ENJOY DRY JANUARY: Club Soda Pop-Up
Non-alcoholic collective Club Soda has opened the UK’s first alcohol-free off licence on Great Portland Street. Open until the end of January, shoppers can choose from a range of alcohol-free alternatives, including craft beers, cocktails, wine and kombucha. Ideal if you’re doing Dry January – or simply want to try some healthier alternatives – the shelves are stocked with drinks from Alt Organic Wine, BrewDog, Bowser, Nunc, Anon, Mocking Bird and Urban Cordial. Throughout the month, the pop-up will also host a series of workshops and events, including an alcohol-free cocktail masterclass on Monday 10th January at 2pm.
59 Great Portland Street, West End, W1W 7LJ
STREAM A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Royal Opera House On Demand
To celebrate the start of the New Year, Royal Opera House is adding seven special performances to its online streaming platform this month. This weekend, choose from The Dante Project, Giselle and the Royal Ballet’s 2017 Sleeping Beauty, set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. On Thursday 20th January at 7.20pm you can also watch a live performance of Verdi’s Nabucco (£16pp) – a dramatic tragedy about a desperate father and his two daughters. At the end of the month, viewers can tune into Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, as well as Marguerite and Armand – a ballet specially created in 1963 for Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. On demand tickets start from £10pp.
ORDER AN ECO-FRIENDLY MEAL: W5
W5 is London’s first ‘climate positive’ restaurant. Rather than achieving net-zero carbon emissions, the bistro goes a step further and removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits, meaning you can enjoy a meal while helping the environment. The eco menu includes seasonal dishes made from local ingredients, like almond pancakes and eggs benedict for brunch, plus all-day options like falafel burgers, lemon and thyme chicken with watercress, and crispy squid with saffron aioli. Treat yourself to churros with chocolate sauce for dessert, or a couple of ‘Espresso Mar’tree’nis’ made with FAIR Café liqueur, Sapling vodka and sustainably sourced coffee.
Dickens Yard, Longfield Avenue, Ealing, W5 2UQ
GET YOUR CULTURE FIX: At Peace Exhibition At Gillian Jason Gallery
British curator Jade Foster has opened a new exhibition at Gillian Jason Gallery. At Peace is a collection of prints and paintings by female Afro-Caribbean artists, including Alanis Forde, Miranda Forrester, Sahara Longe, Cece Philips, and Emma Prempeh. Each piece explores what it means to be a Black woman in the Western world, highlighting how Black women have been negatively depicted and left out of classical and modernist art. Our favourites? ‘Destination Wedding’ by Alanis Forde and ‘UpLate’ by Miranda Forrester are a vibrant celebration of Black female bodies.
Until Sunday 30th January; 19 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8AZ
READ THIS DEBUT NOVEL: The Family By Naomi Kruptisky
American author Naomi Kruptisky’s debut novel hits shelves today. The Family tells the story of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia in Brooklyn. Sofia Colicchio is loud and confident, while Antonia Russo is thoughtful and introverted. Best friends since birth, they live in the shadow of their fathers' unspoken community: the Family. After Antonia’s father mysteriously disappears, Sofia and Antonia’s relationship becomes fraught, driving a wedge between them as they grow into women, wives, mothers, and leaders. And as they push against the boundaries of society's expectations and fight to preserve their complex but life-sustaining friendship, one fateful night their loyalty to each other and the Family is tested.
START YOUR WEEKEND RIGHT: Flor Bakery
Borough restaurant Flor has opened a new bakery in Bermondsey where you can shop baked goods and artisan wines. Using flours milled on site, the Flor team bakes different loaves of bread each morning, so there’s always something new on offer, from sourdough loaves and rye bread to a signature ‘Baker’s Choice’ made from organic wheat, wholegrain barley, spelt, rye,
and flaked grain porridge. Make a beeline for the bakery on Saturday morning for buttery croissants, twice-baked almond croissants, brown butter cakes, lardy buns and Danish pastries, but if you’re not local to southeast London, a selection of bakes are available for nationwide delivery.
Bermondsey Spa Terminus, Unit 6, Spa Road, SE16 4RP
SEE THE LIGHTS: Illuminated River Bridges Walk
On Friday 7th Jan at 6.30pm, four bridges across London will be illuminated with artwork by American artist Leo Villareal. The Illuminated River exhibition will light up Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Cannon Street Railway Bridge and London Bridge – tickets include a 75-minute guided tour of all four, with information of the bridges' history and design. Ideal for an al fresco date, tickets cost £10pp – meet the group at Blackfriars Station (Northside) inside the underground ticketing hall.
GET KNEADING: The Dusty Knuckle Bread Workshop
The Dusty Knuckle Bakery School is hosting a bread making workshop on Saturday 8th January. The all-day cooking masterclass will teach you how to make four different types of bread from scratch, including sourdough, rye bread and focaccia. You’ll learn about the bread making process and go home with a goody bag which includes a dough scraper, recipe pack, and some of The Dusty Knuckle’s sourdough starter so you can recreate fresh loaves at home. Tickets cost £135pp, which also includes lunch at the neighbouring 40ft Brewery.
Abbot Street, Dalston, E8 3DP
ENJOY A GLASS OR TWO: FENN Wine Club
Fulham restaurant FENN has launched a monthly wine club so members can receive six bottles of wine from the team’s favourite wine producers around the world. There’s a new theme each month fusing on a country, region, or style – January’s box contains a selection of lower alcohol bottles to kickstart the year. Boxes (£135pm) also contain a producer information sheet, tasting notes and a seasonal pairing recipe from FENN’s head chef. Members can also enjoy tasting sessions and events to be announced over the next few months.