if seeking a refined date night option. So it's just as well that M Victoria Street (the sister restaurant of the one in the City) has made itself so nice to look at. The soft-toned interior lulls you into relaxation before slapping you in the face with such painfully good meat. If you like steak, you'll be in a dream world here.
Cheap it is not, but that is down to the quality of the what's on offer. The wagyu beef tartare arrives amid a puff of smoke, which flavours the apple accompaniments. Then the real connoisseurs might want to try the Galician steak – from old dairy cows and dry-aged for 50 days. The flavour must be tried to be believed, and the meat basically falls apart under your knife. Finish off with the dulce mousse, which comes with bacon and sweet corn ice cream: maybe it shouldn't work, maybe it's overkill on the meat front; but it does, and who cares anyway?
Zig Zag Building, 70 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6SQ; mrestaurants.co.uk/victoria
2 | The Japanese Pop-Up: The Hox Cup Sake Bar
Head to the courtyard of the Hoxton hotel from this Sunday onwards for a pop-up exhibiting a full range of these Japanese rice wines. This is the largest collection available in the country, and the 20 different varieties have been curated by Natsuki Kikuya, from the Museum of Sake. Check the website for tasting events and more.
29 February – 6 March
The Hoxton Shoreditch, 81 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3HU; hoxcupsakebar.com
3 | Brunch For The Super Hungry: L'Escargot
Bottomless brunches are a marvelous thing, but it's normally the booze that has no limit. Whilst this is woozily delightful, we're rather caught by never-ending food on offer at smart Soho restaurant, L'Escargot at their newly launched Sunday brunch.
It's only £24.95 and it's not a questionable buffet either: there's a creperie stand with a chef making four different types, plenty of fresh pastries, home-made granola, and favourites like eggs Benedict, avocado on toast, the full English and so on. Later in the day, there are also charcuterie selections, roasts, salmon en croute, snails, cheeses and so on. It's a veritable feast with a bellini bar on the side, just in case you get thirsty. Dogs are welcome, too.
48 Greek Street, London, W1D 4EF; lescargot.co.uk
4 | A Weekend Wander: Orchids at Kew Gardens
Crisp winter sunshine screams for places like Kew Gardens, where their annual orchid exhibition is now open. The theme is Brazil, and so you'll get a taste of the tropics to distract you from the cold, with a carnival-inspired look at these beautiful plants. The Orangery restaurant is open for tea and cake if you want to make an afternoon of it, or you could just mosey down to the river for a walk along the water.
Until 6 March
Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB; kew.org
5 | The Chic Bistro Supper: Frenchie
Another Parisian export has arrived in London, and this one is seriously cool. Downstairs gives you ringside seats next to the open kitchen whilst the bar tables upstairs offer a buzzy option for early evening dining. This is French thinking for British palates, and it is worth fighting for a spot (as you may have to once everybody finds out about it). Whatever you do, do not skip the bacon scones (sweetened with maple syrup and served with clotted cream – beats plain old bread and butter), and the foie gras neatly pressed with smoked eel and beetroot is devilishly tasty.
16 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH; frenchiecoventgarden.com
6 | The Hollywood Night In: Oscar Week
This Sunday marks the pinnacle of awards season, with the Oscars taking place in LA. It's annoyingly late for anyone over here hoping to watch, as the ceremony itself doesn't get underway until 1.30am our time. Stay up and have a midnight feast if you like. Or simply take inspiration and make Sunday film night, with posh popcorn (double salted caramel from Joe & Seph's), a bottle of fizz (Piper-Heidsieck is the official Oscars champagne) and maybe some chocolate on the side (anything from Pump Street Bakery's line will make you seem intensely knowledgeable about your cocoa). With Mad Max: Fury Road up for Best Picture, that might be a good place to start. There's not much chance of drifting off in it, either.
7 | The Must-Book: The Crystal Maze
Just in case you'd missed the hype, that cultish nineties TV show is returning – to real life – thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. The set has been recreated to full scale and teams of eight will be able to infuriate one another and embarrass themselves hopelessly in the famous labrynth of challenges. In true style, it's at a secret location to be disclosed nearer the time. Tickets are selling fast so why not massively impress the Mrs by setting this up for you and a few friends?
15 March – 18 November; tickets from £50; the-crystal-maze.com