Granted, many in London might not be gearing up to do much this weekend, certainly on Saturday.
Plenty of party-loving types are most likely anticipating rising around noon, bleary-eyed, thick-headed, with Guinness-breath and the words “kiss me I’m Irish” scrawled across their cheeks. Whilst worrying if sharpie will wash out before Sunday’s lunch with mum, grab some concealer or don a hat, drink down a hair of the dog and get over the stupor. London still lives: this weekend, if St Patrick’s Day doesn’t completely dominate, there’s new restaurants, new shows, new wine bars and much more. Sláinte.
The new restaurant: Kibako
What was Rai, the swish and spenny omakase outpost of Islington’s Hot Stone, is moving — though at present, no-one seems to know where. As such, news of Kibako’s opening is especially welcome. This new, more casual offering is from the same group, and fills Rai’s former home. It opened on Tuesday and guests can expect the same provenance of wonderfully sourced seafood, at a fraction of Rai’s previous cost. It sounds like a winning formula.
3 Windmill Street, 1T 2HY, kibakolondon.com
The new drinking den: Trullo’s Wine Bar
Trullo has enjoyed a mini-renaissance of late. Ever-popular, it’s recently featured in a number of “London’s best” lists. From romantic nods to dining room vibes to the Murphia list, it seems Trullo gets everything right. It is rather good, and recently the team have extended this goodness next door, by way of a new wine bar. The space is small — only seating a dozen or so — but highly pleasing. No surprise, the wines lean Italian. The best value comes when taking away, although the ‘by the glass’ offering starts at about £6, which these days is rather good.
304, St Pauls Road, N1 2LH, trullorestaurant.com
The show to know about: After the Act
Described by the Standard’s Nick Curtis as “engagingly scrappy and righteously angry”, After the Act tells the story of a “post-section 28” Britain, when laws repealed bans on the so-called “promotion of homosexuality”. The show is both searingly personal and deeply comical. The tragedy of those attitudes is set to glitzy, if somewhat juvenile, showtunes; a juxtaposition which only further demonstrates how oppressive Eighties Britain was. With topics that cover teenage suicide, aids, self-harm and conversion therapy, this musical doesn’t tread lightly.
On until April 1, New Diorama Theatre, 15-16 Triton Street, NW1 3BF, newdiorama.com
The culture fix: BBC symphony orchestra & chorus
Now that a certain ex-footballer/crisp shiller has been reinstated, talking about a promising performance from the BBC finally means more than wondering if Tim Davie might quit. Enough of all that. The BBC’s symphony orchestra is showcasing at the Barbican two tales of “triumph of the human spirit”; Job and Beowolf. Vaughan Williams’ Job is described as one of the 20th century’s masterpieces, whilst the new commission of Beowulf by Iain Bell is expected to thrill. For classical music lovers, this world premiere is not to be missed.
March 17, 7.30pm, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS, barbican.org.uk
Book now, for next week: Caravel Family Dinners with Freddie Janssen
Caravel has announced a series of one-off collaborations with some of London’s best-loved culinary talent. Max Halley, possibly London’s sandwich king, is joining them in April. First in the new line-up, though, is Freddie Janssen. Janssen runs Snackbar, the popular and very good east London cafe. The Caravel gang say these pop-ups will “celebrate nostalgic meals from top chef’s childhoods” — for Janssen that means deep-fried bitterballen, frikandellen and choucroute. Yes please.
March 21, tickets are £45pp, 172 Shepherdess Walk, N1 7JL, caravelrestaurant.com