From drag dinners to Black History Month gigs and parties, from festivals of Prosecco to the return of a much-loved gin joint, and from affordable art to sustainable cocktail drinking — never let it be said there’s nothing new to do in our fair capital!
You know that old saying, ‘When a man (or woman!) is tired of London, he (or she!) is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford’?
Well, this week’s Slice is living proof!
Get the full Works
They sure do make it easy to mark the achievements of the Black community during Black History Month down at Woolwich Works, that whole new creative district in south-east London we’re developing a real soft spot for.
Just look at the line-up! Tonight comedian Reginald D Hunter and Strictly Come Dancing singer Tommy Blaize team up with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to give their interpretation of the great blues poet Gil Scott-Heron (you know, the guy who wrote the The Revolution Will Not Be Televised).
Then on Friday there’s solo work from ‘afro-futurist pop goddess’ Shingai (of Noisettes fame), and next week it’s grime MC-ing from Afrikan Boy, aka local lad Olushola Ajose. All this plus free exhibition Black In Full Colour and also free (but do book!) café conversations with the artists involved.
Until October 31, The Fireworks Factory, 11 No 1 Street, SE18
Think inside the Box
Boxpark, it must be said, have made a huge success of worming their way into the hearts of communities — remember how they were always on the news during the Euros? — so we would expect nothing less than this bumper programme of events to celebrate Black History Month.
There’s fun ones such as The Black British Pub Quiz in Wembley and a Black Book Club Party in Shoreditch, where they’re also putting on a night of Black Excellence with African music, fashion, culture and comedy.
And there’s a more serious side too, with panel discussions on black representation in the music industry and being black and queer. Nice work, Boxparkers.
October 11-25, various venues
See you on cloud wine!
Oh, yes we all like to go bottomless on the old Prosecco once in a while (or twice weekly, if we’re being honest!), but how about we show a little more respect to Italy’s finest sparkling, or Italy’s wines in general, actually?
Well, now’s our chance as those purveyors of all things edible and Italian, Eataly (see what they did there?!), are launching a week-long wine adventure that includes a very serious Prosecco-tasting sesh as well as a range of events designed to renew our love affair with Italian wines.
First, there’s a sale of quality wines (with 20% off!), then a four-course dinner with paired wines at Cucina del Mercato, and finally that Prosecco Festival with up to 30 types available, plus throughout the week rare wines are on offer across their restaurants and bars. Line your stomachs, it’s going to be a big one.
October 15-24, various locations
Calling all Bohemians
Leave your gender at the door — we always do! — when you go down to the immersive dining experience that is Mulan Rouge, which, as you’d expect, is a smash-up of the Disney film and the Baz Luhrmann extravaganza — a concept that literally boggles our minds.
Expect drag, comedy, burlesque, laughs, drinks — oh, and a four-course dinner carrying on the Asian/French fusion theme (think soy and garlic tofu, then baked camembert, braised lamb, and kadaifi pastry for afters), which you’ll eat while the glitz, the glamour and — oh yes! — the utter madness of the story (involving a regiment that rocks up at a go-go bar) unfold around you.
From October 15, The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1
A veritable Gin-stitution
Remember The London Gin Club? Of course, you don’t. If you can remember it, you never went. Well, after closing down a couple of years back, we are happy to announce that this classic gin joint, located in a tavern dating back to 1785, is back in Soho, where it belongs, serving up the very finest in mother’s ruin.
Originally launched in 2012, the LGC can proudly take a hefty portion of the credit for renewing our enthusiasm for the wondrous spirit.
Now, it’s back and offering more than 100 of the world’s finest gins in its back bar, from big names to small batches, as well as a range of gin-based cocktails and an exciting-sounding tasting experience involving gin flights.
So that’s classic spirits quaffed in historic interiors — count us… gin!
Opens tonight, 22 Great Chapel Street, W1
Brains and beauty
Remember when Eddie in Absolutely Fabulous went shopping for art? She knew nothing but wanted stuff, because she was a ‘serious collector’.
Well, that’s going to be us now that The Other Art Fair is rolling into town for its 20th anniversary, bringing with it a line-up of top artists, new talents and stuff for us collectors to buy so we can maybe one day become a Saatchi… or something.
And there are names: Noel Fielding, whose daubings we last saw on Grayson Perry’s Art Club, and a variety of brain sculptures, to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, from the likes of Tracey Emin, David Bailey, Gavin Turk (pictured) and The Chapman brothers.
All in all, it’s a great way to learn something and liven up that tricky wall in the back bedroom while you’re at it.
October 14 to 17, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1
Roll out the barrels
We hope you have your outfit sorted for London Rum Week because it’s almost upon us and we will mostly be celebrating with Skylark Spirits this year. Why?
Quite simply because they have some of the best events for Rumfest, including an evening at the Covent Garden Social Club with Montanya, the sustainable and female-founded rum brand that’s shaking up the cocktails, next Wednesday from 5pm.
When there’s artisanal rhum (with an ‘h’ so you know it’s not… rum of the mill) from the Damoiseau distillery at the Burlock Rum Room on Thursday from 6pm. So a good rum for your money, we’d say… if we didn’t hate puns.
October 13-14, reserve your table direct with the venues
One, two, TREE.. drink!
Drink cocktails while saving the world? We’d love to — even if it does sound a bit like Nero fiddling while Rome burned!
And now we can, because The Duchess of Dalston is teaming up with low-carbon spirits distribution outfit ecoSPIRITS for London Cocktail Week fun in the form of planting a tree every time you order up a sustainable cocktail.
Not only that, but the whole bar will be transformed into a mythical forest, all their cocktail ingredients are locally sourced, and their menus have been impregnated with seeds that can be planted (in pots!) right there in the bar — oh, and there are weekly tasting evenings, featuring gin, tequila and whiskey. Guilt-free imbibing — it’s the future, people.
Until October 31, tastings every Tuesday, 392 Kingsland Road, E8
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