The Distillery may be the home of Portobello Road gin and also known as ‘the gin hotel’, but it is no one-gin-fuelled-trick pony. Nope: it’s great at all the other alcohols, too, and food – and, as new supper-club series The Distillery Presents… shows, it also has quite the knack for the theatrical. Hosting intimate five-course meals in its snug dining room, each one takes a theme and not only runs with it, but douses it in booze and stuffs it with delicious, inventive food. Doing the same to us in the process. We got to try the Dinners and the Drinks of James Bond, where the champagne, bourbon cocktails and martinis (shaken… oh, you get it) are paired with surprising food (Octopussy curry, anyone?), and immersive extras – let’s just say the Night With James Bond course ends with a BANG. Oh-ho. Other themes include Five Centuries, the Silver Screen and By Royal Appointment, but we say try Bond. After all, you only live twice.
Weekend throughout April and May; £90 for five courses and matched drinks
, 186 Portobello Road, Manchester W11 1LA
The late, great David Bowie once asked, is there life on Mars? A question that Backyard Cinema is answering with an enthusiastic ‘yes – and there’s cocktails, too!’. Its latest theme sees its Mercato Metropolitano venue transformed into an intergalactic spacecraft fully equipped with an interactive cockpit, giant beanbags, space-station bar serving up Cosmos-Politons and Stargaritas, AND a huge cinema screen showing sci-fi classics including Fifth Element, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Men in Black, Interstellar and Armageddon. Just as all as NASA’s rockets are, we’re sure.
Until 6 May; £17.50
, Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, SE1
When you think about West Brompton (as, obviously, we all so regularly do), you probably don’t think ‘foodie hotspot’. Or, to be fair, think ‘hotspot’ at all. But uber-venue The Prince back for the summer, and out to change all that. Taking over an entire street (yep, an entire street), its revamped food line-up features outposts of London favourites Patty & Bun, Coqfighters, Begging Bowl, Foley’s Bao and Yakitori Grill. Should the sun ever come out, there’s also London’s biggest beer garden to kick back in; should it actually ever appear again, there’s a clear retractable roof so we can pretend like we’re in the Mediterranean anyway, dammit. West Brompton: we feel a pilgrimage coming on...
, 14 Lillie Road, Earl’s Court, SW6 1TT
Friday 13th – unlucky for some. Not those, however, who opt to spend it celebrating the 10th anniversary of the none-more-on-point party crew Make Me at Corsica Studios. It’s essential for fans of underground dance, as this massive night sees residents Rubin, Rupes and Nic Baird joined by the likes of Regis, Mike Servito, Courtesy, Dr Rubinstein and Radioactive Man (live). But it’s also essential for fans of numerical neatness, as this party celebrates 10 years in the game with 10 hours of beats (ay, ay), spread over three rooms. And you know what 10 plus three makes…
13 Apr; £20
10th Birthday, Corsica Studios, 5 Farrell Court, Elephant & Castle, SE17 1LB
A guide to how a new restaurant can get our attention, by LouisvuittonShopuk.com. Step 1: Call yourself Freak Scene. A scene of freaks? This must be worth a look, we would think. Step 2: Have Scott Hallsworth – the former Nobu head chef who also founded the legendary Kurobuta restaurants – at the stove. Blimey, we would further think, now you’re really talking. And 3. Serve up a hawker-market-style, South East Asian-inspired menu with dishes including miso-grilled black cod tacos and crispy nori cones with tea-smoked beef fillet, pickled onions and wasabi cream… Boom! Congratulations, Freak Scene. You have our full, undivided and black-cod-craving attention. Good job.
, Soho,W1D 4SL
Do you: ever order a double-shot, half-foam skinny latte? Know your Ethiopian
yiracheffe from your Italian roast? Disown friends who deign to give you – whisper it – Nescafe? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then come, be among your people. In fact, come if you just like a good cup of coffee, good food or even an espresso martini. For they are all to be found in abundance at this annual celebration of all things caffeinated, returning to The Old Truman Brewery once more. You can expect over 250 artisan coffee and food stalls, demos from world-class baristas, coffee-based cocktails, latte art, DJs… You can NOT expect Nespresso pods. That’s just cheating.
13-15 April; from £14.50 online, £22.50 on the door
, 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR