Time to pack away summer wardrobe and make way for waterproofs and chunky boots – pumpkin spiced latte season is almost upon us!
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If you're ever short of things to do in London, you've come to the right place. Discover HELLO!'s best picks of things to do in the city this October, from discovering London's most beautiful autumnal walks to tucking into the best food and drink the capital has to offer.
Best Halloween-themed events in London in October
Willa Wonka Halloween Party at Cloud Twelve
Cloud Twelve family wellness club in Notting Hill is running a weekend of spooktacular Halloween events on 29-31 October. Embrace your inner Ogre with slime making, get lost in the pumpkin hunt, decorate ghostly masks, feed a giant spider and bust mischievous ghosts.
Get picture perfect in the Spooky Photobooth and explore our enchanted forest to find a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Trick Or Treat Shop. Finish with a monster parade and a haunted disco.
For details visit www.cloudtwelve.co.uk
SEA LIFE London Aquarium: Creepy Crawly Adventure
This Halloween, from October 17 to November 1, SEA LIFE London Aquarium's Rainforest Adventure is taking a scary turn as it is overrun by thousands of creepy crawlies.
If brave enough, guests are invited to discover some of the Amazon's most amazing inhabitants, including the UK's largest population of piranhas, crocodiles, poison dart frogs and snapping and pig nosed turtles. There is so much more to discover throughout the rest of the attraction too, from Shark Walk, Penguin Point and Rock Pool Explorer, all the way to Coral Kingdom.
Visit www.visitsealife.com for more information.
London Never Dies
This month, the London Cabaret Club's sell-out, Bond-inspired, immersive entertainment and dining experience, London Never Dies at the iconic Bloomsbury Ballroom is back! The team have launched a special Halloween adaptation of London Never Dies, with a glamorous, Mexican Day of the Dead twist inspired by the Bond film Spectre and featuring specially designed menus celebrating the flavours of El Dia De Los Muertos. The unique cabaret concept combines world-class specialty acts - including dancing dogs - singers and choreographed dancers as well as fine dining - with canapés, tapas and three or four course gourmet meal options - wines and themed cocktails, some served by somersaulting waiters and featuring plenty of martinis... shaken and not stirred.
To find out more, visit www.thelondoncabaretclub.com
Magical Afternoon Tea for Two Adults and Two Children at Wands and Wizard Exploratorium
Step into a world of magical adventure with a family afternoon tea at Wands and Wizard Exploratorium for just £108. You'll be able to select a magic wand and begin spell casting to make the tea stand turn before you unlock a puzzle chest full to the brim with ingredients to make your own magical afternoon tea. After mastering the art of magic, indulge in a tempting selection of sweet treats and savoury nibbles.
To book, visit www.redletterdays.co.uk
London Bridge Ghost Walking Tour for Two
Journey back in time on this spine-tingling tour of the capital, as you explore where law-abiding citizens would not dare enter and pass the site where anaesthetic-free operations were carried out, in the world’s oldest operating theatre. An experienced guide will take you to visit prostitute graveyards, secret alehouses, cockfighting rings and bear-baiting pits, on this two-hour tour of London Bridge's horrible history.
Prices from £40, visit www.redletterdays.co.uk
Celebrate everyone's favourite spooky holiday
With spooky season right around the corner, Crosstown - a scratch bakery in London - are ready with the launch of their limited edition Halloween dough bites, featuring the return of their black cocoa sourdough. The Halloween dough bites are crafted with Crosstown's spooky black cocoa dough, filled with homemade raspberry jam, and topped with a dark berry glaze. Finished with a spooky bat or pumpkin decoration – suitable for vegans. Be sure to grab a Halloween Trick or Treat Box!
For more information, visit crosstown.co.uk/halloween/
MORE: 10 mysterious places in London to visit this Halloween – but are you brave enough?
Best things to do in London in October on a budget
Autumnal walks in London's parks
There's nothing quite like autumn in the city. Watching the leaves turn from green to golden brown over the weeks of October might not sound like a thrilling activity, but trust us when we say there really is no better way to explore London than on foot.
