There are so many reasons to be excited for the arrival of spring: the return of sunny days and warm weather, upcoming bank holidays . . . and, if you’re like us, a whole new season of exciting London pop-ups. From gin palaces and Martini bars to throwback drive-in film screenings and high-end Japanese cuisine, these 10 London spring pop-ups really cover the gamut.
Humble pie and mash shop by day and humming gin palace by night, Peters & Co undergoes its beguiling transformation once the sun goes down. While old-school snacks and brews abound, gin is most definitely the order of the evening. Nearly 30 different bottles will be on-hand, while a new spring cocktail list – including the Lady Marmalade, which blends Sacred Orris gin, pink grapefruit gin, marmalade, Armagnac, and lemon – will keep punters refreshed throughout the season.
Through the end of May; Peters & Co Gin Palace, 9 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH, http://petersginpalace.com
Though The Pickled Fork typically operates as a supper club, the cooking series – which is run by two young chefs and focuses on local, well-sourced ingredients – will be setting up shop in Brixton at the end of March for a limited dinner calendar. Cooking will meld transatlantic inspiration, so look out for appetising plates the likes of Buffalo wings served with four British sauces, a Brixton brisket bap, and banana and clotted cream pie for dessert.
20th – 30th March; Coldharbour Lane (address to be revealed upon booking), London SE5 9QH, Tel: +44 (0)7539 256 717, www.thepickledfork.com
Mark ‘The Ribman’ Gevaux is a familiar face around the street food markets of London, and his mind-meltingly good rib sandwiches have earned him a reputation as something of a meat guru. The fact that he’s labelled Tongue ’n Cheek’s Heartbreaker burger as the best in London, then, is quite the endorsement. Now through May, you can find these mobile burger slingers stationed for a residency at Angel’s Joker of Penton Street pub. Pro tip: on Sundays, they also do an Italian porchetta roast.
For six weeks from 1st March; The Joker of Penton Street, 58 Penton Street, London N1 9PZ, Tel: +44 (0)207 837 3891, www.tonguencheek.info
Why go to a regular dinner when you can have a nine-course tasting menu that pulls from ancient Japanese traditions, is produced in partnership with artists, and opens with a short film screening? Kaiseki by Kitchen Theory, a limited edition experimental dinner hosted at Islington’s House of Wolf, takes inspiration from Japanese kaiseki-ryōri tasting menus. Come prepared to sample from an edible garden while taking in visual elements like Scriptura Vitae, a poetic short film by Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic that serves as your amuse-bouche.
Through May; The House of Wolf, 181 Upper Street, London N1 1RQ, Tel: +44 (0)207 288 1470, www.kitchen-theory.com/kaiseki-by-kitchen-theory
Darjeeling Express at the Sun and 13 Cantons
There are few things more satisfying in life, if we’re honest, than a pint and a curry, so Londoners should relish the chance to enjoy both at once. Throughout spring, Soho’s The Sun and 13 Cantons will host a cooking residency with Darjeeling Express. Dishes will include Bengali prawn and fish malaikar and Calcutta mughlai, though you don’t need to make a reservation to enjoy the range of satiating bar snacks – masala fries, anyone?
For eight weeks from 24th February; The Sun and 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, London W1F 9NG, Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 0934, http://darjeeling-express.com
Momo’s Weekend Voyages
Brunch is a staple for any decent spring weekend – who doesn’t like drinking bloody marys in the sun? – but the full English does lack variety. Enter the new Weekend Voyages pop-up brunch series at Momo. The North African-inspired menu puts an exotic twist on the classic format with plates like tagine-cooked coco beans in charmoula sauce, merguez sausages, tchaktchouka and more. After dining, linger for a few hours longer, as Momo will also be showing a series of European and North African films.
From April; Momo, Heddon Street, London W1B 4BH, Tel: +44 (0)207 434 4040, http://momoresto.com
The days of drive-in cinemas may have long since passed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t revive the glory days, thanks to a spring series run by Rooftop Film Club. The Drive-In-Film Club costs just £22 per car, so pack your vehicle full of friends and drive over to Alexandra Palace, where scheduled screenings include Rush, Back to the Future, and recent Oscar winner Gravity. The best part? Servers will deliver classic cinema snacks straight to your car.
31st March – 11th April, Pavilion Car Park, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY, Tel: +44(0) 207 998 7717, http://experiencecinema.com
Since setting up shop on the Kings Road, Kurobuta has earned raves all round for its moreish, totally delectable Japanese cooking – with ex-Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth overseeing things, there’s not much surprise there. This isn’t ascetic Japanese cuisine, all delicate soy and tender sushi, but junk food-inspired, seriously indulgent small plates. Dishes like BBQ pork belly in steamed buns with spicy peanut soy and Wagyu beef sliders are rib-stickers, while snacks like crispy skin duck confit with watermelon and pumpkin tempura are positively addictive.
Through spring, 251 Kings Road, London SW3 5EL, Tel: +44 (0)203 475 4158, www.kurobuta-london.com
Sipsmith’s 100 Martini Bar
The Martini may be an eternal drink, but there’s still always room for some experimentation. Or a lot of experimentation. At Sipsmith’s aptly named 100 Martini Bar, popping up in Kettner’s oak-panelled private room, guests can pick their poison from 100 different recipes, most of which harken back to distinct moments in the drink’s long history. Once you’ve selected, a bartender will wheel over to your table and get to shaking.
27th March – 12th April, Kettner’s, 29 Romilly Street, London W1D 5HP, Tel: +44 (0)207 734 6112, www.kettners.com/sipsmith-100-martini-bar
Those who like their seafood with a healthy helping of kitsch: don’t miss the chance to visit Mussel Men, now based in Dalston. Once a street food stall, the pop-up serves up boatloads of fresh fruits de mer (accompanied by frites and Prosecco) and is run by staffers kitted out in marinières and knit caps. If you’re bold, you can challenge rig-master Captain Bob to a thumb war (yes, really) for the chance to take home some marine merch.
Through 30th March; Mussel Men, 428 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA, Tel: +44 (0)7920 798 162, www.musselmen.com
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