Things to do in London this weekend (June 14 – 16)

The best summer days lead to long summer evenings. London looks and feels its best when the sun shines through the day into a warm evening, allowing for wonderful rooftop lounging and late evenings. Or, to put it plainly: it’s a chance to go out.

This weekend is full of those opportunities. New restaurant openings and old favorites are listed below, of course, alongside a big night celebrating pirate radio and British garage, and possibly the weirdest late-night comedy show in town. There’s also a Soho drinking den, a great new play in Hammersmith and the launch of a new art exhibition (with cocktails, of course).

Summer evenings don’t get much better.

The hot table: Carmel

    (Steven Joyce)

(Steven Joyce)

The original Carmel in Queen’s Park is all pink tiles and big mirrors, soft furnishings and lazy long lunches. The newer Fitzrovia outpost takes over the old La Rampa site, just behind Oxford Street, and is an altogether slicker affair. Polished and polished, the menu also gets a boost on the second site, while the dishes remain accessible. Most things cost between £10 and £16 and sharing a handful should be more than enough, with the large artichoke flatbread with dried chillies and tomatoes and the Levantine beef and eggs looking like a good start.

Marketplace, W1W 8AG,

The old favorite: Pastaio



It’s always a pleasure to revisit an old favorite, especially when it’s a favorite that serves up rich bowls of homemade pasta to make you swoon. It’s hearty, heartfelt food, this; Nduja and mozzarella-fried sandwiches should get things going, before a bowl (or three) of pasta, which changes regularly enough to keep everyone coming back for more. The bright room accommodates those looking for a quick meal in 20 minutes, but is comfortable enough for those more inclined to linger longer. Stevie Parle knows how to make a restaurant, and we’re eagerly awaiting his new spot, which is rumored to be coming to the West End later this summer.

19 Gantonstraat, W1F 9BN,

The drinking den: Bar Crispin

    (Karolina Bajda)    (Karolina Bajda)

(Karolina Bajda)

The Ham group is in rich shape. Bistro Freddie and Crispin at Studio Voltaire are the two latest ventures to find success in the city, but Bar Crispin (from the same team) remains a standout drinking spot in central London. Yes, there’s food, but come for the wine list. The offering by the glass is strong, but for the best price, gather four friends and opt for a few bottles of wine with little intervention. Not only will this strategy deliver better value per person, but you’ll also explore and drink a lot more.

19 Royal Street, W1B 5PY,

The Gig: A History of UK Pirate Radio at Jazz Cafe

    (© Photography by Rob Jones)    (© Photography by Rob Jones)

(© Photography by Rob Jones)

In June, Camden’s Jazz Cafe will be hosting a series of club nights highlighting pirate radio and its impact on the British music scene. This weekend’s offering covers multiple genres on different nights, from grime to dubstep and funk, UKG (British garage). Expect DJ Spoony and Wookie at this throwback club night, which celebrates both the best of the garage and its contribution to the wider British scene, as well as the platform that pirate radio gave to these once emerging genres.

June 14 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG,

The chef’s residence: Chap Bistro

Angus Kitchin has opened up shop in Haggerston, E8’s vibrant live music pub. The residence is called Chap’s Bistro, and the guy in charge has some serious issues: Kitchin is perhaps best known for his time spent running the kitchen at FKABAM. The menu is French, but top British produce shines through. Carpaccio-style melon arrives with almond and flecks of ricotta and then the pig’s head croquette is a crunchy, slippery, sucking delight. Bring a hungry friend, order everything on the menu and thank us later.

438 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA, @chapbistro.e8

The art fix: the Courtauld Lates, a summer of art

    (Via Courtauld Gallery)    (Via Courtauld Gallery)

(Via Courtauld Gallery)

This weekend the Courtauld Gallery relaunches its “lates” program with a first look at its fantastic new show: Roger Mayne, Youth. Also hanging is the Henry Moore exhibition and the beautiful permanent collection (truly one of London’s finest). Guests of the late night show can delve into the evocative photographs of Mayne’s mid-century catalogue, beautifully curated to tell the story of young people in the decades following post-war Britain. Cocktails and art lectures alongside live music and masterpieces: what more could you want?

June 14, Somerset House, WC2R 0RN,

The culture fix: wedding ring

Saskia Holness, Poppy Graham, Diveen Henry, Deborah Ayorinde and Bethan Mary-James in wedding ring (Mark Senior)Saskia Holness, Poppy Graham, Diveen Henry, Deborah Ayorinde and Bethan Mary-James in wedding ring (Mark Senior)

Saskia Holness, Poppy Graham, Diveen Henry, Deborah Ayorinde and Bethan Mary-James in wedding ring (Mark Senior)

This 1960s American play gets a strong showing at the Lyric in Hammersmith, which is the first UK screening on this scale. The Distant Conflict in Europe tells the love story of a mixed-race couple in 1918 South Carolina and sets the stage for a battle over rights and race at home. This must-see show, called ‘remarkable’ by theater critic Nick Curtis of the Standard, is only being shown in a limited edition.

Until June 29, Lyric Square, King Street, W6 0QL,

The comic solution: Frankie Thompson at the Soho Theatre

The incident happened at the end of Paul Currie's hour-long show at the Soho Theater (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)The incident happened at the end of Paul Currie's hour-long show at the Soho Theater (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

The incident happened at the end of Paul Currie’s hour-long show at the Soho Theater (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

Frankie Thompson takes over. CAttS is a one-woman show of Cats the Musical, except it isn’t. The show is itself described as a “lip-sync ballet through distraction and obsessions”, which sounds as current as possible in today’s world of distraction and obsession. Then there’s Frankie Thompson Collects Horrible Things, her other new show. This double billing applies to June 15, but both shows can also be booked separately. It all sounds strange and brilliant, which is probably why Thompson warns: “If you laugh it’s comedy, if you don’t it’s live art”.

June 14 and 15 and 21 Dean StreetW1D 3NE,

The ticket to book now (for later): One-day introductory school in Bordeaux

    (Via Berry Bros.)    (Via Berry Bros.)

(Via Berry Bros.)

This one is a blowout. For anyone looking to up their wine game (and we mean it seriously) or treat their dad to perhaps the best Father’s Day gift ever, this is for you. Berry Bros is known for its events and tastings, and this special one-day crash course will turn anyone into an oenophile. More than a dozen of Bordeaux’s finest wines will be enjoyed during a tasting masterclass and lunch that covers the region’s best-known vineyards and vignerons. These highly sought-after wines can fetch more than £300 a bottle, so tickets aren’t cheap – but for a banger, nothing beats Bordeaux.

June 29, tickets £395, 63 Pall Mall, St. James’s, SW1Y 5HZ,

The other ticket you can book now (for later): Bubala Pride Party

    (Haydon Perrier)    (Haydon Perrier)

(Haydon Perrier)

Bubula turns five years old in June and to celebrate the occasion, the Middle Eastern vegetarian restaurant is hosting a number of chefs at its Soho location to collaborate on special menus. We’ve already seen Crispin’s Lewis de Haas and Mambow’s Abby Lee and to round out the month, Sager & Wilde’s Diarmuid Goodwin will co-host a Pride Party for charity, with all money raised going to an LBGTQ+ charity go. There will be a large raffle that evening with prizes ranging from fully catered dinners to bumper baskets; each ticket-to-dine equals one raffle entry and profits go to The Outside Project.

June 30 15 Polen Street, W1F 8QE,

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