Making plans? Here's the best of what's on this weekend.
The Best Man
Martin Shaw, Maureen Lipman and Jeff Fahey lead the cast in this revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. Though it first premiered in 1960 and its scathing take on the political elite found success in 1964 in a film starring Henry Fonda, the premise seems more relevant than ever: what happens when the wrong person makes it to the White House? Fascinatingly, the play never made it to the UK at the time because there wasn’t a British interest in American politics; it is the catastrophe of Trump, then, which means this gets its West End premiere.
Feb 24 – May 12, Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave, WC2N 5DE, Buy tickets here
Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather
Though his band the Gaslight Anthem are reuniting the summer for a one-off ‘59 Sound gig at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (July 20), go see Fallon having fun this week at Koko, where he’ll be playing through old hits and new favourites alike. It’s in support of his latest album, Sleepwalkers, which sees Fallon in soulful spirits. The new record, while still distinctly him, is more joyful than recent releases: Brian Fallon is having a good time again. Go see, go dance.
Feb 23, KOKO Camden, 1A Camden High St, NW1 7JE, Buy tickets here
Flowers are the trend on the ‘Gram at the moment, so fill up your feed with stunning shots of the Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens. It’s a celebration of Thailand's vibrant plant life and culture and is completely gorgeous, the greenhouse vivid with the splashes of colour. Don’t miss the Bang Pa-In inspired orchid palace, either.
Until March 11, Kew Gardens, TW9 3AE, kew.org
Craft Beer Rising
£3 pints. Do we need say anything more? The excellent Craft Beer Rising returns for 2018, this year with 175 breweries from the globe over, with beers hailing from New Zealand to Nevada. DJs, including Massive Attack’s Daddy G, will spin through the weekend and there’s plenty of decent street food on offer, including Indian rolls from Kolkati. There’s more than 1000 beers to try – probably don’t attempt to get through them all – and if it all sounds a bit blokey, don’t worry: they’re expecting a 50/50 split between men and women this year.
Feb 22 – 24, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR, craftbeerrising.co.uk
Head over to the Enfield outpost of the Camden Town Brewery for a big boozy, bottomless brunch. There’s bottomless beer and bottomless croissants for two hours, brunch classics including buttermilk pancakes and skillet-baked eggs and even a drink on the house for anyone who turns up in a cab. If you’re really going all in for the drinks, though, soak it up with the Full Enfield.
Feb 24, Camden Town Brewery, Morson Rd, EN3 4TJ, camdentownbrewery.com
The Class bar awards certainly showed that London’s cocktail scene is vividly healthy, and while the big names did unsurprisingly well – Dandelyan picked up three awards, the American Bar was, of course, the UK’s best hotel bar – this little east London spot was the second biggest success of the night, being named new bar of the year and claiming the prize for new cocktail of the year. If you haven’t been, do. The Champagne piña colada is the one to have.
Open now, 423 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 0AN, coupette.co.uk
The Mandarin gets a makeover
For more cocktail goodness, try the relaunched Mandarin Bar at Hyde Park’s glorious Mandarin Oriental hotel. They’ve spruced the place up, livened the cocktail list and refreshed all the food. Treating yo’self this weekend? Need to impress someone? Trying to apologise to your partner? The Mandarin has you covered.
Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA, mandarinoriental.com
Proud Camden closing party
After 17 years of partying, Proud Camden is finally closing its door on March 4. Until then, they’re throwing a few boozy goodbyes across the next couple of weeks to celebrate their good times. On Friday, DJ Cameo, Sammy Porter, Bump & Grind, Listener and Wicked will be keeping the dance floors filled until 4am. Go, drink plenty and remind yourself why this place has drawn everyone from Kate Moss to Mick Jagger.
Feb 23, roud Camden, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH, proudcamden.com
Tonteria does Rituals
Ask someone who doesn’t know and they’ll tell you Tonteria is just a little Mexican place, but that does nothing to convey quite how outrageously debauched nights can end up at this Sloane Square club. Unassuming from the front, it’s welcomed the likes of Prince Harry, Leonardo Dicaprio and Rihanna and their new night, Rituals, is already drawing similarly glamorous crowd.
Every Thursday from now, 7-12 Sloane Square, SW1W 8EG, tonteria.co.uk
Mardi Gras at Pop Brixton
If you can’t just pop over to New Orleans – and let’s face it, who can? – then pop to Pop Brixton, where they’re getting in the Mardi Gras spirit. There’s craft activities for the kids in the kids, while in the evening things liven up with live music, a best dressed competition, Louisiana themed food and drink and even a Dionysus wine festival (get your toga at the ready).
Feb 24, Pop & Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, SW9 8PQ, popbrixton.org
23ct gold coffee
You might think your Insta game is strong, but do you have a pick of a 23ct gold unicorn latte on it yet? If not, hurry to Connaught Village and try the Saint Aymes cafe. They’re also serving a 23ct gold hot chocolate and a 23ct gold cappuccino. If you’ve spotted a pattern, congratulations, you’re smart enough to try their 23ct gold coated macaron. Ask about the chocolates, too, they’re equally flashy.
Open now, 59 Connaught St, W2 2BB, saintaymes.com
Get a trim
Winter has been grim; if you – or a chap you know – is looking to smarten up and get rid of the beard, head to the Ted’s Grooming Room in Holborn, which has just reopened their downstairs salon. Having a trim is one thing but this downstairs spot boasts a bar, very decent Turkish coffee and they’ll do a cut-throat shave and massage so relaxing that there’s every chance of gloriously drifting off. They’re offering a haircut that punches well above its price point and they’ve just launched a new range of products to take home if you like what they use. Ask for Ibo – trust us.
Open now, Ted’s Grooming Room, 31 Theobalds Rd, WC1X 8SP, tedsgroomingroom.com