Amidst the hoopla of Chinese New Year, there are plenty of alternative activities to do and culture to be absorbed this weekend in London; here’s our pick of some of the best
Words Helen Brown
Fresh + Fit Fest
Whether you managed to stick to your January fitness resolutions or not, the annual Fresh + Fit Fest provides the perfect boost for health and wellbeing. Visitors can expect sample sales, a beauty salon, food markets and demos that will run across both the Shoreditch and the Holborn branches of The Hoxton. Fun exercise classes and exciting talks will take place throughout the day at a bargainous £5 each. With brands such as Barry’s Bootcamp, Frame, Gymbox and House of Voga on board, as well as appearances from inspiring fitness gurus Zanna van Dijk, Adrienne London, Tally Rye, Alice Liveing and Hazel Wallace, this is one weekend activity not to be missed.
The Jasmine Adventure with Willem Barentsz at Drunken Monkey
- Those on the hunt for somewhere to celebrate Chinese New Year will want to venture to the Drunken Monkey this weekend. The Shoreditch famed dim sum and cocktail den have introduced a new menu of celebratory cocktails laced with jasmine flower, famed in China for its distinctive fragrance, lucky symbolism and definition of beauty. By combining this historically enjoyed botanic with Willem Barentsz Gin, the Jasmine Adventures cocktail menu rediscovers this flavour for a new generation. Tipples include the Golden Flower, a delicate balance of peach, violet and jasmine, served with a traditional red lucky envelope hiding a special New Year’s treat. Celebrations culminate in a traditional lion dance with drummers this Saturday, with steaming plates of dim sum and even more fiery fun from the Drunken Monkey team.
Jasmine Adventure cocktail menu is available at Drunken Monkey Mon-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-11pm
Haunted Beauty at Dissenter Gallery
West London’s resting place of the rich and glamorous will open as a gallery this year, starting with a series called Haunted Beauty. Nadine Talalla is kicking off the showcase this weekend with a collection of what she calls “ugly women” taken from different points in history and embedded in dreamlike narratives. She paints strong female archetypes who are not idealised to a male standard of perfection. Talalla takes influence in part from regency painting and the later Victorian period, a time of contradiction, where sex and promiscuity were covered up morals and tradition.
Ceviche Goat Roast
This weekend sees Ceviche Old Street kicking off their new Goat Roast Sundays with a goat butchery masterclass and gastronomic feast. Guests will be given the opportunity to work alongside Executive Chef Vito Reyes, and learn the secrets behind traditional Peruvian goat butchery. Vito will lead the way in teaching how to sustainably utilise all parts of the goat, from nose to tail and the best techniques for seasoning, preparing, and cooking goat meat, in order to make the most of its delicate flavour. Following the butchery, sit down to a roast goat feast. Dishes include roasted goat in a Peruvian spice rub with charred sweet potatoes and Panca marinated goat cutlets accompanied by spicy potato mash and Andean herbs sauce.
To book your place on the butchery masterclass or to reserve a table for Sunday Goat Roast, please email [email protected]
The Sunday Goat Roast will be available at Ceviche Old St every Sunday through Spring; cevicheuk.com/oldst
Whisky Masterclass at Mac & Wild
As the finale to a fantastic week of Burns Night celebrations, Mac & Wild are hosting a whisky masterclass to toast the enamoured Scottish bard, Robert Burns. Taste your way around 5 of Mac & Wild’s favourite distilleries and accompanied with a selection of traditional Scottish snacks.
Mac & Wild Devonshire Square, 27th January, 6:30pm
Danny Boyle’s sequel to 90’s cult classic, Trainspotting, hits cinemas this Friday, two long-awaited decades later. The last time Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie were together, Renton was making off with a hold-all of stolen cash. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Renton returns to the only place he can ever call home, where twenty years later, everyone is waiting for him.
Previews in cinemas nationwide Friday 27th January