HOT OPENING: Patron
This charming independent French ‘cave a manger’ (or charcuterie and café) is the brainchild of the French owners behind Cafe Gourmand in Soho. Tanzi and Jean-Francois, who met nine years ago at cheffing college, will serve small plates as well as classics such as duck confit and steak tartare. Expect fine organic and natural wines, too. We popped down to an impromptu bash at the still-unfinished cafe last week, and gawped at an interior which looks very chic indeed, with counter seating, booths, exposed brick, flickering candles and original wood floors. Don’t these old shops scrub up well? Opens tomorrow, Friday 20 March, for a soft launch weekend with 25% off all food and drinks. 26 Fortess Road NW5
ART: Invites at Zabludowicz
For this latest exhibition at the atmospheric contemporary art gallery, Parisian artist Flore Nové-Josserand is producing a sculptural installation that expands out from a series of photographic prints. She says she’s interested in the impact of gentrification on a city and its inhabitants. Launches tonight, 6-9pm and runs till 19 April (open Thurs-Sun, 12-6pm). Free. 176 Prince of Wales Road NW5.
AFTERNOON TEA: on Kelly Street
Most of us are obsessed with taking a peek inside an abode on Kentish Town’s most famous pastel curve. And now we can, as this Sunday friends Gemma and Amy are inviting readers for a one-off pop-up feast of both sweet and savoury treats. It also includes hand-crafted macarons made by Amy, also on hand to dish up baking tips. Sunday 22 March, 1-3pm. More info and tickets from Grub Club. Kelly Street Nw1
BARGAIN: coffee for a quid
When you step out at Gospel Oak overground, in need a caffeine hit, how can you refuse House Presso, the diminutive outlet opposite?
For those over in the more central part of Kentish Town, its big sis opened last year on Fortess, too. And now owner Gavin really means business, with a splendid wheeze that every goddamn hot beverage – and pastry, for that matter – is a steal at £1 “forever”.
So whether your poison is an espresso or americano, builder’s tea or hot chocolate, it’s a simple quid. Extremely neighbourhood-friendly. 1A Mansfield Road NW3 and 16 Fortess Road NW5