From masquerade club nights and costume parties to ghoulish cocktails and themed dinner parties, Absolutely have rounded up the best of Halloween in London
By Abbie Schofield
No doubt the Halloweens of your youth involved trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and a rather unconvincing homemade costume. These days you’ll want a more grown-up affair – and thankfully, the capital’s bars, restaurants and venues go all out for the autumnal festival. Think masquerade club nights, ghoulish cocktails and themed dinner parties. Absolutely have rounded up the best of Halloween in London, for those of us too old for apple bobbing.
Our top pick for Halloween in London
Halloween at Covent Garden
For a spooktacular spot with all the trimmings, head to Covent Garden. Having been transformed into a Halloween hub complete with giant pumpkin and carriage, the area will host an exclusive line-up of events and culinary specials until 3 November. For beauty junkies, Charlotte Tilbury is putting on Halloween masterclasses, offering make-up tips and tricks to help everyone achieve a haunting Halloween look. Elsewhere, Laduree and Godiva have Halloween-special sweet treats, and everyone from Balthazar to Buns & Buns will be serving a devilish selection of one-off dishes and cocktails.
For more information, visit coventgarden.london
Halloween On Ice at Skylight Rooftop
Skylight, London’s most imaginative rooftop destination, is holding a Halloween party this 31 October. Marking the opening evening of its winter season, Skylight will be calling all ghouls and ghosts along to its night of Halloween fun. Halloween On Ice will feature themed ice performances, trick-or-treating, prizes for best costume, games throughout the venue and DJs all night long.
31 October 5-11.30pm, skylight.designmynight.com
The Dark Circus Halloween Party by Bourne & Hollingsworth
London’s landmark immersive circus party returns for a special Halloween fright night on 2 November at Earth Hackney. The theme this year is ‘Day of the Dead’ and with performances from the Dark Circus skeleton troupe involving acrobatics, burlesque, sword-swallowing and fire shows, this extravaganza is the ultimate Halloween party. There will also be a makeup wagon to elevate your Day of the Dead look, and the drinks menu will embrace all things Mexican with agave-based cocktails.
2 November, 9pm-3am, darkcircusparty.com
Halloween treats at Fortnum & Mason
If partying isn’t your thing, have a gastronomical Halloween celebration at Fortnum & Mason’s The Parlour, home of the Knickerbocker Glory. They have a new Halloween menu, the standout creation being the Halloween Sundae made with mint chocolate chip ice cream, spirulina, raspberry sauce, Chantilly and charcoal powder, each finished with Fortnum’s very own Halloween sugar decorations. They are also offering a frightfully good Lemon Drizzle Cupcake with special Halloween cream cheese frosting options: red blood orange, black charcoal or green spirulina.
Highgate Cemetery Tour
For horror lovers, spending Halloween in a graveyard will be a deadly dream. Even for the less morbid, North London’s Highgate Cemetery is worth a visit due to the host of famous figures buried there, including Karl Marx, George Eliot and Christina Rossetti. Tours are available most Saturdays; lasting around 60 minutes, an expert will guide you around the cemetery, telling you weird and wonderful facts about the site and its deceased inhabitants.
End of the World Brexit Party
At Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Immersive Experience, guests are thrust into an apocalyptic martian adventure. However this Halloween, a truly terrifying topic is taking over: Brexit. Visitors can sip cocktails such as the Bo-jito and a No Deal Daquiri while dancing the end of the world away against the backdrop of political Armageddon.
31 October, 7pm until late, dotdot.london
The Prince, Pergola Olympia, Pergola Paddington and Lost In Brixton will all be hosting a ‘Halloween Weekender’, so you can join in the spooky celebrations no matter where your stomping ground is. Each bar will be transformed into a Halloween haven with special cocktails and food on offer including a Toffee Apple Sour and a Hannibal Lecter burger by Patty&Bun. The main party, however, is happening on Saturday 2 November. Fancy dress is compulsory for party-goers, who have the chance to win a £300 bar tab.
Tea off for terror at Swingers, who will be giving its crazy golf clubs a Halloween makeover – even the caddies will be zombified. Guests that dress up will receive a free ‘Spiced Pumpkin Punch’ cocktail and along with the usual scrumptious street food from the likes of Patty & Bun and Pizza Pilgrims, a DJ will be playing tunes into the night.
31 October-1 November, swingersldn.com
Patrón at 19 Greek Street
This Día de Muertos, Patrón Tequila is taking over 19 Greek Street for a three-day immersive experience featuring themed artworks, a tequila education experience and cocktails. A theatrical parade will career through the streets of Soho on the evening of November 1st. Complete with iconic characters from the traditional celebration such as La Calavera Catrina, Monarch butterflies and sugar skulls, the performance will culminate at 19 Greek Street. At the venue, which will be extravagantly decked out, guests will learn about one of Mexico’s most iconic produce – tequila – and expand their palate through tastings of Patrón Día de Muertos cocktails.
1-3 November, tickets via Eventbrite
The new Gothic Opera company are performing Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner in unusually spooky locations this Halloween. Taking the dark, eerie intensity of gothic fiction as its starting point, Gothic Opera is dedicated to rarely-performed and atmospheric operatic works, and is committed to opening opera up to new audiences, hoping to inspire people to come and experience opera in unusual, characterful and spooky spaces. The first performance, on Halloween itself, is at the Old Church in Stoke Newington, whilst the second performance on 1 November is at Asylum Chapel in Peckham.
31 October, 1 November, gothicopera.co.uk
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