Weekend Agenda: 15-17 February

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We've been thinking about the term 'weekend' and its connotations a lot recently: 'end' just feels so negative. What if we called it weekstart, or weekmax or something? Really put an emphasis on how much better it is than the rest of the week. Just an idea to chew over while you're living it large out there. Have a good weekmax!!!
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Things to do
The divisive grande dame of British contemporary art is back with a whole new collection of explicitly honest artwork in tow. Tracey Emin's new show lays bare the anxieties of growing older alongside looks at various traumas from her life in her signature confessional style. It's a poignant look at grief, insomnia, and damaged relationships that doesn't shy away from the vulnerability of the artist.
With Ghost Notes coming to a close at the end of the month, Balamii are taking the reigns every Friday to keep the party going. This week's session will see all kinds of live sonic vibrations with multi-instrumentalist Hector Plimmer and deep-groove band Ill Considered performing before Maxwell Owin takes to the decks till the early hours.
The whole process of dating is pretty nuts as it is, but the off-kilter Cupids at ZU-UK have decided to inject an extra layer of bonkers to the mix. They'll be giving daters earpieces from which they will be instructed on what questions to ask and things to do. This feels like it could be the first step towards a Black Mirror-esque dystopia, but will also give you plenty of talking points for at least the next few future dates. What's to lose?
American playwright Anne Washburn (Twilight Zone, Mr Burns) has channelled all her signature biting and surreal writing into her latest play about a dinner with President Trump. The play is set in snowy mountains in the States, in a claustrophobic and unsettling candlelit cabin. Not to be confused with Channel 4's rebooted reality show, although it may be just as disturbingly engrossing.
Some new spots to wine and dine
The purveyors of multi-sensory pleasure over at Spiritland have made a jump for the big leagues with their new outpost at the Royal Festival Hall, and we're pleased to say they've nailed the landing. It's the same potent blend of soft 70s aesthetics, great cocktails and fantastic music on a crystal-clear sound system - a real treat for all the senses.
Strazzanti are cranking up the romance for Vally Day with a supper club filled with delectable Sicilian flavours, cocktails designed to transport you to warmer climates, and a ceiling of hanging flowers. Let cheeses, croquettes, pastas and more do the romantic legwork for you while you kick back with an Aperol.
Nepalese cuisine is the tits, but unfortunately doesn't quite get the same recognition as its South Asian contemporaries. So we're pretty excited by this plush pop up serving a high-end take on the flavours of Nepal with some British twists. Expect treats like banana-leaf-grilled salmon with ginger and Himalayan herbs; bone marrow saag paneer; or cardamom negronis.

If you wanna use the weekend to regulate your sleep pattern, a self-induced food coma could do you wonders. Head to Truffle's pop up kitchen at The King & Co where decadence is the order of the day. Baked camembert with truffle honey; a foie-gras-stuffed roast chicken and truffle brioche; or one of their signature monstrously juicy burgers: that lot will work with the power of 20mg of diazepam.
Hall of Famers
This cosy Canonbury boozer is just the kind of place you want around the corner from you on these wintry weekends. It's a pokey two-room affair with a wrap around bar serving a decent selection of ales. The garden also plays a big role in the chilly months as it's covered and heated with some private booths: perfect for February smokers or those who are stuck with them.
This shimmering boozer is a Hackney staple and demonstrates beautifully the diversity of the area. Short for the Memorable Order of Tin Hats, it's an ex-serviceman's pub in the front where darts and nut-brown ales are very much on the agenda; and in the back it's a tinsel-clad events space where the Hackney young 'uns do their carefree thing. A charming example of constructive co-habitation.
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