The 30 best places to celebrate Halloween with ghoulish cocktails and fiendish food

chocolate witches' hat
Events around the country with delicious and devilish food and drink. Don’t miss out! 

While Halloween is often thought of as an American celebration, over the years Britons have come to embrace October 31 as an occasion for dressing up as well as an excuse for some devilishly good food and drink.

In fact, according to the online ticketing company Eventbrite, there were 596 celebrations of the event in 2015, which almost tripled to 1,700 in 2018. So far this year, 2,300 official events have been listed on that platform, including bar nights with a special ghoulish cocktail list and menus with a macabre twist.

Here are some of 2019's highlights...

1. The Witches Afternoon Tea, Cornwall

Tuesday 1 October – Sunday 3 November

The Headland hotel on the north Cornish coast was the main setting of the 1987 film adaption of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and its special afternoon tea stars a medley of white chocolate and coconut mice, chocolate witches’ hats with pumpkin mousse, blackberry jelly shots and meringue ghosts. You’ll even be able to chat with the Grand High Witch herself (though not, sadly, Anjelica Huston) each afternoon. £19 per adult and £10 per child.

The Headland, Fistral Beach, Headland Rd, Cornwall TR7 1EW; headlandhotel.co.uk

2. All Hallows Eve’s afternoon tea at Down Hall, Essex

Friday 11 October – Monday 4 November

A countryside mansion surrounded by whispering woodland, and All Hallow’s Eve approaching... it’s surely a recipe for something ghoulish and grotesque. In fact, Down Hall has revealed its Halloween-themed afternoon tea and it all sounds rather delightful.

Guests will be served 'severed finger' sandwiches and devilled eggs – before scones arrive, smothered with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree preserves. For pudding, there are pumpkin and white chocolate muffins, blood orange curd tart, and apple cake with toffee apple icing. £30 per adult and £15 per child.

Down Hall Hotel & Spa, Matching Road, Essex CM22 7AS; downhall.co.uk

3. Psycho Path Presents Fearground, Newcastle upon Tyne

Friday 11 – Thursday 31 October

Prepare to be petrified at Fearground, a spooky fairground experience where you can refuel in Anarchy Arcade, home to food and drinks vendors from across the North East including Hatch 76’s duck wraps and loaded fries, Grillas’ gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Geordie Bangers’ ‘creative’ sausages, and Parm-O-Rama’s take on the the popular Middlesbrough dish.

There's also an exclusive blood-red gin liqueur being sold at the bars, made in collaboration with Sunderland-based Poetic License Distillery. General admission from £35; food not included.

Lintz Hall Farm, Burnopfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE16 6AS

4. Halloween comes to Covent Garden, London

Wednesday 16 – Thursday 31 October

The Melting Chocolate witch's hat is available at the Ivy Market Grill this Halloween Credit: Ivy Market Grill 

Many Londoners may claim that the sheer number of tourists makes Covent Garden a scary place at the best of times, but it's worth battling the crowds for its October celebrations. There's a giant (real) 900kg pumpkin in the centre of the market, ideal for Instagram, and other treats, too.

The Ivy Market Grillis getting a haunted-house makeover and some new menu additions in the form of the ‘Melting Witches Hat’ dessert (a dark chocolate witch's hat, mint mousse, vanilla ice cream, popping candy and caramel sauce), as well as a Midnight Martini cocktail. (This is also available at the Ivy Spinningfields in Manchester.)

For a savoury fix, try Frenchie’s pumpkin and ricotta tortellini with sage, parmesan tuille and smoked egg yolk. 

Various Covent Garden locations, London; coventgarden.london 

5. Terror Mountain, Ceredigion 

Friday 18 - Thursday 31 October

Fans of The Descent should love this live-action horror attraction (now in its fifth year) in an abandoned Victorian silver mine in northern Wales. Gutsy participants will embark on a journey to the depths, facing some frankly terrifying entertainment on the way. The good news is that there's plenty of barbecue food on offer to restore the colour to your cheeks once you've emerged. Tickets from £19.

Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, SY23 3AB; terrormountain.co.uk

6. A Halloween Tale at Cheddar Gorge and Caves, Somerset

Wednesday 23 October – Sunday 3 November

Credit: The Natural Theater Company 

This year, actors from The Natural Theatre Company will take up residence in the mysterious chamber of Gough’s Cave as infamous literary characters including Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and Bill Sikes, hoping to solve a few eerie mysteries. The Halloween experience is included with a regular day ticket to the caves (£12.70 for children; £16.95 for adults), and while you're in the area, picking up some vintage Cheddar is a must (nightmares or no...)

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3QF; cheddargorge.co.uk

7. Halloween Oktoberfest Special, London

Thursday 24 - Saturday 26 October 

Credit: London Oktoberfest 

The Halloween Oktoberfest Special at Olympia in west London attracts thousands of guests each year who gather for live music (expect classics such as Monster Mash and House of Fun, naturally), ghoulish fancy dress, and lashings of German beer and bratwurst. Tickets from £20. 

Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, London, W14 8UX; london-oktoberfest.co.uk

8. Pumpkin cider at Hawkes Taproom, London

Friday 25 October

Credit: Hawkes 

To celebrate a new limited-edition cider (Sucker for Pumpkins, infused with warming spices and a splash of pumpkin juice) there's a special Halloween party taking place at Hawkes Cidery & Taproom in Bermondsay on the Friday before Halloween. There's the rumour of pumpkin pizza, too, but if you can’t make it in person the cider can be bought online until it sells out (a scary thought...) 

Hawkes Cidery & Taproom, 86-92 Druid St, Bermondsey, London SE1 2HQ; wearehawkes.com 

9. Magic & Mayhem at Sea Containers London

Saturday 26 October

A rooftop party overlooking the Thames, where you'll find special Grey Goose cocktails such as Black Spell (with Martini Ambrato and raspberry syrup) and Bloody Waters (vanilla vodka and lemon). Look out for  illusionists, magicians and secret play-rooms...

Guest list entry is free, but experiences are extra and tables start at £325 with some drinks included. There's treat of a deal, too: if you book one of the Goodnight Ghoul room packages before 25 October with the promo code HALLOWEEN, you'll receive late checkout, a Halloween cake pop and breakfast in bed. 

Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD; eventbrite.co.uk

10. We Are Halloween FSTVL, Hainault Forest, Greater London

Saturday 26 October 

Credit: We Are Halloween FSTVL

The theme of this hugely popular party in the woody setting of Hainault Forest is vampires versus zombies, played out to a soundtrack from DJs including Andy C, MK, Marc Kinchen and Love Juice. Go hunting for spooky cocktails and hot dogs, and get your tickets quickly as they are on resale already.

Hainault Forest Country Park, IG7 4QN; wearehalloweenfstvl.com

11. Trick or Treat trail, Manchester 

Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 October 

Credit: Visit Manchester 

To follow the ghoulish trail spanning from Market Street to the Old Bank Residency, pick up a map from the information point in Exchange Square which leads to trick-or-treat houses scattered across the city – there’s a different character at each, waiting to greet you with a bag of sweets. Free. 

Manchester City Centre, Manchester, M4 1AZ; visitmanchester.com

12. Journey To The Underworld, London

Saturday 26 October – Sunday 10 November

Eat dinner amongst spooky theatrical performances in this luxury train carriage

The immersive theatre/dining experts at Funicular Productions have teamed up with MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis for a Halloween experience like no other: a four-course meal (including pan-seared guinea fowl, and chocolate ganache with honey ice cream) on a luxury train carriage, delivered in a delightfully spooky setting. Tickets from £57. 

Pedley Street Station Arch 63 Pedley St, London E1 5BW; funicularproductions.com 

13. The Which Witch Project, Manchester

Monday 28 October – Sunday 3 November

With bubbling, smoking, and fizzing cocktails, the Alchemist bar is certainly witch-y enough already, but this year it’s going the whole hog by teaming up with Bacardi for a spooky Halloween takeover themed on witchcraft and voodoo, with a pair of special rum cocktails – White Witch and Witch Doctor – on the menu.

The Alchemist Spinningfields, 3 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF; thealchemist.uk.com

14. Painted Black menu at Ella Canta

Thursday 31st October - Saturday 16th November

Credit: Ella Canta

Mexican chef Martha Ortiz is using Día de los Muertos to launch a spooky-but-serious new set menu in her Ella Canta restaurant, all themed around the traditional Mexican festival. The menu has six courses, designed to take diners on a journey through traditional Mexican meat and fish dishes all served on Halloween-y black crockery. There’s also a black cocktail with Patrón tequila and Cointreau. 

One Hamilton Place, Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1J 7QY; https://www.ellacanta.com/ 

15. Freeklime's Spooktacular Freeky Climbing, Huddersfield

Tuesday 29 October

Huddersfield is getting a new bouldering centre and it just so happens to be opening at Halloween, so it's fitting to kick things off with trick-or-treat-based night for all the wannabe spiders in the family, with edible rewards for those tackle the fastest and hardest courses. Free, but book ahead as parents will need to sign a climbing waiver.

Abbey Mill Lincoln Street, St Andrew's Rd, Huddersfield HD1 6R; freeklime.co.uk

16. Boozy ghost tour of Edinburgh

Wednesday 30 October

Seek out the dark secrets of “Auld Reekie”, hunt for the headless drummer of the castle, or track the ghosts of former prisoners around the town. And don't forget to try four special mystery cocktails along the way courtesy of Grey Goose vodka. Tickets £15. 

