Whether you’re looking for a date night treat or something fun to do with friends, London’s restaurants, pubs and bars are have a host of events this September offering feasts for the stomach and mind. And here’s our pick…
1 Paella and Bubbles Party at Arros QD, Fitzrovia
Valencian restaurant Arros QD is throwing a paella party to mark World Paella Day (September 15). The night features a tasting menu prepared by the restaurant’s multi-Michelin starred Spanish chef-patron Quique Dascosta, who’s nailed the art of wood-fired paella during his time in the kitchen. The evening starts with welcome nibbles and cocktails and then moves onto signature dishes such as prawns, citrus and kale salad and Iberian presa on top of Jerusalem artichoke puree. The three styles of paella are made with rabbit and chicken, seafood and Basque cod, all served with a selection of aioli. Dishes come paired with Spanish sparkling wines and live flamenco guitar music sets the tone.
Thursday, September 23, 6.30pm-8.30pm; £80pp, book here; 64 Eastcastle Street, W1W 8NQ; arrosqd.com
2 Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations at Mei Ume, Four Seasons Hotel
Head Chef Tony Truong has crafted a special menu of Chinese dishes traditionally eaten during the festival to symbolise gratitude and togetherness. For dim sum, there’s dumplings filled with black truffles as well as har gau and siu mai – the prawn and pork dumplings usually first to disappear from the trolley. There’s also the restaurant’s signature Peking duck is served with pancakes as well as palette cleansing cucumber and shredded leeks. And of course, there’s the mooncakes which are the festival’s emblems, filled with rose jam, red bean paste and pine nuts, white lotus and salted egg and matcha – delicious.
Tuesday, September 7 – Tuesday, September 21; menu is £68 per person and is available for up to 8 guests; 10 Trinity Square, London, City of London, EC3N 4AJ; meiume.com
3 Cinnamon Kitchen City, City of London
Following his successful run on MasterChef: The Professionals 2020, former head chef at Cinnamon Kitchen City Santosh Shah, is hosting an intimate residency that will showcase fine-dining, Nepalese style. In what sounds like a delightful evening, Shah has created a 15-course tasting menu inspired by the food and heritage of his birth town, Siraha, offering a fresh take on traditional south Asian cuisine. Each sitting serves just 15 people each, and dishes are taken at the open plan kitchen counter and the dishes served includes things like canapes of miniature lamb brain doughnuts and duck breast salad, and chicken momo – traditional Nepalese dumplings that have been zhooshed up with the not-so-traditional additions of pickled cucumber and caviar. For the sweeter courses, there’s sweet dumplings filled with chocolate, chilli, cinnamon and orange, as well as the impressive-sounding kodo ko kheer and mango snowball with mango leather, Sichuan biscuit, caramelised mango and a gold leaf finish. A vegetarian tasting menu is available on request.
The menu is £75 per person, and tickets are available here; 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL; cinnamon-kitchen.com
4 Oyster Masterclasses with Tommaso Sicurro at Wiltons, St. James’s
Love oysters? Want to love oysters more? Wiltons restaurant (which received a Royal Warrant in 1836 for supplying oysters to Queen Victoria) is launching its Oyster Masterclass series this September, in partnership with English sparkling wine label Nyetimber and led by oyster master Tommaso Sicurro. Informal, informative and interactive, these two-hour sessions take you through the dos and don’ts and the etiquette of eating these molluscs.
First session is on September 13; classes are limited to eight people and includes a dozen oysters paired with three glasses of sommelier selected Nyetimber tipples; 6pm-8pm; tickets are £85 each and available here; 65 Jermyn Street, St. James’s SW1Y 6LX; wiltons.co.uk
5 Jenga Competition, The Hawk’s Nest, Shepherd’s Bush
Steel your nerves and take some risks in The Hawk’s Nest’s round robin Jenga competition. There are four rounds each night with the final round played on the Giant Jenga set. For their efforts, weekly winners take home a cash prize of £200. Also, best team name wins a round of drinks – so brainstorm some puns. You can also just tuck into sourdough pizzas and cocktails, in The Hawk’s Nest’s large, green courtyard, which sounds like a pretty good idea too.
On Wednesday, September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; 7pm-9pm; tickets from £5 and available here; Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush Market, W12 8DF; the-hawks-nest.co.uk
6 Palm 34 at 34 Mayfair
Summer may have been a wash out and overseas holidays a hassle this year, but not all summer travel is off the table. In fact, Palm 34 is putting some dishes on the table this September that might take you away from London’s grey skies at least for a little while. A collaboration with Perrier-Jouët Champagne and Malfy Gin, the bar and grill restaurant has created a Palm Springs-inspired cocktail and food menu (and installation) for the last days of summer – for brunch, lunch or dinner. It features items such as a salmon poke bowl, shrimp burger and a Korean BBQ spiced spatchcock chicken, as well as a range of gin-based cocktails like the 34 Palm, with Malfy Rosa Gin, apricot liqueur, lime and Grenadine.
Monday to Friday, 12pm-11pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-11pm;34 Grosvenor Square, S Audley St, W1K 2HD; 34-restaurant.co.uk
7 Civilised Sundays programme at Jikoni, Marylebone
Restauranteur and chef patron of Jikoni, Ravinder Bhogal will launch her third series of the sell-out Civilised Sundays programme this September. First up, she welcomes BBC Woman’s Hour co-host Anita Rani who will discuss her her first book, The Right Sort of Girl. Future guests include food writer Claudia Roden and composer, sitarists and activist Anoushka Shankar. Each talk is followed up by a slap-up meal, put together by Ravinder so each dinner pays tribute to her guests in some way.
First talk is on Sunday, September 19; 6.30pm; tickets are from £65pp and available here; 19-21 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 3DH; jikonilondon.com
8 Wunderbar, an Oktoberfest celebration at Pergola Paddington
Brush of your lederhosen and get your drinking shoes on for this kinda Oktoberfest. Pergola Paddington – one of west London’s largest alfresco eating and dining halls – becomes a huge, Theresienwiese-inspired beer hall, serving up real German beers and hearty Bavarian food. It features live DJs, Oom-pah bands, weekend bottomless brunches, an LGBTQ+ party and the opportunity to be crowned Beer King and Queen of Wunderbar with a year’s supply of beer as a prize.
Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 31; 4 Kingdom St, W2 6PY; tickets include a stein or cocktail and start from £10, on sale here; bookings recommended; pergolapaddington.com
9 Chelsea Flower Show-inspired Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, Mayfair
Celebrating one of the world’s greatest flower fests, a limited edition menu has been created featuring floral-inspired cakes such as the chocolate and blackberry ‘Pink Hydrangea’ and the mango and passionfruit ‘Sunflower’. These of course, are served up after a selection of sandwiches – the avocado, grilled courgette, coriander and almond one sounds pretty good – and scones with jam and clotted cream. Also, good to know – your pooch is welcome to join you for tea too.
September 21-26; Monday to Saturday 12.30pm-4.30pm, Sunday 12.30pm-5.30pm; 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7BJ; athenaeumhotel.com