Lockdown lowdown: The best activities to get through the Easter Bank Holiday weekend

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

09 April 2020

From tastings and live music, to imbibing some of our industry's best books, here are some of the best industry activities to keep you going over the next four days

Hospitality workers are no strangers to working through the April Bank Holiday weekend, so this one will be harder than most with no work to do and nowhere to go.

In an effort to keep you entertained – and maybe help you pick up a new skill or two – we’ve rounded up some of the best activities to keep the hours ticking over.

So turn off the emails, grab a bevvy and get stuck in.


Tune in to Healthy Hospo's new Music To Make You Happy DJ sessions

We won't argue with Tim Etherington-Smith when he says: 'So far 2020 has been a bit of a sh**show.' Luckily, he's started a new music-sharing intiative.

Bar professionals from around the world will be logging on to Healthy Hospo's Facebook page once a day, to provide a one-hour DJ set of their chosen music, with one simple brief: 'Play the music that makes you happy.'

Starting tomorrow, 10 April, you can tune in every day at 7pm for a listen. The lineup so far includes Nico de Soto, Metinee Kongsrivilai, Gareth Evans, Mohit Chopra, Hannah Lanfear, Soley Kristjansdottir, Jake Burger, Ewan Gunn, Pawel Rodaszynski, Amanda Malcom-Brown, Sergio Leanza, Dave Green and Xavier Herit.

There's even a Spotify playlist to keep you going inbetween. We can't wait for the bangers.


Enjoy a trio of masterclasses with Bacardi brand ambassadors

The guys from Bacardi have teamed up to create a cracking programme of masterclasses with their brand ambassadors from around the world. 

Three will be taking place over the Easter weekend on the ambassadors’ own Instagram accounts. 

Friday 10 April will see two take place: first, Malaysia’s Bacardi trade ambassador Jonas Ax will be discussing the basics of rum; and second, Dewar’s Daniel Elphinstone will be going through the ins and outs of whisky classics and twists. Monday 13 April will be a chance to learn about easy gin cocktails with Singapore’s trade ambassador Mike Cheong


Join Smokehead whisky for the launch of its new TV sessions

This Sunday, 12 April at 5pm, Smokehead brand ambassador Mikey Sim and Ducati expert Tyler Lunceford will be tasting the original Smokehead expression. It will be the first in a series of broadcasts from the Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky brand, and will see the duo go live on Smokehead whisky’s Instgram account to taste the expression, as well as hold a how-to-make session on Whisky Sours and Boilermakers.

You can grab a bottle on Smokehead’s website and £1 of each sale will go towards The Drinks Trust as it continues to support the hospitality industry.


Read some of the Imbibe team’s favourite drinks books

Taking a break from your screen is invaluable, so take a leaf out of the Imbibe team’s book and grab a new tome or golden oldie to get your nose stuck into. We asked colleagues past and present to pick their favourite books to give you some inspiration: from Highballs at Breakfast, a collection of the best drinks writing by PG Wodehouse, to 1966's Wine by Hugh Johnson, we say why we love them and why you will too – keep an eye out for the roundup on imbibe.com.

We also have our regular Book Club reviews, where you will find our verdicts on some of the latest industry releases. Recent reviews include Victoria James’ Wine Girl, In Vino Veritas edited by Susan Keevil, and Natalya Watson’s Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles


Discuss beer in quarantine with Gabriele Bertucci and friends

Ambassador for London Field’s Brewery and founder of What’s in the Glass, Gabriele Bertucci has started a series of Instagram Live discussions with some of beer’s biggest names.

Aimed to fight the boredom of lockdown and keep the beer community connected, What’s in the Glass goes live at 6pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until 22 May, with each week featuring a different beer style and independent bottle shop.

Tonight, 9 April at 6pm, Bertucci will be talking to with Gautam Bhatnagar of Craft Beer Cares, while tomorrow 10 April will see Mikkeller’s Mads Snedevind Nielsen chat and taste pale ales.


Learn about baijiu with At Home with Fenjiu

UK distributor of Fenjiu baijiu, Cheng International, has launched an eight-part livestream series on the world’s biggest selling spirit. 

Starting tomorrow, the first of the series (10 April, 1-2pm) will take viewers though an introduction to Fenjiu, while the second (11 April, 6-7pm) will be a masterclass on how to drink the spirit, going through tasting techniques, key aromas and flavours.

And if you want some extra reading material, check out our review of Derek Sandhaus’ new book, Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture.


Get your pasta on with Padella’s Tim Siadatan

Ok, technically it isn’t drink related, but you can imbibe while cooking along with Padella’s Tim Siadatan as he teaches you how to make the cult pasta joint’s famous Pici Cacio e Pepe (hubba hubba). 

Siadatan has already outlined the ingredients you will need: 375g bread flour, 185ml water, 1tbsp olive oil, salt, 100g finely grated parmesan, 160g unsalted cubed cold butter, a large tbsp of ground black pepper or a fully loaded pepper mill, lemon juice. 

Then all you need to do is get a pan on water on a rolling boil and tune into the Trullo Instagram account at 6pm.

Catching this a day late? No fear, you should be able to watch the video in his stories. Presto!


Learn ‘how we smell to feel’ on The Booze Brain

Launched by the American and Beaufort bars’ Maxim Schulte and Jo Last in response to the covid-19 crisis, The Booze Brain is now coming to the end of its third week of scheduling. 

Tomorrow, 10 April, Marlene Staiger, co-founder of french liqueur brand H Theoria will be holding fort for her session on the programme’s Facebook pageTune in at 3pm.

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