London’s Indian summer lasted for an indecent amount of time, but October’s chill has finally arrived. The cooler nights invite us inside for heart-warming food, soul-nourishing culture and potent cocktails.
This week is a bumper guide featuring a much talked-about permanent site for a beloved pastry purveyor, a stylish neighbourhood joint serving some of London’s most delicious Italian fare and a one-woman show at the Barbican celebrating heritage and self-love this Black History Month.
As ever, more than enough to eat, see, and do to keep you warm this weekend.
The hot table: Mystic Burek
Spasia Dinkovski’s Macedonian-influenced pies have long been a sell out on socials, and now she’s finally taken permanent residence in Sydenham. Pop down to the shop for pies piled high with the likes of beef, sage butter and Taleggio, or rolled goats cheese with tomato relish. Na zdravje!
229 Dartmouth Road, SE26 4QY, mysticburek.com
The old favourite: Giulia Restaurant
Chef credentials come in all shapes and sizes, but Giulia chef Endris Kerbizi’s experience — working under Alain Ducasse, the Galvin brothers and at Sette by Scarpetta — makes one pay attention. He cooks displaying an intimate knowledge of fine Italian fare that seems well beyond the cute surrounds of the intimate dining room at Giulia. If transported to Soho, this would be the hardest to book table in town; as it is, the residents of W12 are lucky to have such a fabulous restaurant in their midst.
77 Askew Road, W12 9AH, giuliarestaurant.co.uk
The drinking den: Atelier Coupette
The follow-up to Bethnal Green’s rightly-acclaimed Coupette, this new Soho bar has some serious mixing chops. Expect smart twists on familiar drinks — like the Midnight Gimlet, with rosehip gin, Dubonnet and pine — and pop in for the Sunday development sessions, where the bar pours half portions of experimental creations, for a chance to see what’s coming up next.
9 Moor Street, W1D 5ND coupette.co.uk
The morning routine boost: Plenish Café pop-up
Free coffee? That caught our eye too. Plenish is setting its stall in Shoreditch with a pop-up café this weekend offering "Lattes and Pilates". The tickets are around £5, which includes the morning Pilates session, or one can simply show up for a complimentary hit of caffeine. Award-winning barista Marcello Geraci of The Gentlemen Baristas will be behind the espresso bar making sure the foam is appropriately frothed, with Ashlea McKee taking care of the open leg rockers and spine twists. That’s Friday morning sorted, then.
October 20, 133 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG, eventbrite.co.uk
The culture fix: Nicole Eisenman: What Happened at Whitechapel Gallery
Opening last week, the French-born, Brooklyn-based artist Nicole Eisenman’s powerful retrospective has taken over the Whitechapel Gallery. From contemporary sculpture to drawings to vast canvassed paintings with myriad sexual, historical and personal references, Eisenman is impossible to pigeonhole and hard not to love.
Until January 14, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX, whitechapelgallery.org
The talk: Clare Finney x Carousel
Food writer (and Standard contributor) Clare Finney is hosting a series of panel talks to celebrate her latest book, Hungry Heart. Things kick-off with Hoppers founder Karan Gokani, Apricity’s Chantelle Nicholson, writer Gurdeep Loyal and restaurant critic Tim Hayward. Finney will lead a chat on how our childhood tastes influence our lifelong eating habits. Can’t make this one? Two others follow on November 4 and 11.
October 21, 19-23 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RW, carousel-london.com
The can’t-miss show: The Night Woman at the Barbican
This new play by the award-winning Julene Robinson charts the story of her grandmother, told through a compelling combination of music and dance. The powerful ancestral tribute spans generations, with Robinson skilfully performing multiple roles during the show, which explores themes around Black womanhood, self-love, heritage, and redemption.
Until October 21, Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS, barbican.org.uk
The pick-me-up: Artisan Coffee pop-up at Nobu Portman Square
This weekend sees former Dinner by Heston chef Ashley Palmer-Watts leading a pop-up at the Nobu hotel Portman Square, swapping his kitchen pans for coffee cups. Palmer-Watts is set to collaborate with renowned artist Autistic Ian launching a weekend-long series of free-to-attend events including tasting sessions and free coffee giveaways all alongside an exhibition from the artist. Coffee culture with some added culture — what’s not to love?
Until October 22, Nobu Portman Square, W1H 7BG, london-portman.nobuhotels.com
The ticket to book now (for later): Spring at Somerset House Harvest Wine Dinner
This month, Skye Gyngell’s elegant Spring at Somerset House continues its run of “Grower” dinners with Harry Dyer, of Shrub Provisions, and Ben Walgate, co-founder of Tillingham Wines. Expect a meal of finely-curated in-season produce — gourds, brassicas, cold-water fish and damsons — served alongside some stunning wines.
October 24, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA, springrestaurant.co.uk