Posted by Kasia Hastings
Working in nightlife, the weekends are my most hectic period and as a DJ I’m usually running from venue to venue. It’s only recently that I’ve been properly able to appreciate how brilliant London is at food, cocktails and clubbing.
That’s what made me launch Nightkey, a members' club card that allows people to discover new bars and speakeasies, while giving them a 30% discount. The idea is to enable members to be more spontaneous and adventurous with where they drink, which is how I try to live my life, especially on weekends.
I work in town on Fridays, so I always go to Barnyard (18 Charlotte St, London W1T 2LY, 020 7580 3842, barnyard-london.com), one of my favourite quick-eats. Good food – without any of the usual fuss – means I’m usually out within the hour feeling more than full.
From Barnyard I’ll walk round the corner to Oskar’s Bar at Dabbous (39 Whitfield St, London W1T 2SF, 020 7323 1544, dabbous.co.uk), where head bartender Oskar Kinberg has created a faultless cocktail menu. I’d recommend ‘The Dillusion’, a fusion of gin, cucumber, elderflower and lemon. It's a favourite of mine, and the perfect place to have a couple of cocktails before a night out, so it had to be part of Nightkey.
I tend to DJ every weekend, one place being new spot Kaizen (17 Hanover Square, London W1S1HU, 020 7493 6411, cafekaizen.com). Decorated to look like a Japanese zen garden, complete with blossoming tree, this place has more character and style than your average West End club, and their music policy is on the cooler side with a deep house vibe.
RIVRS: Fin & Charlotte Mallory
Feeling bleary–eyed, I’ll head to my studio on Saturday morning to work on some new material for my band RIVRS. I’ll quickly grab a coffee and a snack beforehand from my local deli Black Truffle (41 England’s Lane, London NW3 4YD, 020 7483 1623, theblacktruffledeli.com). After a day in the studio I’ll get a burrito at Casa Negra (54-56 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3QR, 020 7033 7360, casanegra.co.uk), my favourite veggie– friendly Mexican.
After dinner I might head to meet friends and a new bar I can’t get enough of is 5CC Hoxton (39a Hoxton Square, London N1 6NN, 5cc-london.com); tucked away under the Electricity Showrooms it serves some pretty skillfully mixed cocktails.
Later I often move on to Soho House (40 Greek Street, London W1D 4EB, 020 7734 5188, sohohouselondon.com) to DJ. It's one of my favourite sets, not only is it a good night out but they make the best mac and cheese, which I have every time I play there.
I try to make Sundays as relaxing as possible and there’s nowhere more peaceful in London than Richmond Park. From the car park at Pembroke Lodge you can walk down to the Isabella Plantation, an exotic ornamental garden. I always have tea and scones at the Pembroke Lodge Café (Richmond Park, Richmond, Surrey TW10 5HX, 020 8940 8207, pembroke-lodge.co.uk), which has a stunning view.
Before heading home for an early night I’ll pop into another Nightkey bar for a glass of red wine or an espresso martini. My favourite places to do this are the W Hotel Lounge (10 Wardour Street, London W1D 6QF, 020 7758 1000, wlondon.co.uk) or Central & Co (22 Great Marlborough St, London, W1F 7HU, 020 7437 4106, centralandco.com), which is also great for a bite to eat.
Fin's band RIVRS play Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen Friday 5 Decemeber.
You can apply to get your Nighykey cut here.