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Become the world’s #1 hero

The three-month Superheroes Bar pop-up in Stoke Newington is less like a visit to a bar, and more like an adventure into the world of heroes and cocktails. The 1hr 45min immersive trip casts visitors as a hero complete with mask and cape. They will collect stones of power to mix and make their own drink.

The choose-your-own-adventure style experience allows visitors to tour the comic book multiverse while making choices that determine what superpowers they collect, what drinks they make and how their story will end.

The team behind the superheroes cocktail experience is The Cauldron. There, a 1hr 45min immersive class lets visitors use molecular mixology to brew drinks. Instead of a mask and cape, they’re given a robe and a magic wand. Plenty of choices this March, to be someone with superpowers.

Where? 5d Stoke Newington Rd, Dalston, London N16 8BH

When? 27th March for three months

How much? £29.99pp Wed, Thurs; £34.99 Fri, Sat, Sun (including three drinks)

Website: https://www.superheroes.bar/

Vegan Life Live

If you’d like to discover more vegan food this weekend, Vegan Life Live at Alexandra Palace is the perfect two-day festival to attend. Food vendors will be selling anything from vegan burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, salads, pizza, and more.

There will be tips from exhibitors on how to make small changes to become vegan, and a number of presenters, speakers, activists, and chefs will be sharing their stories and expertise on all things vegan.

Visit the festival on Saturday, 14th March, if you’d like to see Jon Dale cooking with freshly foraged Cornish wild garlic to create wild garlic pesto. Or learn about Ayurvedic cuisine and the effect it has on your digestion and health. Juliette Bryant will teach you about how to thrive on a plant-based diet while Tomi Makanjuola will demonstrate plantain recipes that are quick to make.

On Sunday, 15th March, there will be a vegan pizza making masterclass, a demonstration of cooking king oyster mushroom carbonara with smoked almond cream, and a showcasing of how to make spicy jackfruit curry. Stay until the early afternoon to catch Danielle Maupertuis making a pomegranate cheesecake with agar agar and vegan dairy substitutes.

Where? Alexandra Palace, Palm Court Entrance, London, N22 7AY

When? 14th Mar 10am – 6pm, 15th Mar 10am – 5pm

How much? From £10 concession online to £15 adult on the door

Website: https://london.veganlifelive.com/

St Patrick’s Day

Of course, the other London festival and parade you won’t want to miss is St Patrick’s Day. Everyone’s invited to the big Irish party that will center around Trafalgar Square on Sunday, 15th March. There will be plenty of Irish food, dancing and a ginormous parade featuring floats and music from KILA and Imelda May.

Where? Trafalgar Square

When? 15th Mar 12pm – 6pm

How much? Free

Website: https://www.london.gov.uk/events/2020-03-15/london-st-patricks-festival-2020

Eat, Pray, Love

The original London outpost of the pizzeria can be found on Baker Street, but the founding restaurant hails all the way from the origin of pizza itself: Naples. Michele of the Condurro family opened his first pizzeria in 1906, with generation six of master pizza makers continuing his legacy. The restaurant’s enduring success can be credited to the use of natural ingredients, and a traditional, time-tested method of leavening the pizza dough.

Eating pizza at Da Michele is so mind-blowing that it was only a matter of time until it would be picked up and featured in a piece of literature, and then a film. In her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert mentions the pizzeria Da Michele where “the pies we have just ordered, one for each of us, are making us lose our mind.” We know the feeling. We pray to return ASAP whenever we treat ourselves to a Da Michele pizza.

Da Michele in Soho

Except for the extra-luxurious Gold Pizza, you’ll find all of Baker Street’s pizza classics on the Soho menu. Desserts are the same too, but starters include new additions such as Burrata and Aubergine, Oyster, and Sauté di Mare (fresh mussels and clams in extra virgin olive oil and white wine). There is a new mains section with items such as Octopus Luciana (an octopus stew with creamy saffron potato) and Catalana Lobster.

