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Things to do in London this weekend (April 5 – 7)

A feast of a weekend — a bumper guide with culture, restaurants, bars and umm... pole dancing  (Caitlin Isola)
A feast of a weekend — a bumper guide with culture, restaurants, bars and umm... pole dancing (Caitlin Isola)

The recent bank holiday weekend fired the starting gun on springtime and in that tradition of bounty and abundance, this week's guide is a bumper edition.

Aside from all the other new restaurant openings in April, we’ve got news of a new residency from the team behind London’s most Instagrammable sandwich, there’s a new(ish) bar set in one of London’s ancient markets and a Michelin-starred, fire-focussed restaurant gets an Italian jolt.

There’s also brand-new theatre and the last chance to see an intensely elegant colourists' exhibition, and, just because, stripping. Wine, Filipino food and live music from indie “Madchester” pioneers round off this bumper edition of the weekend guide. Have at it.

The hot table: Tóu

 (Caitlin Isola)
(Caitlin Isola)

Following in the footsteps of Chishuru, which operated a pop-up in the same first-floor space last year, Tóu arrives at the Globe Tavern in Borough Market this weekend. From the team which brought us TĀ TĀ Eatery, expect a small menu centred around the famed Iberico katsu sando, a breadcrumbed hunk of tender pork with brioche, cabbage slaw, raspberry sauce and XO shallot sauce. Get your phones out, this is the sexiest finger sandwich in town.

Opening April 4, walk-ins only, 8 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL, tou-london.com

The old favourite: Brat X Da Lucio

Joanna Cromwell & Chef Keegan Misanchuk of Brat restaurant on Redchurch Street (Daniel Lynch)
Joanna Cromwell & Chef Keegan Misanchuk of Brat restaurant on Redchurch Street (Daniel Lynch)

This week, Michelin-starred restaurant Brat is hosting a one-off dinner in partnership with Italian restaurant Da Lucio. Expect imaginative cooking techniques and unusual cuts of the finest seafood from chef Jacabo of Da Lucio who is slated to bring a host of the freshest ingredients available from Rimini. Dishes are set to include braised bowls of tomato and cod tripe, slices of raw aged brill and rose cake finished in Brat’s wood-fired oven. This one sounds an Anglo-Italian (don’t say Britalian!) sensation.

April 4, tickets £125, 4 Redchurch Street, E1 6JL, bratrestaurant.co.uk 

The dining event: Bureau: April supper club

 (Press Handout)
(Press Handout)

Bureau is the smart little restaurant inside the co-working space dubbed the “Design District”. If that sounds more Midtown NYC than Greenwich LDN, then it’s done its job. Whilst you need to be a member to work there, the public restaurant is hosting its latest bi-monthly supper club on April 5. The dishes are centred around affordability and sustainability, so expect sharing dishes like Welsh rarebit croquettes, vol-au-vents with monkfish, cockles and mussels, and a baked rice pudding with rhubarb on the menu. At £45 for three courses, this one sounds a wallet-friendly treat.

April 5, three courses £45, 13 Soames Walk, SE10 0AX, eventbrite.com

The (other) dining event: If I had a...Pie & Mash Shop

 (James Moyle)
(James Moyle)

When the man dubbed “King of Pies” and a pie and mash shop collaborate, we pay attention. Enter Sera, the events platform designed for meeting like-minded food-obsessed folk, who have enrolled his pie-ness Calum Franklin for a special dinner, this Sunday, at the historic M Manze. Expect ox cheek and oyster combinations and a Stargazy number with chicken, leek and Scottish langoustine. It’s free to join as a member but tickets are limited, so sign up fast and nab yourself a spot for this weekend.

April 7, Tickets £35, M. Manze,105 Peckham High Street, SE15 5RS eatwithsera.com

The drinking den: Alfi Spitalfields

 (Caitlin Isola)
(Caitlin Isola)

This new(ish) drinking den sprung up at the end of last year in Spitalfields Market and quickly proved to be a crowd-pleaser. The snacky food menu is appealing enough, but it’s the surprising wine list that entices most. The 50-odd bin list is both concise and interesting, priced to the area perhaps, but with nearly a dozen options for bottles under £35 and a range of glasses starting from £6.50, good value is found here too. The list is split by “classic” and “adventurous”, so visit Alfi to discover your new summer tipple (they even have Cab Sav for when you’re meeting the parents).

3 Crispin Place, E1 6DW, alfi.ltd 

The gig: Happy Mondays

Band the Happy Mondays are set to perform 16 dates across England, Scotland and Wales in 2024 (Paul Husband/PA) (PA Media)
Band the Happy Mondays are set to perform 16 dates across England, Scotland and Wales in 2024 (Paul Husband/PA) (PA Media)

The genre-vaulting, Madchester pioneers Happy Mondays are playing a gig this weekend over at the art-deco Troxy Music Hall, near Limehouse. Expect a thumping concert from these beloved indie dance rockers with hits 24 Hour Party People, Step On, Hallelujah, Loose Fit and Kinky Afro, among many more in the set.

April 6, Tickets £53, 490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX, troxy.co.uk

The oddball ticket: Blackstage presents: Community

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Founded by Leila Davis, Blackstage is an award-winning black-and-queer dance troupe that this weekend will debut the dozen new pole dancers making up the current line-up. Dancers from across the world applied to perform in the annual Blackstage show and the new 2024 roster is made up of highly experienced professional dancers, pole teachers and even a sex worker who were all talented enough to make the cut. Expect a sensual, seductive and inclusive pole dancing show, by far the biggest of the year.

April 6, Tickets £35, The Clapham Grand, St John's Hill, SW11 1TT, dice.fm

The art fix: Patricia Treib, Enfold

Installation view, Patricia Treib (Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photo: Angus Mill)
Installation view, Patricia Treib (Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photo: Angus Mill)

This weekend is your last chance to catch Patricia Treib’s show Enfold at the Kate MacGarry gallery in Shoreditch. The gallery contextualises the show with the line: “Treib's true subject is the process of looking, through which she discovers new relationships while dismantling what is merely recognisable.” It’s this type of heightened focus Trieb deploys with flurries of colour and abstraction, resulting in bright, classical and yet calming works. Don’t miss this one.

Until April 6, Kate MacGarry gallery, 27 Old Nichol Street, E2 7HR, katemacgarry.com

The culture fix: The Comeuppance

 (Almeida Theatre)
(Almeida Theatre)

Opening this weekend at the Almeida is a re-cast run of the US playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins show, The Comeuppance. The New York Times and the New Yorker were among the praising voices for the play when it was stateside, now it’s our turn to debut the show, centred around a school reunion whereby 20 years have passed since graduation. Some of the group have grown up and had children, some have been to and returned from war, but it quickly becomes apparent there is something amiss. This one should be a hit.

From April 6, Tickets from £12.50, Almeida Street, N1 1TA, almeida.co.uk 

The ticket to book now (for later): Budgie Montoya X The Sea The Sea

Budgie Montoya has been a pioneer of Filipino food in London for some years, initially with Sarap in Brixton and now with Apoy near Oxford Circus, amassing a loyal following in the process. He’s got a date with The Sea, The Sea in Hackney, which has revised its offering to focus on these kinds of experimental events rather than classic lunch and dinner services. The changes look exciting, featuring a regularly rotating roster of cooks looking to progress their prowess. In any case, events which bring us more of Montoya’s food make us very happy indeed.

April 28, Tickets £75, 337 Acton Mews, E8 4EA, theseathesea.net

The drinking ticket to book now (for later): The Real Wine Fair

At the end of April, many hundreds of vignerons will descend to Tobacco Dock to participate in the Real Wine Fair: a natty, biodynamic, low intervention-leaning event which sees some of the wine worlds’ more interesting makers share the best of what they’ve created. This showcase of talented artisans aims to “illustrate the existing diversity and personality of naturally-made wines” and will no doubt prove something of a testing ground for your next favourite bottle.

April 28 and 29, Tickets from £25 (free to trade), 50 Porters Walk, E1W 2SF, therealwinefair.com