Despite what your parents might tell you, Halloween is not just for kids. Although using bin bags and plastic teeth to dress up as Count Dracula may be among your favourite childhood memories, there is still plenty of Halloween fun to be had as an adult. We will concede though, that our taste buds have definitely grown more sophisticated since the days of apple bobbing and buckets of sweets. If you are after a grown-up Halloween this year, look no further, as we have got the lowdown on everywhere you should be eating, drinking and partying in London this All Hallow’s Eve.
For the uninitiated, (have you been living under a coffin?) Halloween is a celebration of all things spooky and creepy which takes place on 31 October every year. Historically, this date was a Christian celebration which was dedicated to remembering the dead. However, like with most holy traditions (Christmas, Easter etc.), Halloween has become much more commercialised over the years and is now better known as a time to dress up, go trick or treating and brush up on the choreography from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.
In 2021, Halloween actually falls on a Sunday, so much of London’s celebrations will be taking place on the Friday and Saturday beforehand, although there are a few restaurants and bars which will be flying their freak flags high on the actual day itself too. To help you plan your Halloween night out, we have rounded up the best Halloween menus London has to offer, as well as throwing in a few Halloween parties for good measure.
If you are staying in this year (or throwing your own spooky soiree), use the links below to skip straight to our section of ghoulish treats that London’s best bakeries have whipped up for the occasion.
Best Halloween menus at London restaurants
Whether it’s a haunted brunch, cutesy bao buns or paranormal puddings, London has embraced Halloween menus like never before this year. Try them at your own risk...
Polo Bar, City
What: Famous 24-hour restaurant Polo Bar is known for its outlandish pancake stacks and its Halloween special for 2021 is certainly not for the faint hearted. The ‘Panic Stack’ features a pile-up of 12 American-style pancakes, splattered with fresh strawberry coulis and sandwiched between vanilla cream, before being finished off with a handful of edible eyeballs and gummy teeth. Try and complete the stack if you dare…
Where: 176 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4NQ
Park Chinois, Mayfair
What: Luxurious Chinese restaurant Park Chinois is dedicating an entire weekend to Halloween festivities. The opulent restaurant will be kitted out in Halloween decor (expect cobwebs and pumpkins), as well as serving a limited-edition Halloween cocktail. Kicking things off will be a themed version of the Park Chinois Dim Sum Afternoon Soiree, as well as a spooky special of the restaurant’s famous live show, complete with top-quality dim sum and ghoulishly good entertainment. Guests are of course encouraged to put a spooky spin on their finest attire.
Where: 17 Berkeley Street, W1J 8EA
Tommi’s Burger Joint, Soho
What: If you like your burgers as black as your soul, check out this Halloween special from Tommi’s Burger Joint. The restaurant group has teamed up with ‘extreme metal’ band Calligram to the 'Death Metal Burger: Black Angus beef layered up with blow-torched blue cheese, grilled black pudding, shredded lettuce, Tommi’s Volcano sauce and jalapenos, all sandwiched together and served inside a charcoal bun. The burger will be available at all Tommi’s locations until 31 October and will set you back £10.90, with £1 from every sale donated to the Help Musicians Charity, which helps artists recover financially from the pandemic.
Where: 37 Berwick Street, W1F 8RS
Aqua Nueva, Soho
What: From 29 October to 2 November, Aqua Nueva will be celebrating both Halloween and Día de los Muertos. Alongside seasonal decorations, two special Halloween items have been added to the menu. Sip on a Monster Martini, mixed with Gin mare, lychee, cherry syrup and cranberry juice or indulge with the show-stopping Calavera (skull) dessert, which is made with white chocolate, yoghurt mousse and raspberry and comes with a mini hammer to so you can crack it open.
Where: 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
M Victoria Street, Westminster
What: On 30 October, M Victoria Street will be hosting a ‘Woof & Treat’ doggy brunch party to raise money for the charity ‘Dogs for Good.' Tickets are £35 and include a three-course meal for both you and your pooch, as well as grooming treatments for your four-legged friend and a competition to crown the best dressed pooch. You can tuck into the likes of shakshuka with chakalaka, yogurt and super seeds followed by a pancake stack topped with fruit and ice cream, while your pup will be chowing down on chicken jerky three ways and bacon and peanut butter cookies.
Where: Zig Zag Building, Victoria Street, SW1E 6SQ
Creams Cafe, various locations
What: This Halloween, Creams Cafe is launching two limited-edition desserts that look terrifyingly tasty. Between 18 October and 4 November, guests can indulge with The Crushed Bone and Blood Orange Sundae (blood orange sorbet topped with soft serve, crushed meringue and blood-red strawberry sauce) or the Trick or Treat Waffle: topped with Ferrero gelato, chocolate sauce, white chocolate shavings and strawberries.
