From stand-up to Filipino food, and from a newish wine bar to a legend of the art world, this weekend is an absolute barnstormer.
As ever then: all you need to eat, drink, see and do this weekend.
The hot table: Donia
Modern Filipino food gets a glamorous outing at new Kingly Court restaurant Donia. Housed in the former site of the restaurant Darjeeling Express, Donia aims to encapsulate a sophisticated style of Filipino food with dishes like lechon with Mang Tomas sauce, whole lobster ginataan (meaning cooked with coconut milk) and turbot bicol express, a spicy Philippines favourite. A perfect winter warmer.
Top Floor, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW, doniarestaurant.com
The old favourite: Spring at Somerset House
Skye Gyngell’s impact on the restaurant scene in London is undeniable, and her flagship restaurant at Somerset House deserves more plaudits than it gets. It’s an ideal space to spend some time in this winter; the atmosphere is always cosy and the food more than matches up. Taleggio tortellini, monkfish with clams and a wintry warm ginger pudding all feature on this elegant, generous menu. Gather friends and savour.
Somerset House, WC2R 1LA, springrestaurant.co.uk
The drinking den: Finch Wine Bar
A new wine bar has opened in Brixton Market serving a carefully-selected collection of exceptional English wines, alongside some little-known French, Californian, Japanese and South African labels too. The by-the-glass offerings start at about £6.50 and the snack menu is full of the kind of simple fare a wine bar should be serving. Perhaps most interesting is the Golden Hour (happy hour to the rest of us) where cocktails drop to £12 for two and the house wine comes in at £5 a glass. Sounds like Christmas cheer in the making.
89 Granville Arcade, SW9 8PS, finchwinebar.com
The culture fix: Marina AbramoviÄ at the Royal Academy
This weekend is one of the last chances to experience Marina AbramoviÄ’s takeover at the RA. The career retrospective spans five decades of performance art, expertly tailored to suit the Academy’s vaulting spaces. Visitors should expect to be made somewhat uncomfortable, particularly around works like Rhythm 0, where in 1974, AbramoviÄ allowed her audience access to knives, a loaded gun, wine, lighters, chains, with a simple instruction: AbramoviÄ was an object, the audience could do whatever they desired. To re-witness this extraordinary risk of performance art is in itself extraordinary.
Until January 1, The Royal Academy, W1J 0BD, royalacademy.org.uk
The can’t miss collab: Padella meets Crisp
The west London-based Crisp has risen to the top of the pizza game in town, regularly touted as the best around courtesy of their signature crisp pizza bases. The popular spot, which operates out the back of the Chancellors W6, is set to collaborate with Padella, another cult favourite, for a one-night-only service. Expect pappardelle ragu pizza, a squid ink pie topped with puttanesca and the famed cacio e pepe reimagined as a calzone. Pre-ordering is a must.
December 12, 25 Crisp Road, W6 9RL, storekit.com
The ticket to book now (for later): James Cochran at Pasero
Chef James Cochran is taking over the hobs at swish neighbourhood joint Pasero for a series of intimate dinners from December 13. With his restaurant 12:51 and Great British Menu wins under his belt, Cochran’s impressive cooking looks set to continue with dishes including a crisp hash brown with oyster cream and cured beef and warm pearl barley with truffle, celeriac and shemiji mushroom. On for just a few days this December, give yourself an early Christmas gift and book this.
From December 13, 120a W Green Road, N15 5AA, pasero.uk