London is stunning in autumn, and crisp October days can be spent rambling through the city's best parks. Why not try Richmond Park for your chance to spot deer? Or take the family through Regent's park for a glimpse at the animals in London Zoo. Stroll through Kensington Gardens, one of the most glorious royal parks in the capital, or soak up the sunset in Battersea Park at dusk.
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Storytime with Father Christmas at the Hall
It's may only be October but tickets for Storytime with Father Christmas at the Hall are finally available!
In this very special festive experience, magic awaits your little ones as the Albert Hall's beautiful porch is transformed into an enchanting winter grotto.
Little ones will step inside a whimsical world where they'll be greeted by Father Christmas and his merry head elf Crumpet as they take them on a joyful journey in this charming Christmas Storytime session, ending with each child taking home their very own gift!
For more information visit royalalberthall.com
Disney On Ice presents Find Your Hero
Disney On Ice presents Find Your Hero is coming to the UK - get your skates on because you can now pre-order tickets for this fab show, which kicks off in Birmingham later this month!
Audiences will discover what it truly means to be a hero as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends from around the Disney Kingdom come together to take families on a journey through timeless tales.
The show will feature more than 50 Disney characters, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Moana!
Frozen's Anna and Elsa and the hilarious snowman, Olaf, will also be in attendance, captivating the audience with songs like Let it Go and In Summer.
What are you waiting for?
What are you waiting for? To book visit disneyonice.com
BYOB pottery making
We may be out of lockdown, but that doesn't mean you don't have time to start a new hobby. If you're a keen creative, you'll love this 90-minute BYOB pottery workshop in London Bridge. Learn how to throw a potter’s wheel and create miniature pottery of your own – the perfect head start for handmade Christmas gifts. Bring your own booze to make the experience even more fun!
To book your pottery workshop, visit wowcher.co.uk
Have fun at MCM Comic Con
Looking for something different to do with friends or family? Whether they’re a Bruce Wayne with an inner Batman, or a Clark Kent concealing a Superman, discover a different side to your mates as you enter the MCM Comic Con universe together. Film and TV buffs in the group will be pleased to hear there are a whole host of exclusives lined up for this year’s events, as well as celebrities from your favourite movies - including Tom Hiddleston and Hayden Christensen. Whether you're a gamer, comic book collector, film fanatic or cosplayer, there's something for everyone!
22nd - 24th September at ExCeL London. Info: mcmcomiccon.com
Best bars and restaurants to visit in London this October
Unwind at west London's newest restaurant and cocktail bar
Ready to wind down for the week? Head to Meadow, a brand new Italian fusion restaurant that's just opened in Ealing. Brought to you by the founders of Las Banderas, one of London's most successful brunches, the new venue is bringing Instagrammable cocktails, floral vibes and authentic Italian cuisine all in one relaxed venue. Dishes to try include the hanger steak, burrata and pappardelle pasta, to finish, the dark chocolate cremeux and strawberry tiramisu is a must.
To book, visit meadowrestaurant.co.uk
Enjoy a Levantine feast at Barboun
If you haven't heard of it, Barboun opened in Shoreditch quietly during lockdown and provides all-day delicious dining. Championing a philosophy of using fire, smoke or grills, the mouthwatering dishes are served all day in the modern restaurant with a mixture of fresh locally sourced ingredients and imported spices from Istanbul. We popped down and our standout favourite was the talagani cheese starter, the lamb rump with burnt aubergine, and the sticky date pudding (so make sure you save room for dessert!). Whether you want to pop in for brunch or enjoy a special dinner, the relaxed setting and great cocktail list makes it a perfect spot.
Delight your senses with Wagamama's new plant-based menu
Calling all vegan foodies! Wagamama has become the first high street restaurant to proudly make 50 per cent of their menu entirely plant-based. The HELLO! favourite restaurant chain pledged to make half their menu plant-based by the end of the year as part of their ‘2021 Positive Action Plan’, but have hit that target almost three months early.