Where: All Creams Cafe locations
Bun House, Soho
What: Chinatown’s Bun House is bringing back its much-loved Halloween bao buns to celebrate the spookiest time of the year. On 30 and 31 October, guests can order freshly made Spiced Pumpkin buns, while mixed box sets of buns are also available to enjoy at home - the set features a Spiced Pumpkin bun, a Mummy bun (roasted black sesame and tahini) and a Ghost bun (sticky toffee custard cream).
Where: 26-27 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA
The Perky Nel, Clapham
What: On 31 October, The Perky Nel will host a dog-friendly Howl-o-ween brunch. Kicking off at 11am, the event will see pampered pooches treated to a menu of ground beef, brown rice and veggies, while their human counterparts can dine from the regular brunch menu. There will be a competition for the best dressed dog too, so make sure to have your four-legged friend don their scariest outfit.
Where: 7-8 Cavendish Parade, SW4 9DW
144 On The Hill, Richmond
What: If you will be celebrating Halloween with your little ones this year, why not treat them (and yourself) to a spooky afternoon tea? At 144 On The Hill, you and your little monsters will be able to enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and an assortment of Halloween-themed cakes, in the shape of pumpkins, ghosts and more. The tea is available from 25-31 October, with ghoulish cocktails available for adults, while mini-mes can sip on an Apple and Elderflower 'Mojito'.
Where: 144-150 Richmond Hill, TW10 6RW
COYA, Angel Court and Mayfair
What: COYA is famous for its party brunches, so it’s no surprise that both London locations of the brand, Angel Court and Mayfair, are getting in on the Halloween action. Taking place on 30 October, the brunches will feature a menu of COYA signatures (think the likes of yellowfin tuna ceviche and Chilean sea bass), alongside live dance performances - don’t forget to brush up on your ‘killer’ moves.
Where: 31-33 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AT; 118 Piccadilly,W1J 7NW
The Piano Works, Farringdon and West End
What: Paying tribute to all of the musical greats that we have lost, The Piano Works’s (found in Farringdon and the West End) ‘Dead Ringer Singer’ Halloween parties will take place on 29 and 30 October. Guests are encouraged to dress up like their favourite musical legends who have gone too soon, while the bar will be serving up a limited-edition Scare-tini to sip on and help you loosen your vocal chords for a night of singing along to everyone’s favourite Halloween tunes.
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road,ECR1 3BX47; Whitcomb Street, WC2H 7DH
The Anthologist, City
What: The Anthologist is welcoming renowned DJ Fat Tony this Halloween to really get the party started. Fancy dress is very much encouraged, while guests will be able to tuck into a two-course brunch menu (buttermilk chicken and waffle, wagyu beef burger and chips) alongside exclusive cocktails such as Dracula’s Blood: Patrón silver, orange juice, blood orange syrup, lime juice and soda.
Where: 58 Gresham Street, EC2V 7BB
Best Halloween menus at London bakeries
If you are staying home this Halloween or planning a party of your own, you can order some of these spook-tacular treats from some of the capital’s best bakeries.
Crosstown’s Halloween Box
What: Doughnut experts Crosstown are marking Halloween with a seriously spooky creation. The Halloween Dough Bites are made with black cocoa dough, filled with homemade raspberry jam, and topped with a dark berry glaze. They are then finished with a spooky bat or pumpkin decoration. The Dough Bites are available as part of a Halloween Box which includes 15 bites plus the option of adding specialty drinks to your order. They are suitable for vegans too!
Buy the Crosstown Halloween Box
Gail’s Monster Fingers
What: Popular bakery Gail’s is offering up two scary specials for Halloween and one of them certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. The Monster Fingers (pictured above) are a soft and chewy almond macaroon with a whole blanched almond fingernail, attached with blood-red raspberry jam. If that’s too much for you, instead opt for the considerably cuter Skeleton Speculoos:
lightly spiced speculoos biscuits in the shape of a skeleton.
How much: Monster Fingers and Skeleton Speculoos, £1.70 each
Buy the Gail’s Monster Fingers (available in-store now)
Biscuiteers Haunted House Biscuit Tin
What: To mark the scariest night of the year, the bakers at Biscuiteers have created a Haunted House treat box, filled with nine hand-iced chocolate biscuits presented in a keepsake tin. Inside, expect to discover eyeballs, gravestones and witches potions.
How much: £35
Buy the Haunted House Biscuit Tin
Lola’s Cupcakes Made With Monsters Fantasy Cake
What: Lola’s Cupcakes has gone all out with its 2021 Halloween offering, which features cupcakes, brownies and giant cookies. We’re most impressed by the Made With Monsters Fantasy Cake though, which is decorated with dark black buttercream, vibrant green drip, creepy eyes, bones and topped with tentacles. Cut into it to discover layers of orange and green buttercream sandwiched between the sponge for added shock-factor.
How much: £67
Buy the Made With Monsters Fantasy Cake
If you can’t get enough of spooky season, check out the M&S Halloween food range.