10 Fun Things To Eat & Do When You’re Trying To Make It Through The Miserable Cesspit That Is January
Vegan feasts, Burns Night on a boat, a lobster meal kit, and more things to help you make it through the bleakest month of the year.
Well well well, if it isn’t the worst time of the year coming around to say hello again. January inevitably starts with high hopes that you’re going to become a new you through the medium of vegetables and ‘a positive outlook’ before it all comes crashing down when you realize that you’re cold and haven’t seen daylight in two weeks. Throw eager Ms. Omicron into the mix and it’s a rough old ride. Whether you’re looking to stay in or want to go out, here are some fun things to help get you through this bleak month.
Get Involved In—Deep Breath—Veganuary
Veganuary, a word that strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who happens to be on a food PR’s subscription list. As every brand, restaurant, and chef gets behind plant-based food for January, there are countless vegan options. But that doesn’t mean all of them will be good. Enter Hoppers, an excellent Sri Lankan restaurant with locations in Soho, Marylebone, and King’s Cross. They’re doing a £35 vegan feast throughout the month. Think BBQ hispi cabbage, jackfruit kothu roti, and plenty of dhal kari. If you’re still very much in hibernation mode, know that you can also get their vegan offerings delivered as a meal kit.
Celebrate Burns Night (On a Boat!)
Scottish people know how to do winter right. It actually snows there, people. They’re basically those north-of-the-wall-Free-Folk legends from Game Of Thrones with The Proclaimers thrown in for good measure. We’re going to stop offending Scottish people now and tell you that Barge East is throwing a Burns night on the 25th and the 28th of the month, featuring a four-course Scottish supper, a dram of whisky each, and live music—all for £49 per person. Not up for going out? Classic tartan-fest restaurant Boisdale are doing a virtual Burns night celebration including a big old feast and Ardbeg whisky for just under 90 quid.
Hibernate With a Lobster Meal Kit
Statistically speaking, there is a high likelihood that some of you reading this currently have Covid. Our commiserations. The only advice we have is to rest up, drink lots of ginger tea, and maybe, like, don’t message your ex saying “I am a sweaty baby, pls send me memes”. Not something we did of course, just a thought. Anyway, whether you’re staying in because the weather is gross or because you’re legally obligated to, it’s worth knowing that one of our all-time favourite Italian spots, Bocca Di Lupo, are delivering meal kits. If you’re just starting to feel better but somehow still feel downright awful, opt for the comforting Emilia Romagna ricotta ravioli kit. If you’re feeling a-okay but are missing your old fabulous lifestyle, go big with the orecchiette, scallops, tiramisu and—dun dun dun—lobster feast.
Shop Clerkenwell Vintage Fair
Vintage shopping is great because you get new things without feeling like you’re slowly killing the planet one drunk ASOS order at a time. At the end of the month, the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is hitting Freemasons Hall with over 50 of the best vintage dealers. Somewhat confusingly, Freemasons Hall is actually in Covent Garden, but we all know that practicality and fashion rarely go hand in hand. If you’re on a budget—January pay day, why are you so far away—know that they’ll have vintage pieces from Ossie Clark, Chanel, and Dior, so it probably won’t be a particularly accessible price point, but if you’re into fashion, it’s a must. Hit up our guide to the best places to eat in Covent Garden for post-rack hunting sustenance.
Go for a Walk, Then Hit Up Ottolenghi’s Latest Deli
We find it shocking that when we try wild and exotic things like ‘drinking more water’ or ‘getting eight hours sleep’, we do actually feel better. The same applies to ‘going for a walk’. What at first appears to be a deeply thankless task resulting in cold hands, does actually tend to be quite lovely once you get going. For added incentive, know that the new Ottolenghi deli in Chelsea is opening on Thursday, January 13. Stroll whimsically along the Thames, then hit up this new opening for pastries, a winter salad, or a proper sit-down meal. Wholesome day out, sorted.
Feel Smug & Cultured at the Silent Fall Exhibition
Maybe you want to go to this exhibition because bubbles just really speak to you on an emotional, physical, and yes, sensual level. Or maybe you want to go because it ticks off that resolution you had about being more cultured. Either way, no judgment here. Silent Fall is an interactive exhibition involving bubbles, mechanical trees, and fragrances. From A.A. Murakami, the artistic duo behind Studio Swine—no really—it genuinely does look like a very Zen way to spend an afternoon. Tickets start at £8.50 and you’ll find them in Burlington Gardens next to the Royal Academy of Arts, which just so happens to be one street over from Murger Hanhan. Pre-museum sustenance biang biang noodles encouraged.
Go for a Night of Music & Chicken Wings
Winner winner, we’re so bloody cold we might cry and therefore need lots of chicken wings for dinner. If you’re thinking yes same—or wow, the quality of this writing is so top-tier—it’s time to tell you about an unexpected collaboration that we’re totally here for. For one night only, Miles Kane will be doing a chicken wing pop-up at Randy’s Wing Bar to celebrate his new album. There will be acoustic performances by Miles Kane, there will be Miles Kane in the kitchen, and importantly, there will be lots of chicken. Keep an eye on Miles’ Instagram for ticket updates.
Hit Up This Quality Affordable Set Menu
For one month and one month only, Quality Wines’ evening three-course set menu is £29. If you haven’t come across Quality Wines before, it’s a quaint daytime shop, our go-to sandwich spot since 2019, and come evening it morphs into an utterly charming wine bar. The food here manages to toe the line between sophisticated excellence and comforting classics perfectly, so you can expect things like rabbit rillettes, egg yolk pappardelle with beef shin and bone marrow ragu, their winning focaccia, and gildas. You can check out menu updates on their Instagram.
Sit in Front of a Big Open Fireplace, Dickens Style
When in doubt, make like the rich Victorians. That means sitting in front of a big open fire and discussing why X couldn’t marry Y due to an ongoing family feud over land ownership. Or why your mate’s latest experiment with online dating was a massive flop. The Cadogan Arms will work for all of the above and they’ve got plenty of bookings available throughout the month. If a fancy schmancy Chelsea pub with great takes on British classics isn’t your vibe, you can find more open fires and comforting dishes in our guide 10 London Restaurants For When You Want To Get Cosy.
Do Drinks Without Drinking
Ah, dry January. A coping mechanism many of us turn to when our poor livers have been dealing with a truly alarming quantity of Bailey’s for weeks on end. If you’re partaking in the whole no booze thing, then might we suggest swapping out pints for hand-harvested teas at Bibi, one of our Best New Restaurants of 2021. Or if you’re looking for alcohol-free options masquerading as your favourite cocktails hit up 14 Places To Go For A Drink When You’re Not Drinking. Yes, there’s even teetotal martinis.