Passionate about sustainability, wagamama continue to promote plant-based eating as one of the most powerful choices consumers can make in the fight against climate change - and let's be honest, wagamama's vegan food is so good, it's tough to tell if it's actually vegan! Check out their all-new Spicy Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Steamed Buns, Spicy Vegan ‘Short Rib’ Ramen, Teriyaki Vegan ‘Chicken’ Ramen, and Shu’s ‘Shiok’ Jackfruit for a guilt-free meal.
If you're not already tempted, in return for guests promise to plants, wagamama is offering a vegan side on them until November – to get guests started on their plant-based journey. So, what are you waiting for? Head to www.wagamama.com to get inspired by their new menu.
Have an indulgent feast at Dirty Bones' new flagship restaurant
Setting up shop in the middle of Kingly Court is Dirty Bones' new flagship restaurant. The New York-inspired restaurant and bar opened its Carnaby site earlier this month and boasts a buzzy alfresco terrace as well as chic, moody interiors. Known for being the king of comfort food, Dirty Bones has even created a new burger that's exclusive to the central London branch.
The Reverse Truffle Cheeseburger really is as indulgent as it sounds – two beef patties dripping with warm truffle-cheese sauce, smothered in black garlic and truffle aioli, and topped with crispy onions and chives. Take the restaurant's advice and tackle it with a knife and fork. Another showstopper on the menu is the favourite Mac Daddy, comprised of two steak and bone marrow patties, pulled beef short rib and a generous serving of heavenly mac and cheese, not to mention espresso-spiked BBQ sauce. It really will make you go 'wow' when it's placed in front of you. Make sure you start your feast with the cheeseburger dumplings (Genius creation? Yes) and finish with the milk and cookies ice cream sandwich for dessert.
A meal out at Dirty Bones really is the time to binge on some good old-fashioned American food, so don't feel bad about pigging out. If chicken on waffles, flat iron steak and buffalo hot wings are right up your street, you'll have a real dilemma deciding what to order.
To book a table, visit dirty-bones.com
Take a trip to New Zealand via Selfridges
Finished some shopping and fancy a treat for the senses? Cloudy Bay has created an immersive installation on the ground floor of the department store, where guests enter through an opening in the Cloudy Bay tent, with lanterns and outdoor lights to guide the way. We recommend the Flight Tasting, which will teach you about their wines and champagne, alongside some perfectly paired nibbles (such as caviar blinis). You can also buy a personalised map - Christmas presents sorted!
Let your imagination run wild at St James cocktail bar
If you're feeling at all blue as the new season sets in, there's one place you have to visit - the St James Bar at the Sofitel London near Trafalgar Square which has just launched an absolutely incredible Imagination cocktail menu that will be certain to put a huge smile on your face.
The talented team at St James Bar have put together an awe-inspiring array of cocktails in their on-site cocktail lab, and prepare to have your mind blown! Whether it's whisky cocktails served with giant bubbles full of citrus smoke, edible cocktails that burst in your mouth, pretty pink cocktails with a floating Einstein on the top, these drinks not only taste sensational, and are sustainably made (the freeze-dried raspberries around your glass started life on the breakfast menu), they are guaranteed to make you smile!
Book a table and treat yourself to a night out you won't forget. Your Instagram feed will thank you! sofitelstjames.com
Try the newest Soho offering
Soho's latest food joint is open! Mamma Pastrama, a new offering focused on modern pastrami has landed at 13 Ganton Street. Co-founder and Executive Chef Jay Morjaria has constructed a menu focused on cured meats, using a secret process that combines a blend of proprietary spices and a unique 'rub' technique. Foodies can take their pick of classics such as Big Mamma Melts (smoked chicken, bacon, house pastrami, mustard and pickled onions sandwiched between toasted sourdough) Pastrami & Kimchi Toasties – featuring house pastrami, spicy kimchi slaw and a three-cheese mix - pulled and grilled together in toasted sourdough.
To book your table, visit mammapastrama.co.uk
Indulge in delicious pizza and pasta at Prezzo Islington
There's nothing better than indulging in delicious Italian food, and where better to do it than Prezzo's newest restaurant in Islington? The perfect place to tuck into a delicious pasta al forno, or warm up your Autumn nights with a butter roasted mushroom and mascarpone cheese pizza – Prezzo is the ultimate location for authentic Italian food, affordable prices and guaranteed satisfaction.
