TRY A NEW ROAST HERE: Four Legs at The Compton Arms
Four Legs is the name of chef duo Jamie Allan and Ed McIlroy, who hold a long-term residency at the Compton Arms pub in Islington. New this month, the boys are serving a Sunday menu. Working closely with suppliers, the choices of meat will depend on availability each week: think sirloin served with crisp roast potatoes, beef gravy and obligatory Yorkshire pudding; or whole roast chicken doused in fresh herbs and chicken sauce, served with fries and aioli. We also like the sound of whole John Dory with brown butter and capers, and the sole dessert: brioche pudding with butterscotch sauce.
4 Compton Avenue, Islington, N1 2XD; 3rd November
BOOK AHEAD FOR THIS: The Great Christmas Feast
After a sold-out debut in 2018, secret Christmas dining experience The Great Christmas Feast returns from 22nd November. A live arts and dining experience, the 2019 edition will fuse theatre, live music, a multi-course dining interlude and Dickensian cocktails. On entry, guests will find themselves entwined in the story of A Christmas Carol, brought to life by a collective of musicians, chefs and mixologists. The menu, delivered by Temper head chef Neil Rankin and ex-Nopi head chef David Lagonell, will include dishes inspired by scenes from the novel, using contemporary techniques to recreate classic Victorian recipes. We like the sound of ‘The Cratchit Family’s Feast Decadent’, which will feature platters of wild pheasant and game, sausages, chestnuts, pears, roasted roots and potatoes.
18 Chelsea Manor Street, Chelsea, SW3 5UH; 22nd November-4th January
SEE ONE OF THE YEAR’S BIGGEST EXHIBITIONS HERE: Royal Academy
Perhaps the 20th-century’s most celebrated portraitist, Lucian Freud also portrayed himself with great regularity. Spanning nearly seven decades from 1939, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter. Seen together, they are an engrossing study of the process of ageing. Confronting his self-image anew with each work, he depicted himself in youth as the Greek hero Acteon; then later in life in sombre reflection; and – fittingly, for a great painter of nudes – naked but for a pair of unlaced boots at age 71. Due to popular demand, the RA has extended its opening hours to 8pm every Saturday until 3rd December. The exhibition is also open until 10pm on Fridays.
6 Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly, W1S 3ET; until 26th January
FEEL WINTRY HERE: Pergola Olympia
Taking inspiration from its big sister in Paddington, Pergola Olympia has taken on a new botanical look, mixing overgrown ivy and botanical planters with a modern interior of exposed brickwork and rustic furniture. The winter-themed space has room for 500 diners, nine giant day beds, three self-service restaurants, two well-stocked bars, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, heating and a fully protecting roof – which just so happens to be covered with fairy lights. When it comes to food, there are three new spots: Mamalam, Salt Shed and Smash Patty (from the Patty & Bun crew). Expect DJs to play late into the night on weekends and a new ‘winter warmer’ cocktail menu.
Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way, Kensington, W14 8UX
HAVE AFTERNOON TEA HERE: The Franklin London
The Franklin London has launched a whimsical afternoon tea celebrating the V&A’s latest exhibition, Wonderful Things, a retrospective of the fantastical works of British fashion photographer Tim Walker. Designed in partnership with luxury event planners La Fête, the afternoon tea offers guests a kaleidoscopic feast. Presented in delicately tiered bird cages, each piece from the afternoon tea menu takes inspiration from fairy tales. Highlights include lobster-filled black buns; twisted trees adorned with chocolate and yuzu macarons; nests of kataifi pasta with micro salad and ricotta; domes of gravity-defying meringue; and chocolate and pistachio upside-down cones with faux ice cream.
