Drop dead gorgeous

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THE EVENT: Day of the Dead, Wahaca’s music, food, art and film festival celebrating the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. It’s on for another two nights (2 - 3 November) and it’s a really cool event so catch it if you can.

THE VENUE: The Old Vic Tunnels – a labyrinth of bare-brick vaults beneath Waterloo Station that fits Day of the Dead’s spooky theme like a glove. The organisers have made great use of the space, dotting stages, bars and art installations through the various tunnels. One of them’s a pop-up cinema, another, a creepy ‘Theatre of Dolls’ that’s hard to avoid as it’s on the way to the loos.

THE FOOD: all tickets come with a ‘taco token’ so guests can tuck into tortillas piled high with a choice of slow-cooked pork or seafood from the Wahaca Street Kitchen. It’s messy eating – particularly if you, like us, are partial to covering your tacos in hot sauce – but you couldn’t fault the quality of food. The pork was delicious.

TO DRINK: Olmeca Altos (tequila) cocktails – we loved the jasmine punch but it’s hard to beat Wahaca’s classic margarita – plus Pacifico beer and mezcal. Two drinks tokens are included in the £51 ticket price (or you can pay £41 without drinks). 

THE ENTERTAINMENT: headliners Rodrigo y Gabriela play every night, with support from VadoInMessico, Keston Cobblers Club and Communion DJs. There is also a stunning black and white photo exhibition with portraits by Graciela Iturbide and art installations by Hew Locke, Le Gun, Dr Lakra, Tupac Martir, Nancy Fouts, Harry de Quetteville and Vivienne Griffin. To top it off, The Cabinet of Living Cinema scores live music to experimental and surrealist cinema.

THE TALKING POINT: at the start of the event, we wondered whether the £51 ticket price was worth it. By the end of the night, everyone agreed it was, thanks to the quality of the art and performers, as well as the food and drink tokens.

WE LOVED: the face-painters who turned staff and guests into the ‘walking dead’ – Mexican style.

THE SPONSORS: Wahaca, The Old Vic Tunnels, Nomad, Embassy of Mexico UK, Corona, Metro

THE MORNING AFTER: saw us tucking into spicy huevos rancheros, avocado smoothies, sweet corn fritters and jam doughnuts, courtesy of the new breakfast menu at Wahaca Charlotte Street. Could there be a more suitable cure for a tequila hangover?

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This was first published in November 2012