When HELLO! visited, the cosy restaurant was teaming with families and friends enjoying colourful cocktails and feasting on Italian classics. It was promising to see just how busy the venue was given its recent opening. We can only imagine it'll soar in popularity once the cold weather kicks in and Londoners will be cosying up indoors in the atmospheric haunt – casual dining at its best.
To book your table, visit www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk
Sample Honest Burger's new NIGERIA burger
We never really needed a reason to go to London's best burger joint, Honest Burgers, but they've given us a pretty good excuse with the launch of their new burger, the NIGERIA. The chain has teamed up with Nigerian tapas restaurant, Chuku's, to launch the limited-edition burger, which is available at all Honest Burgers until 1 November. The NIGERIA is the definition of the perfect, indulgent dirty burger and you shouldn't feel one bit guilty while you're eating it – just get on board!
The Honest beef patty is stacked with Fanta-candied bacon, cheddar, red onion, spinach, and pickles, not to mention jollof sauce, plantain crisps and Chuku's spicy mayo. The burger is served with the restaurant's signature homemade rosemary salted chips as standard, and goes down well with Eko Gold lager, which is also on the menu for the limited-time collaboration.
To try the new burger, visit honestburgers.co.uk
Celebrate London Cocktail Week at Distillery Bankside
Distillery Bankside welcomes guests to sip on their newest cocktails. Tantalise your tastebuds with Spooky Trail, a frightfully good mix of Silent Pool rare citrus gin, Campari, Cocchi di Torino Sweet Vermouth, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, pumpkin treacle, or sip away on Green Yard, a heady mix of Silent Pool rare citrus gin, Spiced Melon, Absinthe, lime, lemon sorbet, and Anna de Cordoniu Blanc de Blanc Cava.
The venue pays homage to the hotel’s heritage by highlighting its gins and local craft beers. Inspired by this history, the bar mixes signature cocktails and uses homemade aromatics, infusions, and bitters to accent the drinks - not one to miss!
To plan your visit, see www.thedistillerybankside.co.uk
Tuck into tapas at Iberica Farringdon
Autumn might be rolling in and the weather getting colder, but that doesn't mean you can't escape to the Mediterranean for an evening as you dine on delicious tapas and Spanish wine at Farringdon's Iberica restaurant.
Iberica promises to take its guests on an inspirational journey through the authentic flavours, spirit and style of their beloved Spanish homeland – and trust us when we say you won't be disappointed. Tuck into artisan cheeses and salty Iberico ham before sinking your teeth into freshly baked bread topped with juicy tomatoes. If you're not already tempted by the tapas, don't miss trying one of their Valencian dry-style paellas, which form a crunchy base during cooking for the perfect bite, before finishing your meal with sugary churros or creamy crème caramel. The friendly staff are always on hand for excellent wine pairings to complement your palette – the ultimate hangout for a laidback date or post-work catch up.
To book a table, visit www.ibericarestaurants.com
Best luxury things to do in London in October
Get a autumn hair makeover
We don't know about you, but when the seasons change, we always want to switch up our hair colour, and Autumn is the best time to do it, don't you think?
Beautiful London salon Blush + Blow not only does every beauty treatment you can think of, but they now also have an incredible team of top hair colour experts to bring you the very best personalised colour. Their Colour Bar has an impressive menu; from balayage to highlights and full colour to semi-permanent.
Check out Blush + Blow in Fulham
The service 'What's your blush?' is super bespoke and includes a detailed, personal consultation to ensure you get the look you want. Creative Director Siobhan Jones says: "I truly believe in using colour to accentuate the features and beauty of my clients. My unique approach to colour consultation and application enables me to design a totally bespoke colour for each and every one of my clients."
To book visit Blush + Blow.
Have a facial at the most Instagramable spa
If you've ever walked past LINNAEAN in Vauxhall, you'll be forgiven for thinking the venue is just another pretty café. With a pastel colour scheme, an eye-catching floral canopy and an impressive bar, it's every Instagram fan's dream place to have a coffee and a light bite. But upstairs is the cosy Medi-Spa, which offers a range of beauty and wellness treatments.
