All posts filed under: THE NOTICEBOARD

Finish with flying colours

What could be more fun than going out for a 5K run to raise money for charity, whilst getting showered with a rainbow of colours to celebrate the occasion? If you don’t mind getting messy, Run or Dye events are a blast. You’re free to choose whatever pace gets you across the finish line and if you need help counting down, there’s a convenient volley of bright and bold powdered dye to get through which marks each kilometre. For maximum technicolour effect, don some white basics and simply follow the colour trail. (Register and find upcoming locations across the UK at runordye.co.uk)

Summer Tales

FOOD FEST Needing somewhere to laze about whilst indulging in restaurant-quality food and drink? You’ll be spoilt for choice at this pop-up which also features a dance floor and open terrace complete with hammocks and swing chairs. The job of ensuring that guests have plenty to feast on falls to the likes of Burger & Lobster who will be serving up a new “Baby Burger” made using three cuts of steak, street food favourites Pizza Pilgrims and newcomer Nanny Bill’s who will be delighting hordes with meatballs in tomato and ragu sauce in a roll. Four bars come pre-loaded with cocktails, frozen punch, coconut juice and fine wine. With so much to enjoy under one roof, you’ll never want to leave. Summer Tales, Red Market, 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9DP. nighttales.co.uk

Make your own gin and tonic at the Fever-Tree pop-up

G&T fan? You’re in luck as this summer, the Green Room at the National Theatre plays host to a pop-up Fever-Tree Gin & Tonic Garden. As far as garden parties go, this one might just be the most well-stocked gin and tonic one in London. Open daily, the Fever-Tree Gin & Tonic Garden is an ideal place for your post-work summer hangouts. Just grab a deck chair and lounge about in the garden or bring a group and clamber around the picnic benches instead. Either way, you’ll do just fine where drinks are concerned. Those wanting to experiment with flavours can create their own gin and tonics from a selection of gins that include Sipsmith, Hendrick’s and Jensen’s Bermondsey Dry as well as Fever-Tree’s collection of tonic waters that include low-calorie and elderflower-infused varieties. Cocktails are available too from the Ultimate Vodka and Tonic (Black Cow vodka, Fever- Tree Mediterranean tonic, pink grapefruit) to The Perfect Storm (Diplomatico Anejo rum, Fever-Tree ginger beer, lime). And where there’s a garden, barbequed meat can’t be far away …

The Diner lays on an Independence Day feast

American restaurant chain The Diner ramps up its menu for the 4th July Independence Day celebrations in London. If there’s one day when you won’t be judged for going all-out and indulging American-style, it’s today, for all across London, guests at The Diner will be doing just that. In addition to the classic American menu, there’s a one-day only 4th July special to get your teeth into. The three-part feast kicks off with a couple of choices. There’s Frito Pie (£3.50) – a serving of Fritos corn chips topped with beef chilli, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos and coriander served inside the bag, or there’s a trio of Chicken Skins (£6) – shredded barbeque chicken with Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and jalapeno on chunky slices of potato. Forget the cutlery and just devour them both with your hands. The gorge-fest continues with an impressive Taco Crunch Burger (£10) consisting of an 8oz patty with plenty of queso cheese and Diner-special burger sauce, pickles, caramelised onions…and tortilla chips for extra crunch. It’s the kind of burger …

Balthazar’s Independence Day brunch and pop-up

American celebrations come to Covent Garden for the 4th July Independence Day weekend. It’s the ultimate all-American get-together. This weekend, the London outpost of New York restaurant Balthazar, will be celebrating American history by throwing one big weekend brunch party and taking its cuisine out onto the streets of Covent Garden in a mini American take-over. The restaurant will be serving up a couple of specials any American would be proud of. First there’s a super-sized gourmet hotdog with a home-made pain de mie roll wrapped around an 8” Toulouse sausage topped with Scotch beef brisket, home-made barbeque sauce, melted Comté cheese and crispy shallots. It’s a magnificent sight and even more glorious when devoured one meaty, cheesy and smoky bite at a time. Then there’s “le sandwich américain”, an equally impressive open pain au lait sandwich with a flat steak hache patty topped with dill pickle, melted Cheddar and a spicy cocktail sauce. Every good burger comes accompanied by some fries, except this one comes fully formed with the fries on it. Now that’s …

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester launches Lunch Flower menu

