10 Creepily Classy Halloween ideas
✨ LUCY EATON
Ok so this year Halloween straddles the middle of the week, which means nobody quite knows which weekend to go hard on. Do I don the kitty-cat ears (being as basic as I am) before or after the day itself? Well for most of London, this weekend was the chosen time. This morning maybe you're kicking yourself for not getting involved or you're popping another ibuprofen as you wait for your Deliveroo Nandos to cure the Halloween-induced hangover. But the fun isn't quite over yet!
All Hallow's Eve is actually on Wednesday night. And here in the great city of London, there's something for everyone if you want to get all spine-tingly and celebrate over the next few days.
Here are my top picks for what to do this week if you're still looking for some spooky fun.
WEDNESDAY 31ST OCTOBER
At One Aldwych they're doing a Halloween screening of Stanley Kubrick's chilling classic The Shining in their private screening room, whilst you sip on a chilled glass of Lallier Champagne and dream of the indulgent three-course dinner served in Indigo restaurant afterwards. It's all only £62/person for film, food and fizz, and Indigo restaurant uses only the finest ingredients carefully sourced from the British Isles, which happen to be entirely dairy and gluten-free. So there's no excuse. A frighteningly classy way to spend the evening.
London has got some truly breath-taking cemeteries scattered about and what better day to take a walk through them than Halloween. Our office is based in Fulham, and I frequently go for a run through Old Brompton Cemetery, famous for appearing in numerous films like Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes and Johnny English. Macabre though the suggestion may seem, these often beautifully over-grown patches of wilderness provide a perfect release from the chaos of the city. They're supremely peaceful and mysterious, and the grave inscriptions can make for very interesting reading. The history behind all these magnificent cemeteries is fascinating too. Throughout the early 1800s, a massive population boom had led to an unmanageable number of deaths, so the Government ordered seven huge cemeteries to be built on what were then the outskirts of the city: Kensal Green, West Norwood, Highgate, Abney Park, Nunhead, Tower Hamlets and my dear Brompton. They're truly impressive, awe-inspiring places and well worth a look.
Not just a pretty face, this pub is also apparently London's most haunted drinking house! The characterful old pub once served as the officers' mess for the First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards in the British Army. But - so the story goes - one night a Grenadier guard, named Cedric, was beaten to death after cheating at cards and his ghost has haunted the pub ever since. So potent is his presence that the pub changed its name to honour Cedric's memory. If you stop by for a drink and don't actually meet Cedric, you can still catch a glimpse of his legacy: a ceiling totally covered in currency notes. Tourists and ghost hunters alike, who are eager to help Cedric pay off his debts, have ben pinning money to the ceiling of the pub since the late 1800s and it's quite a thing to behold. Don't even think about taking it down to pay for your cider though, or Cedric will follow you home at night to retrieve what is rightfully his...
Legend has it the beating must have occurred in September, as that is when most sightings occur.
The Woman in Black, at the Fortune Theatre, pitches itself as the most terrifying live theatre experience in the world, and to be honest with you... I'm so terrified by the prospect of this that I've never even seen it! Freddie can vouch for its fear-factor though, as can numerous friends and colleagues of mine who have reported seeing it and struggling to sleep for nights afterwards. It's a real staple of the West-End, having run now for a magnificent 30 years, so if you want a proper London tradition but The Mouse-Trap or The Play That Goes Wrong doesn't feel quite freaky enough, there's no better time than Halloween to get comfy in the stalls and royally freak yourself out.
MONDAY 29TH OCTOBER
If royally freaking yourself out isn't quite your vibe (trust me, it isn't mine) then head to Bread & Geller's Lol-oween Sketch Special! They've got an absolutely stellar line-up featuring Moon (one of Edinburgh's Best Reviewed Fringe Shows 2018), Alice Marshall (winner of the Brighton Fringe Best Comedy award), Delightful Sausage (finalists of Sketch Off! 2018 and one of the Guardian's Best Shows of the Fringe) and finally Siblings (finalists of YOU magazine's Rising Stars of British Comedy). Not to mention the fact that Bread & Geller themselves, your hosts for the night, are sublime and will be providing delightfully hilarious, accessible comedy. I have no doubt there will be limitless Halloween puns. You'll laugh till you die.
And if going out at all isn't quite your vibe (I've been there, I understand the pull of the sofa) then just curl up at home and watch Pan's Labyrinth or Scream. Netflix has an amazing array of classic horror movies at the moment. So pick up a bag of ProperCorn and enjoy the sensation of note having any halloween make-up on and being able to itch your face if need be. Esquire have made a great list of the top 21 scariest movies to watch on Netflix right now.
TUESDAY - SUNDAY
Alright, so you've got a hot Halloween date but you've run out of Fang Floss. This shop, a permanent feature of Hoxton, isn't strictly for humans but Halloween seems like a good time to sneak in. Hunt down the Hoxton Street Monster Supply Store at 159 Hoxton Street and pick up some toasted bone chunks or a tin of a vague sense of unease... This isn't actually a strictly Halloween event: after all, monsters need supplies all year round. But if you can't make it there this Wednesday, just browse the website for online purchases or enjoy translating the site into Werewolf, zombie or vampire bat language (the latter being my favourite).
Who says it's only for kids? I still love dressing up and I really like sweets, so pick up a collectible Harry Potter wand - the Hermione one is rather nice - and go get that candy. Need we say more?
While dining at the Riding House Café the other day, I noticed that they're offering a special Halloween cocktail menu that isn't being advertised online. A word from someone who has already lived the dream: cocktails at Riding House Café are insanely good. So I can only image how tasty these special holiday treats are. Pair them with the whipped feta starter (topped with rhubarb and chestnuts, and accompanied by flame-grilled sourdough) and you'll be feeling properly Halloween smug.
And while we're on the topic of seasonal-themed delicacies, The Bvlgari Hotel have something fun going on. This week, for Halloween, they're serving a special Pumpkin Pud imagined up by the in-house pastry chef: A pecan sponge with a centre of chocolate mousse and pumpkin brûlée that looks like a Jack-o-lantern. As the Bvlgari say, it's "more treat than trick... a grown-up way to celebrate the occasion." We couldn't agree more. The Bvlgari is actually one of my favourite places to have a drink and catch-up with my best friend. Their cocktail bar is the definition of elegant, the drinks are heavenly and the bar snacks are generous! Oh, and they have a complimentary pick'n'mix stand just in the front lobby. Who deosn't love a gummy heart alongside their Old Fashioned?? Add a pumpkin pudding to the mix, and we're totally sold on the idea.
We'll actually be at the Bvlgari ourselves on Halloween night, performing a spookily appropriate comedy about witches for a private function, so give us a wave if you're there.
The Bvlgari have got us reserved for October 31st, but do get in touch if you'd like us to help mark another special date for you. We have plays to suit all occasions and love suiting our wares to a theme! On Wednesday evening we'll be performing the play-version of 1950s Hollywood movie Bell, Book and Candle, a totally eccentric and endearing tale of witchy-human love. But imagine a romantic comedy about a soldier's return home for Christmas whilst sipping on mulled wine in your own living room, or a sparkly production of Shakespearean comedy in your wedding marquee at Spring... Get in touch for more information on how we can add some totally unique and creepily classy entertainment to your events.
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