From rooftops to hardware stores, via backdoors and brew sheds.
Created by a collective of London bartenders, the Department of Good Cheer is popping-up at the Southbank Centre until the end of August, as part of the Festival of Love. Open all-day every-day, the makeshift bar will be styled as Heartbreak Hotel and include an exhibition of responses from Jackie magazine's agony aunts as well a dress-up karaoke lounge. On the drinks front, an interesting point of difference is that no matter what cocktail they are making, the team won’t shake it. Instead, they prefer to use precise measurements of mineral water to keep the drinks consistent and completely control the level of dilution.
The bar will run until September. No need to book.
Following the success of Backdoor Salon last year, aperitivo-touting Backdoor Kitchen is popping-up in Brixton Village’s Cornercopia on alternate weekends throughout July. Running from Thursday to Saturday, there’ll be Negronis from 5.30pm, followed by a four-course dinner from 7.30pm. Just pop by for a drinks and cicchetti, or opt for the full dinner experience, featuring pulled Iberico pork cheeks marinated in Mediterranean herbs, octopus bruschetta, and a broad bean salad with chorizo, morcilla, lardo, mussels and clams cooked in Fino sherry, garlic and thyme.
Backdoor Kitchen will run from 10-12 July and 24-26 July. Tickets for the four-course dinners are £25 and can be bought here.
Hackney Wick’s Crate Brewery has launched Street Food Sundays, running initially for eight weeks in the on-site ‘brew shed’. While the brewery’s beers will be the main attraction in the drinks department, local resident The Ribman will be serving his infamous sauce-slathered ribs (and chilli sauces), and hotdogs will be on offer from Popdogs. DJs have also been enlisted to play throughout.
The street food market runs every Sunday until the end of August, from 1-9pm at Crate Brewery.
Get high in Peckham
It’s back. Frank’s Café and Campari Bar has become a Peckham institution and an annual tradition. Catch it whilst it’s here for the summer months once more, on top of a multi-storey car park on Rye Lane. Jerk chicken, BBQ pork belly and mac ‘n’ cheese are all on the menu (though it changes constantly), alongside Negronis, spritz and other Campari-based drinks, Meantime beers and a short selection of wines. The views (including from the loos) are pretty impressive, too.
Frank’s is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 5pm-11pm on weekdays and 11am-11pm on weekends.
Lost in cider forest
The nice marketing folk for sweet Swedish cider Kopparberg have decided to bring the forests of Scandinavia to East London this summer, creating a makeshift pine wonderland in Dalston. The Bootstrap Company is home to the forest (which is meant to resemble the one that sits above the brewery where the cider is made in the small town of Kopparberg) from 2 July until 3 August. Here a bar sells cocktails made with the ciders, while live music and DJs play throughout the day, and snacks comes from street food stalls including Buffalo Joe’s pulled pork and from Brick Lane Swedish restaurant Fika.
Entry is free and unticketed, on a first come, first serve basis. See the website for line-up and details.
Duck & Waterloo
“Starch should be on potatoes, not tablecloths,” say the team behind Chateau Marmont, a travelling supperclub which aims to bring fine dining to unusual and unexpected locations. For two nights only, as part of the Waterloo Quarter Food Festival, it’s popped-up in a secret location close to the station for a couple of intimate, floral-themed eight-course dinners, cooked and hosted by Duck & Waffle's Dan Doherty. Just sixteen diners at a time will experience Doherty’s take on seasonal British herbs and flowers, along with matched wines and spirits.
Dinners take place on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 July, with 6.30pm and 9pm sittings each day. Tickets cost £95 inclusive of drinks and can be bought here.
For one night only on Saturday 19 July, Peruvian supperclub quartet Los Ayacuchanos are taking over Hoxton Street pie & mash shop, F. Cooke’s to host a five-course feast. The rather literally named Ceviche / Asado / Pisco evening is being headed chef Ernesto Leon and will see grilled ox heart skewers, sea bass ceviche and lamb and coriander goulash served, among other dishes. A bar will provide accompanying Pisco cocktails and Peruvian Cusquena beers.
The event will run from 8-11.30pm on Saturday 19 July. Tickets cost £33 and are available here.
Brewer Street Italian restaurant Mele e Pere has launched a month-long residency at old London boozer Sun & 13 Cantons on Great Pulteney Street. Head chef Andrea Mantovani has put together a menu that merges Italian cooking with pub classics, featuring a burger cooked in Barolo wine and topped with pancetta and Asiago cheese, a plate of braised lamb meatballs, and an olive focaccia sandwich. Bar snacks start from £3 and mains from £6.50. The pop-up will run until 2 August.
Mele e Pere at Sun & 13 Cantons is open for lunch on weekdays from 12-2.30pm, and dinner from Monday to Saturday from 5.30-10pm.
Hackney has gained another for-those-in-the-know bar with the launch of Hackney Hardware, due to hang around only until August. Set up by friends China and Charlie, it occupies an old hardware shop on Hackney Road and serves a short list of cocktails, wines (including lots of natural ones) and local beers alongside platters of charcuterie, cheeses and other simple snacks. We were easily seduced by its scruffy appearance, charming owners and good value drinks, so make sure you pay it a visit before it moves away.
Regular Italian pop-up Forza Win is starting a new summertime dining event in what will then become a permanent base. Founder Bash Redford launches Dispensa on 4 July, serving Italian skewered meat (spiedini) sourced from The Ginger Pig and cooked over a wood fire, as well as pasta to start, salads to accompany, and spritz to drink. There will also be a beer vending machine serving Birra Moretti, a menu of natural wine, and the option of top-ups is promised for the hungry. Weekend brunches offer whole sides of bacon cooked on the same open fire, plus limitless Bloody Marys.
Dispensa is open Thursday to Sunday evenings and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday until the end of August. After this, one off monthly events are planned. Tickets cost £25 and include three courses plus a spritz on arrival.