To coincide with this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester will be serving a special three-course spring menu inspired by the show. If you can’t get enough of this year’s floral extravaganza, you might do well to stop for some sustenance at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, where they’ll be serving up dishes filled with spring flavours and floral colours. The Lunch Flower menu is on a limited four-day run so you’d better step on it if you want a taster before it disappears. Dishes include a vegetable tart with herb condiment, a fillet of brill with spring vegetables and some homemade pasta with white and green asparagus. There are a couple of fruity desserts available but you’d probably want to stick with the specially-created and rather artful Strawberry Field. Served with a strawberry sorbet, the edible scene features a sable ‘field’ with strawberry marmalade and pistachio mousse covered in pistachio powder against a white and milk chocolate brick wall. It’s certainly a pretty sight so makes for essential dining whilst the …

Aqua Shard installs floral garden and menu 31 floors up

To celebrate this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, Aqua Shard have created a floral-inspired menu and installed its own flower garden high above the city. For one week only, it won’t be all about the city views at Aqua Shard as there’s a rather impressive floral garden scene for diners to marvel at too. Towering high in the atrium is an installation created by florist McQueens that features a colourful arrangement of flowers in bloom with an oversized grass watering can spouting a little bouquet of its own. Crates filled with roses, citrus plants and jasmine surround the base and help to fragrance the room. Against this backdrop, diners can also enjoy a special three-course dinner that features a selection of edible flowers and floral flavours throughout. To start, there’s jasmine tea-steamed artichoke with tea and citrus jelly, Jerusalem artichoke mousse and viola flowers. This is followed by roasted wild sea bass with white bean stew, aloe vera cubes and dandelion seasoned with acacia rose vinaigrette. Dessert is an orange blossom and pink pepper panna cotta …

Springtime blooms during Sakura at Sake no Hana

The ‘sakura’ cherry blossoms have arrived, so the Japanese tradition of hanami begins with a fitting food and drink feast at Sake no Hana. Down along St James’s Street, London, there’s a rather curious sight. Cherry blossom trees seem to be taking over a certain Japanese bar and restaurant and they can barely contain themselves. They’re artfully draped over doorways and arched across the windows. They’re positively blooming and it’s a magnificent sight, certainly one best enjoyed inside by the bar. This annual tradition of celebrating the Sakura at Sake no Hana makes for a beautiful light-dining experience. The limited edition cherry blossom-themed menu is served in the bar area and is a great introduction to Sake no Hana’s wider restaurant offering upstairs. Dishes on the new menu include a Sakura Gozen (£32) which includes a sweet and warming white miso soup, some sautéed spinach with plenty of sesame to keep it interesting and the highlight, a vibrant selection of sashimi (kuro kampachi, salmon, sea bream), nigiri (otoro, chu toro, akami) and maki (spicy tuna, …

Go off the grid at free Innocent Un-plugged festival

Innocent launches Un-plugged, a new weekend festival in the woods that lets you escape the city and go technology-free. Switch it off and leave it behind – there’s a whole other world beyond your phone, you know. This is the premise behind Innocent Un-plugged, a festival that encourages you to go offline and enjoy the moment you’re in for just one weekend. Guests will be sent to a secret location in the woods in Kent, one free of Wi-Fi, 3G and electricity, where a weekend of live music, forest banquets (with plenty of smoothies available, naturally), inspirational speakers, spas and yoga will set into motion, taking you away from the cares of city life. Be warned though – any revellers caught using their devices will have to face a penalty challenge. There will be a ‘people-powered’ disco with music provided by DJ Norman Jay and The Correspondents, along with a brilliantly diverse range of acts including brass bands, electric violinists and even a flute-beatboxer. Lycra-clad ‘Mr Motivator’ will also make an appearance to get the …

Sofitel London St James launches floral afternoon tea

Celebrating this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, Sofitel London St James has launched Le Tea en Rose, a special floral-inspired afternoon tea that will be served in the hotel’s Rose Lounge. Whilst a live harpist strums away in the background, you can enjoy a selection of four seasonal finger sandwiches, some homemade scones with clotted cream, rose-scented strawberry jam and lemon curd, followed by more floral-infused cakes and miniature sweet treats. There’s a pot of hibiscus and raspberry jelly, a vanilla sponge with mimosa mousseline cream and vibrant yellow crumble, another vanilla sponge but with poppy mousseline cream covered in pink chocolate spray and a giant rose and raspberry macaron. A special cocktail, La Fleur en Velours, has been created for the occasion and features Tanqueray gin, elderflower and wild strawberry liqueur topped off with some Champagne. A selection of teas from French teahouse Dammann Frères is also available. The afternoon tea will be available throughout May and costs £30 per person (£34 including the cocktail and £38 including a glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial …