Despite our best effort to remain frightfully (sorry!) English we feel we are slowly being won over by our American cousins’ enthusiasm for this ghoulish fiesta. Every year around this time a seemly ever-expanding range of Halloween themed parties, events and experiences spring up. So to get you in the spirit of things here is our roundup of some of the best things to see, do and try this Halloween. To really nail your Halloween look you should get down to see nail artist Megumi Mizuno at MA&D Nails, Hands and Feet Treatments in Fulham. Megumi is an award winning technician after scooping first prize in Scratch Magazine’s ‘Great Scratch Shoot Out 2010’, a global competition for photographic nail design. She has created these adorable little designs in time for Halloween. Spooooooky! http://www.maandd.co.uk/home.html
If a good horror movie is guaranteed to have you hiding behind the sofa, imagine what would happen if the frightfest was played out live in front of you in a convincingly deconstructed theatre, complete with jump-out-of-your-seats special effects. The plot of Ghost Stories has been conjured up by the disturbingly macabre minds of the writers behind The League of Gentlemen and will have even the most hardened horror fan clutching for their coats to hide behind. Showing at The Duke of York theatre this is definitely not one for the faint hearted and carries a 15+ advisory age limit. If you think you are brave enough this Halloween they are putting on a special midnight showing, prepare to experience utter terror and a twist you never saw coming... http://www.ghoststoriestheshow.co.uk/home.php
For something a bit more PG head to Richmond Park where everyone’s favourite circus has rolled into town. Zippo’s features a high-wire act from father and son team, slapstick clowns and glorious liberty horses. Children in Halloween costume go free on 30th – 31st October. http://www.zippos.co.uk/
The Mad Artists’ Tea Party presents the first ever Over-18s Pop-up Cake Shop encouraging bakers, artists and creative types to explore the darkest recesses of their minds and develop some truly terrifying cake creations. The shop will be open from 29th – 31st October in the ‘dungeon’ of Maiden, 188 Shoreditch High Street. The designs are strictly for grown-ups, come along and give them a try...can you stomach it?? http://evilcakes.wordpress.com/
Like the costume of the person next to you more than your own? Well the folks at Swap or Die actively encourage you covet and take thy neighbours belongings (keys, wallets and phones excluded guys). This is a Halloween special from the Swap-a-Rama crew, so expect the usual crazy clothes exchange (wear something you aren’t going to miss!) with witches, vampires and the un-dead, all set to a ghoulish soundtrack of rock and roll and party classics. Spooky secret venue to be revealed on 29th... http://www.swap-a-rama.co.uk/event.php?eid=33294
Top-secret bar Barts invites you to come and find them in their Halloween House of Horror until 31st October. We’ll be heading along for a Pumpkin Martini and a peek in their fantastic new fancy dress trunk stuffed full with suitably spook-tastic outfits. Oh and for those of you worried about missing your X Factor fix in the midst of all the Halloween hoopla Barts will be screening the Sunday night show. http://www.barts-london.com/halloweenweek/
Finally, if like me you will be hosting your own Halloween party here are a couple of cocktail suggestions to get your guests in a suitably spirited mood (again, sorry).
Witches Brew Cocktail:
Mix brandy, light rum, dark rum and pineapple juice (I'll leave you guessing for quantities, I will be!) in a cauldron (or large saucepan if your cauldron is in the dishwasher). Garnish with jelly bugs and snakes and maybe some plastic eyeballs.
This is inspired by the signature shooter at rockers den Garlic and Shots on Frith Street. Make a large jug of bloody mary, lots of horseradish and Tabasco essential, and serve with a ghoulish cackle in shot glasses.