What's My Weekend: Sandra Schembri

The House of St Barnabasi CEO takes us through her London weekend

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My working week is scheduled to almost the minute so I enjoy allowing the weekends to unfold around me.

Friday early evening is the time for a cocktail with friends at the club at The House of St Barnabas (Greek Street, London, W1D 4NQ, 020 7437 1894, hosb.org.uk ). My favourite is The Tale of Two Gimlets, a gorgeous cocktail served in two parts in exquisite glassware and made with Berkeley Square Gin, pear liquor, fresh lime juice and the second Gimlet ‘chaser’ has rose liquor rather than pear) - it's a sublime way to get the body and brain geared up for the weekend ahead. I feel very NYC sitting at the end of the bar, cocktail in hand, waiting for my girlfriends to arrive.

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Still at The House of St Barnabas I will have booked my favourite table in the Dickens Room, above, overlooking Soho Square, and our chef, Arun Manikam, will always have something ready to delight us. I try not to skip straight to the dessert, but the Tuscan Salted Mousse with Honeycomb is just so good. St Barnabas is a not-for-profit club whose aim is to help London’s homeless get back into work through its integrated training programme, funded by the club, which means you can indulge yourself knowing all the money you spend is helping change lives.

Saturday morning I start with breakfast with my boyfriend at The Haberdashery, above, 170 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7JL, 020 8342 8098, the-haberdashery.com – a great place to catch up with each other over really good coffee and the papers.

In the afternoon, if I can’t get out to anywhere green and open (like Trent Park or Hampstead Heath) I head down to the river. There is always something engaging, and it is fabulous for people-watching. I always end up browsing at the Southbank Book Market, below [Queen's Walk, Waterloo Bridge, London, SE1 8XX, 020 7960 4200 southbankcentre.co.uk/visitor-info/shop-eat-drink/shops/southbank-centre-book-market.]

This leads perfectly to my ideal Saturday night - cinema. I am always utterly transfixed for the whole film and transported somewhere very different from my own life. I never miss the trailers.

The BFI, below [Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8XT, 020 7928 3232 bfi.org.uk] is one of my favourite places to watch cinema in London. Their latest season, Gothic, couldn’t be more perfect for me.

Either before or after I will make an excuse to eat at The Riverfront, above [BFI Southbank, London, SE18XT, 020 7928 0808 benugo.com/restaurants/riverfront-bar-kitchen/] which has some of the best sausage rolls in London - they are my not-so-secret guilty pleasure.

If I feel like going back into Soho, I will head for Flat Iron (17 Beak Street Soho, W1F 9RW, flatironsteak.co.uk), set in a gorgeous town house with lots of exposed brickwork and low lighting, it is all about steak.

Sunday I try to combine with family, motorbikes and any ‘jobs’ before Monday morning comes screaming around. My brother and I spend breakfast planning bike rides and trying to find the best curves and bends the UK has to offer us on twistyride.com/contentArticles/roads/Best-Motorbike-Rides.html If we don't take the bikes out, then I will start the day with a fitness class at Frame [29 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY, 020 7033 1855, moveyourframe.com) and then come in to town for a culture fix. I cannot get enough of The British Museum {Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, 020 7323 8299 britishmuseum.org] at the moment and I'm dying to see The Vikings show ( March 6 - June 22, 2014).

I finish my Sunday day out with tea and cake at Soho's Secret Tea Room, above [Coach & Horses, 29 Greek St, London, UK W1D 5DH, 020 7437 5920, sohossecrettearoom.co.uk. It is the most wonderful 1940’s tea room, with a very impressive cake menu, more than16 varieties of tea, and some of the most charming staff.

Sunday night I try to stay local, with a trip to Floyds, above [89 Shacklewell Ln, London E8 2EB, 020 7923 7714, facebook.com/friendsoffloyds) in Dalston. They do great cocktails but it is their seasonal, locally sourced and daily menu that keeps me coming back again and again.

Sandra Schembri is the C.E.O of Soho-based charity, the House of St Barnabas, which is a not-for-profit members’ club supporting their Employment Academy, which offers training and work experience to London's homeless

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