When Tier 2 restrictions were place on the capital in October many Londonites were to be found lamenting the arrival of ‘lockdown part two’ on social media. Which we’re inclined to think was a little premature. Yes, there may be a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants and you can’t pop round to your mums for a cup of tea anymore but the capital’s culture, entertainment and hospitality industries are working hard to make sure there’s still plenty of fun to be found within the guidelines – and they’ve never needed your support more. Here’s our pick of the coolest things to do in London this month…
The night out: Truman's Social Club
Okay, night out might be a bit of an exaggeration seeing as last orders are at 9.30pm but, luckily, the new Truman’s Social Club from Truman’s Brewery is open all day, so you can make the most of East London’s newest eating and drinking spot. Housed in a converted warehouse with beer garden attached to Truman’s still operational brewery (and thus extremely social distancing friendly), the emphasis here is obviously on the beer, with a vast range from both Truman’s and guest breweries. However, if beer isn’t your thing, there’s also a long list of wines and spirits plus Asian street food from Zero and vegan fare by Last Night A Vegan Saved My Life.
The exhibition: Bags: Inside Out at the V&A
From briefcases to document bags and backpacks to weekenders, bags are an indispensable accessory no man or woman can do without. This month the V&A’s latest exhibition, Bags: Inside Out, will explore just how they became so essential, charting their long and varied history from the humble tote bag to the designer status symbol. Showcasing more than 300 objects, dating from the 16th Century to the modern day, the exhibition will examine bags from three angles: function, status and identity and design and making, taking in works by Hermes, Dior, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Thom Browne, Mulberry and more. This is truly a fashion exhibition that has something for everyone.
The fine dining: Brunch at Allegra
With restaurants and bars forced to close their doors at 10pm, gone are the days of lengthy dinners that stretched into the small hours. Instead brunch is emerging as the leisurely weekend meal to make the most of – so it pays to know where to find the capital’s best. Allegra, the elegant restaurant at The Stratford hotel, comes from the team behind Chiltern Firehouse and has just launched its first brunch menu. Designed by head chef Patrick Powell, culinary delights include Cornish crab potato latke, pickled fennel and sesame, hand-rolled lobster taglierini and truffled Croque Madame. Book a spot on its pretty terrace if you plan to dine with people outside your home.
The theatre: The Mousetrap
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been running continuously on the West End for the last 68 years so you can bet it wasn’t about to let a little thing like a global pandemic keep it down. This classic whodunnit became the first West End show to return from lockdown in its original format at the end of October and will be playing to delighted (and strictly socially distanced) audiences night after night until the government says otherwise. The show’s producers happily admit they’re almost guaranteed to lose money by reopening but, with London’s culture scene in dire straits, it’s a hit they’re willing to take. If you’ve yet to see one of London’s favourite plays, now is the perfect time.
The nightcap: Macallan x Roca Brothers
Whisky might not be the traditional pairing for fine food but this month Macallan, with a little help from the Roca Brothers, is trying to change that. The Scottish distiller has teamed up with the chef-owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain (two time winner of the Best Restaurant in the World) to create a limited edition whisky and two gastronomic experiences in which to sample it.
First up, Rosewood London will be offering a welcome cocktail as well as a unique scallop dish finished with malt broth, fennel and roasted hazelnut and artichoke puree designed to tease out the whisky’s oak spice, ginger and cinnamon flavours. The second experience will be available from the Macallan Estate, as well as Rosewood London, the Ritz and the Connaught, and comprises a welcome cocktail, a dram of limited edition whisky and three types of candied nuts (curry candied walnuts, Earl Grey candied macadamia nuts and mint and ginger cashew nuts). We can’t think of a better way to end an evening.
Staying in? Here’s what to watch on Netflix in November…
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