If you have that one shocking friend who’s not that into pizza, bathe in beautiful pizza bliss while they enjoy some pasta. Reflective of the rest of the menu’s new seafood additions, there are Frutti di mare pasta options such as Spaghetti Mussel and Linguine Lobster. And prepare yourself for some smoking cocktails like Green Eyes – an absinthe, rum, double cream, pistachio cream concoction.

If you love pizza as much as we do, there are many other pizza spots to try in the capital. From tender stem broccoli pizzas to those made in Roman style, – with thin, crispy bases – the choice is plenty.

Where? 44 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 4TY

When? 20th February, 6 pm

Website: https://www.anticapizzeriadamichele.co.uk/

Pressure to post

Having a strong social media presence has become a requirement for restaurants who want to stay competitive in a digitalised world. But often these businesses with a low-profit margin don’t have the budget to hire a social media manager. They need to fit in the time to learn about how to best take photographs and style their food for a picture-perfect dish so that they have new content to post every day.

So chefs try to plate their dishes not just so it’s ready for Instagram but so unique or mouth-watering that it’ll stop an Instagram user in their digital tracks. Many people will make their dinner decisions based on a photo of a dish they saw in their morning feed, scrolling through dozens of other images crying for their attention. The pressure can be cosmic.

Stock photos as a quick alternative

Sometimes restaurant owners cave under the pressure and post stock photos on their social media, making it look like the image is of a dish they serve on their menu. But they don’t post to mislead, they post to post. If they miss the timing, not enough diners will come flocking in that evening. Of course, that doesn’t make it acceptable. And it can have negative results for the restaurant as well.

Imagine this. Based on an image you saw on a pancake restaurant’s social media, on your visit to Pancake Heaven you expect a fluffy pancake topped with whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries and chocolate sprinkled on top. You go to Pancake Heaven and outcomes a chewy pancake with clotted cream, strawberries only and no chocolate. You were looking forward to the fluffiness, the raspberries, but it didn’t deliver. It might be the reason why you don’t come back again.

Stock photos may seem like a quick fix, but in the long-term, it does more damage than it does good. Restaurants will benefit from looking at other strategies such as using the same photo again after some time has passed, or taking many photos in one session that can be used over a long period of time.

Five different dining environments

Expect to travel through another world at this new immersive restaurant set in an Art Deco Grade II listed building, which is due to open in spring this year. The first stop will be the Batcave and Pennyworth’s, named after Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred, where you’ll find historically inspired British dishes. The Iceberg Lounge, a large restaurant, and bar, will offer an international menu and live entertainment throughout the week.

Harley Quinn-inspired omakase is the star in the top counter dining area, while a villainous speakeasy features original cocktails with sharing plates. The Monarch Theatre is the final destination, which will need to be booked well in advance. A multi-sensory tasting menu experience with 360-degree projection mapping technology will be your most immersive experience yet.

Immersive dining

Themed dining experiences that ask the visitor to immerse themselves in the world of the film or character have been current in London’s restaurant scene since the early days of the Rainforest Café and Planet Hollywood. More recently, a dinner show based on the Abba movie Mamma Mia! is gaining in popularity.

But never before has a restaurant of this scale been conceived as a fully immersive DC-inspired gastronomic experience. There will be multi-sensory tasting menus, magician Chris Cox to work his magic on your senses, and mirrored glass structures that will enclose diners much like the classic scene of the dome dropping over the city that is familiar to comic book readers.

We’ll make sure to binge-watch the movies that have inspired the restaurant’s experiential universe before its opening: Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, and The Penguin. And we’ll keep that wonder woman outfit ironed and ready at the back of our closet, just in case they’re cool with coming in costume.

Where? 77 Brewer Street, Soho, London, UK

When? Expected spring 2020

How much? Prices starting at an average of £45pp; £120pp for a tasting menu at Park Row’s Monarch Theatre