24 Egerton Gardens, Knightsbridge, SW3 2DB; until 29th February
GO TO A GIG HERE: Union Chapel
Singer Camille O’Sullivan’s new show ‘CAVE’ explores the light and the dark of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds in her dangerous, yet fragile theatrical style. Having sung Cave’s songs many times over the years, her new show looks at his back catalogue and explores his music in all its different aspects: the profane, the hymnal, the love song. This is a very different type of concert: still a rock gig but with imagery and recordings that give it a darker, more spiritual edge – and put the songs in a setting most suited to their macabre protagonists.
Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UN; 1st-2nd November
GET IMMERSIVE HERE: Variant 31
For Halloween, Variant 31 is running a special zombie-horror experience at Space 18 on New Oxford Street. At a venue consisting of seven buildings and 35 floors of themed sets, players have 90 minutes of freedom to define their own immersive, action-packed adventure. Participants are able to choose which direction to go in and what rooms to explore in this narrative-driven game where the player with the most points wins. Featuring over 150 actors with over 1,000 different routes to explore, players can traverse darkened corridors, fog-filled chambers and more than 200 rooms.
39 New Oxford Street, West End, WC1A 1BN; until 2nd November
DO YOUR BIT FOR CHARITY HERE: Centrepoint London Sleep Out
This year marks Centrepoint’s 50th as the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity. It’s shining a light on the anniversary at its annual Sleep Out. With live entertainment, food and the chance to learn more about Centrepoint’s important work, Sleep Out sees businesses come together to hunker down outdoors for the night to raise vital funds for homeless young people. Sleep Out is hosted in a safe and secure site that only participants, volunteers and Centrepoint staff can gain access to. With hot dinner (and breakfast the following day) from the RAF, as well as drinks and acoustic performers, the evening does not in any way replicate rough sleeping, but it does give participants an insight into the challenges homeless young people face on a daily basis. At 11pm, the real challenge begins and everyone will bed down for the evening: it will be cold and it will be uncomfortable, but the charity promises it will be meaningful. Grab your sleeping bag and sign up – for free registration, use the code ‘SHEERLUXEFREE’.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E20; 21st November
GO SHOPPING HERE: Riley Studio
Gender-neutral, eco-friendly fashion brand Riley Studio’s first concept store is popping up in Notting Hill until Saturday. Inspired by the raw landscapes and heritage of Scotland, the brand’s third collection – ‘From Waste to Wardrobe’ – includes elevated wardrobe staples, crafted from pre- and post-consumer waste materials including plastic bottles, recycled cashmere and recycled wool. The store is also providing a clothes drop in partnership with Stories Behind Things, so that customers can donate their old clothes for a good cause.
79 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AG; until 2nd November
BE A VIP HERE: Aster
Aster has launched a Sunday feasting menu – and SL VIPs can get 30% off the bill for groups of up to six. On Sundays between noon and 4pm, there will be a bottomless Bloody Mary garnish station at which guests can personalise as many cocktails as they like. Diners can also help themselves to a vast seafood, meat, dessert and cheese bar. Begin with crunchy jumbo shrimp; tabbouleh chicken salad; matjes herring; fresh Colchester rock oysters; and a selection of charcuterie. Mains include a tender roast leg of salt marsh lamb with rosemary and garlic; butterflied sea bass; grass-fed sirloin from native-breed beef cattle; and a Moroccan vegetable pastilla with wild mushrooms and flaky pastry. Not yet a member? Sign up to become a SheerLuxe VIP using the link below.
150 Victoria Street, Victoria, SW1E 5LB; 3rd November
WATCH THIS: Stephen King's Doctor Sleep
Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson and newcomer Kyliegh Curran star in this new supernatural thriller. Doctor Sleep continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. Irrevocably scarred by the trauma he endured as a child at the Overlook, Dan has fought to find some semblance of peace. That peace is shattered when he encounters Abra, a courageous teenager with her own powerful extrasensory gift, known as the ‘shine’. Forming an unlikely alliance, Dan and Abra must engage in a brutal life-or-death battle. Perfect Halloween weekend viewing.
In cinemas now
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