It’s October, and you know what that means… the one night of the year when adults can dress up and let loose is approaching. Whether you’re planning on hamming it up or paring it back this Halloween, prepare yourself for a thrilling time at some of the most ghoulish events happening in the capital on and around the 31st.
Brasserie of Fright
For two weeks only The Ivy Collection's usually elegant Brasserie of Light will be transforming into a haunt for all things that go bump in the night. Wittily renamed the Brasserie of Fright, look out for a limited-edition cocktail menu inspired by classic horror films and the special Tasty, Tasty, Beautiful Fear dessert, featuring a Pennywise pumpkin cheesecake, raspberry crisp pearls, chocolate popping candy, hazelnut ice cream and cinnamon salted caramel sauce. From 28 October, the restaurant will also become home to a host of infamous horror characters, with The Shining twins, Pennywise the clown, Annabelle and Rosemary's baby stalking between tables and creating an immersive experience that's (almost) terrifying enough to put you off your dinner.
Fat Tony's Halloween brunch at The Anthologist
If, for you, Halloween means one big party, brunch at The Anthologist is the perfect way to spend the day (or, indeed, recover with hair of the dog from the night before). Running from 12-5pm on Sunday 31 October, the event includes disco beats from DJ Fat Tony, plus fabulous food including slow-cooked pork ribs, buttermilk chicken and waffles, and Marmite mac and cheese. Drinks-wise, there will be craft beers, bubbles and cocktails (try the Dracula’s Blood: Patrón silver, orange juice, blood orange syrup, lime juice and soda). Don your spookiest garms and be ready to do the Monster Mash.
Halloween party at Sky Garden
The Walkie-Talkie’s top-floor restaurant is a favourite among Londoners – Instagrammers vying for the perfect selfie are a staple at this altitudinous institution. Sky Garden throws an annual Halloween bash, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever: on the 29 and 30 October, Sky Garden will undergo a spooky makeover before inviting guests for a night of live music from Neo Waves, late-night dancing with DJ Dan V, and delicious cocktails 35 floors above The City. Tickets are £30 per person, and dressing up is strongly encouraged.
Pumpkin market and pop-ups at Covent Garden
Covent Garden becomes magical in autumn. Head to the West End hub to enjoy a myriad of seasonal pop-ups in the Piazza, including the ‘Bloody Bus’ – a 1980s double-decker serving bloody marys and snacks – and the ‘Ice Scream’, Ardbeg’s ‘grown-up ice cream truck’ serving the Distillery’s smoky single malts alongside Ruby Violet sweet treats. There’s more whisky, this time in cocktails, at the Monsters of Smoke ‘pop-up parlour’ and, once you’re a few drinks in, make your way to the ‘Scream for a selfie’ booth to recreate your best B-movie pose. The annual Halloween Pumpkin Market also returns from 29-31 October – make your way to the Apple Market for pumpkins, squashes and gourds-galore.
Halloween at NYX Hotel London, Holborn
Don your fangs and fishnets for NYX Hotel London’s drag ball on Friday 29 October. From 6.30pm, queen Miss Demeanour will host an extravaganza of lip-syncing, game-playing, and dancing to live music – as well as a DJ, there will be vocals from Sejal Keshwala, star of hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Be sure to try limited edition cocktails like the Belvedere Witches Brew (a concoction of Belvedere vodka, Chambord, pumpkin essence and cardamom soda), and dress up! There will be a prize awarded for the most flamboyantly-attired. Entry tickets start from £20, and group table tickets start from £35.
Between The Bridges Halloween events
The South Bank will play host to a plethora of spooky events from 25-31 October. The full programme can be found on the Between The Bridges website, but highlights include Monster Brunch from 25-29 October – an extravaganza of face painting, dance classes and singalongs – and The Reaper’s Arms on the 29th and 31st, a horror hit singalong with Masseoke and DJ Yoda. A Drag (Brunch) Out of Hell takes place on the 30th and will include a full show from Ru Paul’s Drag Race queens accompanied by bottomless prosecco.
Jack the Ripper walks at Discount Suit Company
Mark Halloween in a truly spine-tingling way by retracing the streets stalked by grisly serial killer Jack the Ripper. London's Walks has partnered with East London cocktail bar Discount Suit Company to offer special Ripper tours on 31 October. They start outside the bar (with a complimentary hot punch) before winding through the back allies of Whitechapel and Spitalfields and concluding back at Discount Suit Company for post-walk libations. Guests who book a table can enjoy cocktails such as the Rocket Lolly (gin, El Bandara Rosé Vermut, Victory Bitter, pineapple, citrus, Tiki Bitters) and the Baklava (cardamom butter-washed Irish whiskey, Amontillado sherry, honey, orange blossom and bitters) at a 25 per cent discount.
Day of the Dead at Chotto Matte
Soho-based restaurant, grill and sushi bar Chotto Matte has partnered with tequila brand Código to celebrate Day of the Dead. From 26 October to 2 November, Chotto Matte will offer incredible nikkei dishes – that’s Peruvian ingredients, such as tropical fish, quinoa and aji amarillo peppers, prepared with Japanese techniques. Also on offer will be a selection of limited-edition cocktails such as the Midnight in Lima, comprising Codigo Anejo tequila, Amontillado sherry, Cocchi Di Torino vermouth and blackberry smoke, and the Dulce Muerte, with Codigo Blanco tequila and peach liqueur. Finally, expect some lively entertainment – on 30 October performers, DJs and musicians will be doing their thing from brunch 'til late.
Halloween at Sumosan Twiga
Knightsbridge destination Sumosan Twiga is inviting guests to a voodoo-themed Halloween shindig this Halloween. This Sloane Street institution always brings the glamour, and this night will be no different: festivities start from midday with brunch until 4pm. From 6pm, Sumosan Twiga will be flexing its famed Italian and Japanese cuisine muscles (think slow-cooked duck with sweet potatoes and orange, and tortelli pumpkin with ricotta and amaretto). From 9pm, it’s party time – guests will be able to enjoy the spooky sounds of live DJs Siggy Smalls and KAT X until late. Prices start from £100 per person for the first seat, and £200 per person for the second seat.
Bluebird Chelsea and White City autumn terraces
Both Bluebird sites in London are getting into the seasonal spirit, decking out their terraces with autumnal florals, pumpkin patches and hay bales. The result: the cosiest brunch or afternoon tea this side of the river. To match the decor is a cocktail menu developed in partnership with Cointreau, featuring warming drinks like the Purple Margarita, Breakfast Martini, and Cointreau Fashioned. On Thursday 28 and Saturday 30 October at 11am, Bluebird dials up the festivities with two pumpkin carving classes – tickets cost £35 per person and include a cocktail. Fancy dress highly recommended!