We can't recommend booking in for a facial enough. We tried the Susanne Kaufmann Discovery Facial which left us in heavenly bliss. Your expert therapist will tailor the 45-minute pampering session to your skin's needs, which includes use of RÉDUIT's fancy product, RÉDUIT SPA. The advanced Magnetic Misting technology of the snazzy device means the mist breaks through your skin's protective barrier and products are absorbed deeper and faster. The RÉDUIT SPA can also be used from the comfort of your own home. Trust us, you'll leave your facial relaxed, refreshed and with a dewy glow.
To book in for a treatment, visit linnaean.co.uk/medispa
Experience a celebrity treatment at Hannah London
It's no secret that living in London can wreak havoc with your skin. From high levels of pollution to dirt and grime from public transport (not to mention the ongoing mask acne), keeping a clear complexion whilst living in the capital isn't always easy.
Luckily Hannah London's expert facialists are on hand to offer celebrity-approved treatments to keep your skin in check. We love the HydraFacial, a relaxing treatment that promises instant results for radiant, glowy and refined skin. With no downtime and no invasive procedures, the HydaFacial is perfect for combatting acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and scarring, leaving you with bright, hydrated and rejuvenated skin - all in just 30 minutes.
To book in for a HydraFacial at Hannah London, visit hannahlondon.com
Afternoon tea for two at Royal Albert Hall
London’s most famous music hall has seen everyone from the royal family to some of Hollywood's biggest stars climb its steps and enjoy the best of London's theatre. If you're fascinated by the Royal Albert Hall's history, you'll love this tour and afternoon tea for two.
There’s a history of tea being taken at the Royal Albert Hall, with the first tea party taking place just over 100 years ago. You can continue that tradition at the Hall’s curved Verdi restaurant, where you’ll indulge in a feast of sweet and savoury treats. You’ll each get to enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, desserts, and a pot of refreshing tea. Along with your afternoon tea, you’ll also be able to take a tour of one of the most famous venues in the world as it prepares for the next amazing performance. Journey from the front of the Hall through to the spectacular auditorium, including the view from the Gallery as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Royal Retiring Room.
To book tickets, visit virginexperiencedays.com
Experience the best of London's West End with an overnight stay
The iconic Pretty Women musical has returned to the West End, and will continue to thrill audiences at London's Savoy theatre right through until April 2022.
What better way to escape into Beverley Hills and fall in love as the iconic characters Vivian and Edward take to the London theatre stage, than with an overnight stay at a London hotel? We’ve sourced the best staycation deal currently on offer, which includes a one or two-night stay at a four-star London retreat that’s been recognised for providing only the highest levels of service and tickets to watch Pretty Women – a tempting treat for October half term.
To book your tickets and overnight stay, visit www.wowcher.co.uk
Best alternative things to do in London in October
Feel like you're at a musical at SingEasy
Haven't managed to grab tickets to the theatre? SingEasy at The Piano Works is back and it's the next best thing for musical theatre fans. Many of the waiters are West End performers and will entertain you with your song requests while you eat and drink in the hidden, speakeasy-style room at The Piano Works West End. West End-trained party hosts and expert pianists also add to the rip-roaring entertainment. Trust us, it's a guaranteed fun night out that'll have you jumping up, dancing along with the pros. It's also perfect for those who prefer a group sing-along and are a little intimated by karaoke, as only the waiters are allowed to take hold of the mic.
There's a pre-dinner theatre menu, a normal dinner menu and a bottomless brunch option on weekends, with dishes including vegan shepherd's pie and 35-day dry-aged rib-eye steak.
To book a table, visit singeasy.bar
Live music and cabaret
Louche, Soho is a brand new, rakish late-night drinking den that has just opened, emulating the old, infamous louche Soho culture. The 260-capacity, three-storey venue will be Soho’s new home for diverse nightlife, live music and cabaret and will be brimming with disreputable Soho culture. Brought to you by the team behind the Records Bars, the venue with two bars and two stages will be open six days a week with dynamic live music, hosting exceptional cocktails and light bites.
