Spooky season is here, and London's bars are doing it BIG. From an all-out cocktail festival across the capital to a Halloween party 35 storeys in the sky, we've rounded up all the wicked ways to eat, drink and be scary this October. Happy haunting...
When: 15 and 16 October
Where: ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Rd, London SW6 1UD
What: Basically Christmas for rum lovers. This massive festival created by rum legend Ian Burrell celebrates the spirit's best distillers and blenders, with loads of epic sessions, live music, damn good snacks, food and rum pairing masterclasses and tastings. Rum samples are included in the price of your ticket, so fill your tasting glass and start sippin'. And if you're after the rare stuff, snap up a few Golden Tot tokens (they're a fiver each) and you can trade 'em in for a measure of some super-special rums (we're talkin' premium bottles that clock in at more than £80 a pop). Rum and get it!
Tickets start at £35; get yours here
When: Wednesdays-Sundays throughout October
Where: Pergola Paddington, 4 Kingdom St, London W2 6PY
What: Break out your lederhosen, 'cos London's biggest Oktoberfest party is back for 2022. Paddington's rowdiest party place has been transformed into Wunderbar, a beer hall straight out of Bavaria. Head on over and get your fill of German beers, Bavarian food and a special Oktoberfest cocktail menu, then hit the dance floor to the tunes of oom-pah bands and killer DJs. Save a pretzel for us...
Photo credit: Bea Moreno
When: Throughout October
Where: Laki Kane, 144-145 Upper St, Islington, London N1 1QY
What: Don't have the spare change for a tropical getaway? Don't sweat it. Our fave Tiki temple is bringing out a brand-spankin'-new cocktail list this month, and it'll transport you straight to warmer climes with its line-up of over-the-top rum creations. Case in point: The Firebird, a herbaceous banger with the highest ABV of any drink on the whole menu, featuring Havana Club 7 and Chairman’s Reserve Spiced rums, Mezcal Bruxo, Green Chartreuse overproof liqueur, Amaro Averna liqueur, Sassy Apple cider, Angostura bitters, orgeat and fresh orange juice. It's getting hot in here.
When: 13-23 October
Where: Bars across London
What: It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right, London Cocktail Week has returned for 2022 with a full 10 days of boozy magic in the city's top bars. Here's how it works: get a wristband (they're £15, FYI), head to one of the epic drinking dens participating and get a cocktail for just £7. BAM. This year's festival will also see four Little Cocktail Villages opening around the capital with a rad collection of pop-up bars serving £7 drink - plus loads of the city's best bars are hosting their own events and takeovers to celebrate. Keep an eye on BarChick.com for our hottest picks of LCW...
Get your wristband here
When: 26 October
Where: The Little Scarlet Door, 12-13 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DL
What: The crew at The Little Door & Co bars are pulling out all the stops for spooky season, hosting four epic parties at their bars in Soho, Fulham, Notting Hill and Clapham. Our pick? It's gotta be the Soho edition, which is set to have a theme of Murder on the (Light-Up) Dancefloor. Come dressed in your spookiest get-up and be prepared to monster mash, 'cos DJs will be on deck all night long.
Get your £10 ticket here
When: 28 October
What: Views, boos and booze: that's our kinda Halloween. For one fright only, lush rooftop spot Sky Garden is getting a witchy makeover and hosting a wicked knees up with loads of cocktails and fizz. Get ready to dance with the devil, 'cos there's gonna be a live band AND a DJ. Oh, and fancy dress is a yes, naturally.
£55 tickets include entry and a welcome cocktail. Get yours here
When: 31 October
Where: Discount Suit Company, 29 Wentworth St, London E1 7TB
What: For Halloween festivities with a side of history, Discount Suit Company is teaming up with London's Walks to host a boozy Jack the Ripper tour around the bar's East London digs. Fuelled by a damn good drink, you'll roam Jack's haunts and learn all about his dastardly deeds from an expert. Each £25 ticket includes a hot punch welcome cocktail, a spot on the tour and a £25% discount on your bar tab. Killer.
Get your ticket here