Weekend Agenda: September 14-16
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A wise person once said, 'plan your weekend right and you get a holiday every five days' (shout out Elise). We guess that makes us holiday planners then, taking you to the wildest corners of this city without an Airbnb in sight. Read on for the real rundown and remember - safety first, then teamwork.
#1 A trip to Madrid via Deptford
Friday evenings are made for nestling into a moody railway arch with a glass of wine, a selection of delicious tapas, and that friend who will listen to your most fanciful opinions. Having launched the first Tapas Room in Tooting, this is their second venue and it's more of the same: sexy seared scallops, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly and some of dat moreish rioja.
#2 Feel that SE15 culture
Those that live in SE know they're in just the right place when it comes to the culture, and Peckham Festival is back once again to prove it. Now in its third year, it showcases all the art, food, music, and communal spirit that makes this such a desirable postcode. There's scuzzy indie at Copeland Park, a fun run on Peckham Rye, local short films at Peckham Library and a yoga class with live music. There's also a memoir writing workshop, open studios, and flower crown making. Something in there tickles your fancy, we're sure of it.
#3 Lose your inhibitions with Emily
Sick of enduring crap East London club nights, the squad behind Emily's gave themselves the challenge of doing better. This is a no-frills, rough round the edges, good time bar; the perfect spot to get a little loose and be that wild self you know you can be. You really never know what to expect rolling in here but it should be raucous - plus, entry is free before 11pm.
#4 Explore the newest art hub in town
Given the sheer number of artists mooching about New Cross (estimated at 3 out of 4 people), it's about time it had an impressive, large space to house some art. Step up Goldsmiths CCA - a huge new public art gallery showing some of that good, hard-hitting, poignant contemporary stuff within its walls. The space itself is the former boiler house and laundry rooms of a Victorian bath house and the renovation, done by the Assemble team, is quite something to behold.
#5 Party in the street
Here's a straight up, community-based, good-vibes block party in Dalston - a celebration of culture from the street with live art, dance, fashion, sports, music, food and more. On the main stage, expect OGs of the London broken-beat scene Co-Op to be running things; elsewhere you'll find a mini-ramp jam featuring 20 skaters doing some nice tricks; live art from graffiti artists; a dance programme; and a food quarter on Bradbury Street reaching all the corners of the map. What's missing? Live tattooing, street barbers and merch? Nope, that's all happening too.
#6 Tuck into soul food and spicy cocktails
The original kool kids of Mare Street are back on the hustle, this time popping up at Redchurch Brewery in Cambridge Heath. As always, Missy Flynn is behind the bar knocking up fruity and spicy cocktails while Gabe Pryce lives it up in the kitchen, making soul food for all. As is the way with Rita's, their menu is full of playful whimsy: think Thai spiced sardine crostini, green mac 'n' cheese and 'schamltzed' potatoes - which is fun to say if nothing else. It's the perfect drinking food in very relaxed surrounds.
#7 Catch something unscripted
What better way to spend Saturday night than at the South Circular - not the road (lol), but the live music exchange that Peckham venue Ghost Notes has been putting on at Tate Modern's terrace. The format is simple: it's a relaxed, unscripted evening as DJs, musicians, MCs, poets and performers from the extended Ghost Notes family turn up and do their thing. Expect some funky jams, some moving words, family vibes and a nice way to spend the evening for free.
#8 Stroll a Sunday market
Get set for a leafy park market with more organic, seasonal, fresh and local produce than you can shake a stick at. Victoria Park market pops up on the beautiful pedestrianised street between Bonner Gate and Gore Gate called the Nightwalk every Sunday. Expect fruit and veg, farm butchers, fresh fish, baked bread, cakes and biscuits, cheeses, pies, olives, pasta, biltong, raw honey, olive oils, ice creams, coffee, natural wines and craft beers. All at artisan-inflated prices.
#9 See the designs of tomorrow
Forty countries have taken a stab at designing the next big thing to change the world and save humanity. Which is good, because we hadn't even thought about doing that. Set within Somerset House, this bonanza exhibition centres on the theme 'Emotional States' with a range of large, amazing installations that'll have your eyes widening in awe. We promise.
#10 Round things off with some Ethiojazz
This Ethiopian jazz master has been taking the rulebook and ripping it apart for decades now with his intense delivery and wild vibrato. One of the first gigs at the recently opened EartH centre in Hackney, if you're after some eclecticism in your life, head this way. Just jump on it quick - he's got a habit of selling out venues.