To book, visit here
Bluebird Chelsea and Bluebird White City will be embracing the arrival of the colder months with Cointreau on an exclusive Autumnal inspired cocktail menus, alongside a series of events. On Wednesday 27th October at 7pm, Bluebird White City will be hosting a Cointreau Halloween Masterclass with Kevin Sueiro, Cointreau International Brand Ambassador, who will be educating guests on the history of Cointreau’s signature drinks and how it has evolved into the brand it is today, as well as demonstrating how to make two signature cocktails. Guests can enjoy their carefully created cocktails alongside a selection of tasty bar snacks, with tickets available for £25 per person.
To book, visit here
Go crazy with the family at Gravity Wandsworth
Adventurers and explorers get ready, as London's brand new three-story family-friendly adventureland is perfect for this half term. With endless amounts of fun spread across 3 floors, this completely original, interactive gaming zone will keep kids entertained for hours with themed bowling lanes, urban street golf in the streets of New York to racing their friends through the hectic streets of Japan in all-electric-go-karts. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
To book, visit here
Affordable Art Fair
The Affordable Art Fair is returning to Battersea Park, London, from 21 to 24 October.
Visitors will be welcomed by over 100 local and international galleries, with a huge array of contemporary artworks to suit every taste, whether you're looking for bold and bright or suave and subtle, larger than life or delicately detailed. It's the perfect chance to get closer to art, and revel in the remarkable output of this international creative community.
If visiting over the weekend with little ones from 10-11am, they'll be able to enjoy kids' activity packs and face painting.
Visit www.affordableartfair.com to book.
Work up a sweat at Old Street's new F45 studio
You can always rely on London to provide the very best options for working out, and F45 is no exception. This Australian-born cult workout is rapidly growing in popularity – and it's easy to see why.
F45 is specifically designed to provide a functional full-body workout while improving energy levels, metabolic rate, strength, and endurance, with trainers helping you work up such a sweat, you can burn up to 820 calories in one 45 minute session. Get your sweat on whilst raising your heart rate to a live DJ, and push yourself to reach your fitness goals. Check out F45's newest studio in Old Street for state of the art equipment and impressive F45 technology.
To check out the new studio, visit f45training.co.uk/oldstreetlondon
Hire a private chef for your next dinner party
Love having people over for dinner but find that the cooking and the hosting can all get a bit much? Cue: YHANGRY. The online catering company, founded by two friends and former work colleagues Heinin Zhang and Siddhi Mittal (and as seen on Dragon's Den), allows you book a private chef to your home, whether you're planning a romantic meal for two, or a dinner party for six. Everything is taken care of; you simply need to start by picking your menu and booking date. There's a wealth of cuisine to choose from, including Pan Asian, Italian and Indian, as well as brunch options, canapé selections and even Sunday roast dinners.
Once you've selected your menu, the groceries will be delivered to your house ahead of your dinner date. On the day, your private chef will whip up your meal using your cookware, utensils and appliances, then leave your kitchen clean and tidy for yourselves and your guests to enjoy dinner. It really is as easy and simple as it sounds. YHANGRY also sends out personalised menus and invites to your guests – a cute touch to kick off the celebrations.
To book a private chef, visit yhangry.com
Treat your dog to afternoon tea
Who says afternoon tea is strictly for hoomans anyway? Drake & Morgan King's Cross has just launched a dog-friendly afternoon tea, inviting pooches and their owners to have a paw-fect Sunday afternoon in the city. The restaurant's Sipsmith Gin Afternoon Tea features savoury delights like mini fish and chips and Brick Lane salt beef bagels, and of course gin cocktails, for the humans, while their furry four-legged friends can tuck into treats like the Puppy Dog Paw Loaf and Doggie Brekkie. The afternoon tea may not be the best you'll try in London, but the experience is guaranteed to be a lot of fun for your pooch. It takes place every Sunday from 1 to 4:30pm and is priced at £49.95 for two people, plus £15 per pup.
To book a table, visit drakeandmorgan.co.uk
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