Welcome back to the Slice, your weekly guide to what’s on in London.
We’re all about finding London’s hidden talents.
This week, we’re discovering little-known rooftop bars, brand new restaurants, the secrets of the Thames, and the capital’s next great artist…
The Slice’s Pick
Pinot & Picasso
Aussie export Pinot & Picasso have come all the way from Down Under to Shoreditch High Street to prove anyone can paint – with the right help. That help comes in the form of a super friendly art instructor, neatly laid out tools and materials, and an in-studio bar brimming with wine, prosecco and cocktails.
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Each fun two-hour session takes on a different theme for you and your pals to recreate, with classes including everything from botanicals and personalised pet portraits to saucy neon nudes (complete with glow-in-the-dark paint).
After a couple glasses, things may start to get a little Picasso-y, and you won’t be the first if you accidentally dunk your paintbrush in your glass.
The heady combo of booze, primary colours and cheesy pop tunes instils you with more confidence than a club bathroom pep talk; adding the finishing flourishes to your masterpiece you begin to wonder, ‘Maybe my GCSE art teacher was wrong? Maybe I’m the next Frida Kahlo?!’ (You can paint her too.)
At the end, take your fabulous artwork home and hang it pride of place where it belongs. You’re an artist now!
Food & Drink
Walking through the InterContinental London Park Lane towards a woman singing softly for the pleasure of business bores and flustered families was a worrying start. Luckily, the signs lead us right past that hoo-ha, and into a whole new Middle Eastern world – without a whiff of hotel restaurant cheese. (Note to diners: use the Park Lane entrance.)
Najma Lebanon is sophisticated, with big-city, dim-the-lights – and grab yourself an extremely tall wine glass – energy. It’s a chic date night joint, with the slickest hummus and service in town.
Don’t be a snob about its corporate setting, as the shawarma is almost equal in tastiness to those found in Berlin’s finest kebab vans (albeit for triple the price). Zaatar is the new truffle here, and we like it. We like it a lot.
Oreo x Chicken Shop
We like Oreos. We like fried chicken. Should be a match made in heaven, right? At least that’s the thinking behind the #OREOtwist menu coming to Chicken Shop this week. O Fries and the Big Twist Burger see classic waffle cut fries and a fried chicken burger given the monochromatic cookie treatment, dusted with an Oreo crumb or served in a charcoal bun with smoky mayo and rich black mole sauce.
Wash it down with a classic cookie milkshake, made with Chicken Shop’s iconic chocolate sauce.
Not convinced? You can try the menu for yourself at any Chicken Shop this weekend – and it’s free! They’re giving away 150 free meals every day in-store from Friday until Sunday. Get there quick if you want a taste!
Okay, we know, Bank Holiday weekend was a bit of a wash out. But we’re still hoping for that one last nice day where we can sit outside without being wrapped in a coat or huddled under an umbrella.
Enter: Savage Garden. Located on the 12th floor of Hilton Hotel London, this underappreciated rooftop bar has some of the most stunning views of central London.
Its unique menu won us over with dramatic and distinctive signature cocktails (you can’t go to Tower Hill and miss out on the Crown Jewels!) and inventive small plates – we loved the crispy masala squid and the nettle and garlic arancini.
Lounge in the intimate bar and seating area (in the event of inclement weather) or head outside to soak up the last few rays of summer on their sunkissed terrace. Don’t let us down, September!
London’s best… new openings
BEST BREAKFAST: Karapincha
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and Sri Lankan soul food restaurant, Karapincha has you covered.
They’re coming to Canary Wharf on 11 September with fierce, vibrant flavours and bright island energy with dishes like French toast, Ceylon tea, and ham and cheese stuffed roti. Enjoy 50% off mains from 11 – 13 September.
From 11 Spetember, Unit 14, Canary Wharf tube station, Canary Wharf.
This healthy lunch spot opened a brand new site on Fenchurch Street today, offering City workers a more mindful alternative to their standard meal deal. Farmer J has a fully customisable menu, with a big range of fresh, flavoursome trays and bowls, including brand new Israeli inspired dishes such as Chermoula Chicken, Green Chickpea Tahini, and Kale & Miso Slaw.
BEST SUSHI: SushiDog
Get ready to roll with SushiDog – the quick service restaurant revolutionising the Japanese food to go industry has just opened up a brand new Baker Street store. And while you munch on easy-to-eat sushi rolls, bowls and fresh salads made right in front of you, you can grab a bargain with 50% off the entire menu from 29-31 August, and a 25% discount card if you visit during opening week.
Deals of the week
WIN a set of four tickets to Paultons Park, the home of Peppa Pig World
We’ve got five sets of family tickets (worth £222!) up for grabs, each giving four guests day entry to one of the UK’s highest rated family theme parks.
You have until midnight on Sunday 3 September 2023 to enter, so make sure you sign up soon!
In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up for our brilliant travel newsletter The Getaway, for weekly holiday inspiration, reviews and offers.
GB, 18+. 21.08.23 – 03.09.23. The prize is day ticket entry to Paultons Park for four guests (including at least one adult), on a pre-arranged date of your choice subject to availability and park opening times. Children under 1 metre in height enjoy free entry and do not require tickets. The prize does not include travel or any other expenses. There are 5 winners. Enter using the form here. 1 entry per person. See full terms and conditions for further details.
When you think of the Thames, what first comes to mind? Uber Boats? Confusingly named bridges? A physical marker of the dubious yet somehow totally distinctive vibe shift between North and South?
This September, a major festival is coming to our beloved river, with a monthly-long season of unique, diverse and accessible arts and culture taking place on, beneath, and along the Thames. Now entering its 10th year, the Totally Thames festival runs the 42-mile stretch of the Thames through working collaboratively with artists, local communities, river interest organisations and businesses.
Journey upstream through an eclectic programme of events, ranging from pop-up performances, boating events, art installations, river clean-ups, live performances, talks, workshops and much more.
London Theatre Week
Front row seats to a West End musical for just £15? You’re having a laugh, surely! Except not when it’s London Theatre Week (or fortnight, as it probably should be known), when those top price tickets come plummeting down to affordable levels as an end of summer treat.
his year you can book over 50 incredible musicals and plays, including Les Misérables, Frozen and Guys & Dolls, with bargain ticket band prices starting from £15, £25, £35, or £45. Tickets are selling fast so get booking – offers this good only come round once a year!
Comedy Breakfast Club
Start your day right with a bellyful of laughs – and Alpro breakfast goodies. The plant-based pioneer has joined forces with funnywoman Ellie Taylor and star chef Poppy O’ Toole to put on a hearty morning spread, complete with live comedy set, cookery masterclass, barista-made Alpro drinks and a packed breakfast bar.
You’ll also get a goody bag filled with plant-based treats to keep you going if you get peckish later on. Sounds like a good morning to me!