Friday evenings are eagerly awaited in my world as the Just Opened London team make a beeline for a new bar in which to bring in the weekend. At the moment were loving Simmons Bar (32 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DT, 020 7278 5851) in Kings Cross for their ridiculously generous happy hour deals and delicious espresso martinis (its £2.50 for beer, wine and spirits and mixers between 4pm and 9pm). Or, when the sun is out to play The 3 Crowns (8 East Road, Old Street, London, N1 6AD, 020 7842 8516) in Shoreditch is a great new trendy gastropub, perfect for beers in the sun.
For post-work drinks, Ill meet up with some friends and check out one (or all) of our secret bars. A firm favourite is Portside Parlour (Basement Bar (Under 'Off Broadway') 63-65 Broadway Market E8 4PH) on Broadway Market that can only be found by slipping into Off Broadway, down the narrow staircase, into the loos, pull the chain and voila, the secret rum-loving Portside Parlour awaits, serving drinks in pewter tankards, crystal glasses and vintage copper spirit kettles. Other speakeasy favourites we may check out (if were still standing) are The Looking Glass Cocktail Club (49 Hackney Road London E2 7NX, 020 7613 3936), Underdog (51 - 55 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, 0207 729 8476) and BYOC (B.Y.O.C, Underneath the Juice Club, 28 Bedfordbury, WC2N 4BJ, reservations only email@example.com)
Saturday always starts with a flat white and avocado on sourdough at The Wilton Way Café (63 Wilton Way, London, E8 1BG) on my road, a real local secret, this is the best flat white in town. A walk through London Fields then ensues with my dog, Ernie to check out the goods on offer at the weekly market on Broadway Market (Broadway Market, London E8 4PH). From fresh meat and fish to chutneys, freshly squeezed juice, mushroom risotto and salt beef sandwiches, this market is by far my favourite food market in London.
Ernie is then dropped off home for a nap (tough life) and I embark on some Saturday shopping. I am an interiors fanatic, so Islington tends to be a Saturday haunt always ensuring Abigail Ahern Atelier (137 Upper Street, London, N1 1QP, 0207 354 8181) is on the hit list along with Decorexi (58 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 1SY) and any other hidden interior shops I may stumble upon my way. For fashion and interiors, House of Hackney (131 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE, 0207 739 3901) on Shoreditch High Street is my favourite new store, I have to limit just how many visits I make a week as want to buy everything.
En route home, Im going to check out Hackneys newest opening, , Sager + Wilde (193 Hackney Rd, London, E2 8JL, 020 7354 2112) that opened on Thursday with my husband, Tommy. Its a lovely new wine bar selling rare and unique wines by the glass in a characterful and beautiful old building on The Hackney Road.
Saturday night Im having dinner at one of my favourite new(ish) restaurants, Bird of Smithfields (26 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9LB, 020 7559 5100) with a bunch of friends where I plan on tucking into hand dived scallops followed by Alans Shepherds Pie. For pre or post-dinner cocktails, the roof terrace is one of the best (not to mention, most secret) in town.
To eat away the hangover, its off to Rawduck (5 Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1II, 0208 986 6534), the new sister restaurant to Sohos Ducksoup. With a lovely little outside patio, a delicious brunch menu and even some cocktails for hair of the dog strategy, its the ideal start to any Sunday.
An injection of culture is a great way to pass a Sunday, I still havent been to see the Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You To Love Me (Strand, London WC2R 1LA, 020 7845 4600) at Somerset House as yet, despite him being one of my favourite photographers, so that is on my must-do-list as it closes at the end of September.
For a tee-total, but enjoyable Sunday afternoon, Redemption Rooftop (Netil House, 1 Westgate Street, London, E8 3R, 0203 095 0900) at Netil House is my go-to place. A Sunday only pop-up only on for the next few weeks, this is Londons first booze-free bar. With a chilled out party vibe, delicious mocktails and nutritious food, the weeks detox commences, before the retox starts once again come, er, Tuesday?
Just Opened London is the zeitgeist guide to the newest openings across the capital. From bars and restaurants, hotels, plays and exhibitions as well as the latest store openings, if it is new (and good, of course) its on