alloween might be this weekend, but it’s these last few days that have really been the horror, with Tier 2 rules and the 10pm curfew continuing to dampen all the fun as ever-loudening rumours arrive of a second lockdown.
Still, that’s a problem for our future selves to deal with. For the time being, make the most of being out while you still can. It might mean squeezing in under the pub garden heaters and only seeing your friends al fresco, but if further restrictions are to come, even freezing outside the local boozer might soon feel like a lost luxury.
Head on a murder mystery cruise
Floating restaurant the London Shell Co. offers one of London’s most enjoyable ways to spend an evening; bloody good food, served as they potter along the Regent’s Canal. They’re now having a little fun too, mixing the suppers with a murder mystery throughout November: the Admiral John Dory has been murdered and everyone aboard is a suspect. Guests, who’ll tuck into a five course meal through the three-hour evening, will be assigned their characters ahead of the evening. Things kick off this Saturday, and then will continue through the month on Thursdays and Fridays.
Catch some cabaret
Cabaret feels a decidedly late-night affair – inherently, it has that slightly illicit, after-hours vibe – so it’s fun to see a new cabaret pop-up launching. Things start at 5pm and finish for 10pm, but the Rendez-Vous Revue are bringing their brand of burlesque to new Soho spot the Midnight Lounge. Come for drag, striptease, a few variety acts and Asian-inspired street food served to the table, alongside plenty of good things to drink. Evelyn Carnate (winner of Miss Burlesque UK 2019-20) and Athena Beauvoir (Miss Burlesque 2019 finalist) star.
Settle in with the rugby
Live sport may remain off-limits, but this weekend is a good one for rugby fans. Things begin at 2.15pm with Wales taking on Scotland, continue at 4.45pm as Italy square up to England, and finish with an 8.05pm clash between France and Ireland, which should be an entertaining watch. Various pubs and bars are showing the games over the weekend – we’ll be in front of the screen in the Rugby Tavern in Bloosbury, but those wanting to guarantee a spot may prefer to book for Greenwood in Victoria (just be sure to check if they’ll have the sound on), the various Boxpark locations, or the grand old Prince in West Brompton. That said, the pick of the bunch has to be the the Hawk’s Nest in Shepherds Bush, where they’ve group-friendly outdoor space, are showing all the games, and are offering a pizza with a drink for just £10. The day will finish with Halloween celebrations, where the best dressed attendee will win a bar tab of £100.
Saturday, various locations
Putt your stuff at Plonk Peckham
Crazy-golfers Plonk have headed down to Peckham with their brand new course. This is crazy golf at its craziest yet, with huge great obstacles, neon-coloured everything and plenty of booze to boot. Besides the golf, they’ve pinball machines, retro arcade games and foosball tables too.
Escape to Scotland at the Rosewood’s new terrace
For a number of years now, the terrace behind the Holborn Dining Room – inside the Rosewood hotel – has annually been spruced up as the weather turns its back on summer. This year, the hotel has partnered with the Macallan for a tartan-clad courtyard space that promises the charm of a Scottish manor house, transported to Holborn. The terrace is serving hearty plates from the restaurant alongside warming whisky cocktails.
Cosy up at a Candlelit Concert
There’s something intangibly special about the Round Chapel in Hackney. This beautiful venue has launched a series of socially-distanced, candelit gigs; these are billed as being intense, intimate affairs, with the musicians not revealed until the evening of each show. Things start on Saturday and continue through the winter: wrap up warm, go for the atmosphere, and keep yourself going with mulled wine.
Saturday (and then regularly throughout November and December), 1D Glenarm Road, E5 0LY, secretadventures.org
Drink up at Jackson Boxer’s new dive bar
It seems the Jackson Boxer took one look at all this pandemic stuff and decided to simply press on. The man behind Orasay has expanded his offering at his other restaurant, Brunswick House, the gorgeous venue he runs down in Vauxhall (nicely close to Darby’s – going between the two is a perfect way to spend an afternoon). Head down into the cellars for the red lights of his dive bar, where there’s wine, cocktails and plenty of snacks to soak all of this up. The bar is open from Thursdays through till Sundays.
Our weekend eat: Mo Diner
Our weekend pick for where to eat is the beguiling Mo Diner. There is something almost instantly loveable about this spot from charming restaurateur Mourad Mazouz – perhaps it is the faintly Thirties vibe, or the yellow counters and matching floor, or the palm trees dotted everywhere. It could be the buzz of the place; there is a sense of everyone enjoying themselves and the room crackles with good times. Drinks are excellent – especially if you ask very nicely indeed and get them ordered up from Erik Lorincz’s wonderful downstairs bar, Kwant – while food is firmly first rate, coming from the talented Eric Chavot. Leaning into the diner vibe, they serve an all-day menu designed for picking at; the lamb kafta and lemon chicken sticks, fresh from the grill, are just the sort of bite that goes so well with a negroni. Still, mostly, this is all about the feeling it inspires; a warm, easy happiness. You will want to stay and chat, and curfew will seem especially cruel, but go; it’s a tonic to all this news we’re having.