Various locations, Edinburgh; eventbrite.co.uk

17. Jekyll and Hyde cocktails in Edinburgh

Thursday 31st October

Credit: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh

Celebrate one of Edinburgh’s most famous sons, Robert Louis Stephenson with a spooky cocktail celebration at the Caley Bar in The Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh. In addition to the special cocktail menu item, guests will also have the opportunity to mix their own and find out a little more about Robert Louis Stephenson, and his most famous creations, Jekyll and Hyde, in the process. £11 per cocktail, or a non-alcoholic version for £4.75

The Caledonian, Princes St, Edinburgh EH1 2AB; https://www.hilton.com/en/waldorf-astoria/

18. Discover the history of Jack The Ripper with a cocktail

Thursday 31st October

The Saucy Jack cocktail is a mix of Bombay Sapphire, amontillado sherry, citrus, blackberry syrup, bitters and egg white Credit: Discount Suit Company

London’s Jack The Ripper walking tours are pretty legendary, but this year Shoreditch bar Discount Suit Company is aiming to make it even better (and boozier) by teaming up with London Walks. Attendees will get a warming hot punch before embarking on the tour with a Jack The Ripper expert and will finish the night with a Saucy Jack cocktail. Tickets cost £20 per person. 

Discount Suit Company, 29A Wentworth Street, London E17TB;https://umbrella-london.co.uk/halloween-ripper-walks-at-dsc/ 

19. Ice Bar’s White (Walker) party

Thursday 31st October

Credit: Ice Bar

Whether you loved or hated the last season of Game Of Thrones, we can all agree the White Walkers made pretty terrifying foes for Jon Snow and the gang. If you want to see how you’d fare against one, why not head down to London’s Ice Bar where a seven-foot-tall White Walker will be trapped in the -5 degree chamber of ice. If that’s not enough, you can even dress in white to receive a free glass of champagne. Plus there are prizes for the best dressed overall. Tickets cost £16.50 per person, entry to the accompanying Fire Bar is free.

31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London W1B 4BN; https://www.icebarlondon.com/

20. A Victorian-style Halloween party

Thursday 31st October

The Victorians were big believers in all things occult and mystic, while they wouldn’t recognise our modern Halloween, did certainly love a good ghost story. The Stratford hotel in East London is channeling some of that spirit with an evening of an evening of crystals, cocktails, fortune telling, aura reading and dancing. There’s spooky cocktails on the menu for one night only including the St Germain and Grey Goose Poire ‘Supernatural’ and Stoly vodka with pumpkin seeds ‘Werewolf’. Plus prizes for the best Halloween costumes. Free entry. 

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD;https://thestratford.com/

21. The Cursed Voyage of HMS Berners, London

Thursday 31 October

The toffee apple Baked Alaska is available exclusively at this event

Whipping up a fictional terror tale of ghost ships and skeleton crews, Berners Tavern is running an immersive three-course dinner, hosted by guests including Georgia May Jagger, Nick Grimshaw and Jaime Winstone, and featuring a fitting cocktail menu (including the Lost Espresso Martini, garnished with seaweed), as well as a cast of mystical sea creatures. Tickets £130, with a third of each sale going to charitable causes.

Berners Tavern, 10 Berners Street, London W1T 3NP; editionhotels.com

22. Harry Potter cocktails on the River Cam, Cambridge

Thursday 31 October

The Varsity Hotel & Spa’s in-house restaurant is hosting a night of magic and mystery based JK Rowling's fantastical creations. Sip on a ButterCream Cocktail (with a butterscotch topping and vanilla cream soda), Screaming Mandrake (lemon lime soda, vanilla vodka, lime sherbet and bitters) and Liquid Luck (lillet blanc, campari and grapefruit juice seltzer). 

River Bar Steakhouse, 3 Thompsons Ln, Cambridge CB5 8AQ; riverbarsteakhouse.com

23. Stranger Things Quiz at Depot, Cadriff

Thursday 31 October

If you know your demogorgons from your mindflayers, don your best 80’s costume and head down to this special quiz night – and while you’re there enjoy a traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizza from local street food vendor Ffwrnes and a one-night only Stranger Things-themed cocktail.

Depot, Construction House, 22 Dumballs Rd, Cardiff CF10 5FE; depotcardiff.com

24. The Glenrothes takeover at Close-Up Cinema, London

Thursday 31 October

Credit:  David Cheskin

One of Speyside's many distilleries, The Glenrothes, celebrates the launch of its limited-edition 13-year-old single malt whisky at Close-Up Cinema in Shoreditch on the 31st. Guests can expect a night of horror classics (including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Shakepeare's Macbeth) as well as Halloween-themed cocktails and sweets. Tickets from £25.

Close-Up, 97 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR; billetto.co.uk

25. East Lancashire Railway Ghost Train Tour 

Thursday 31 October – Saturday 2 November

Credit: Nigel Valentine

Spooky dress is encouraged and all young passengers will be given a goodie bag full of tricks and treats while being invited to solve the chilling mystery of the golden leg with Veronica the Witch, sing a ballad with Zombie Bob, and feast with Count Brian the Vampire. For grown-ups, there’s a scarily delicious station buffet. Tickets £16 for adults and £10 for children. 

Bury Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Lancashire BL9 0EY; eastlancsrailway.org.uk

26. A murder mystery at Dover Castle

Thursday 31 October – Saturday 2 November

A grand banquet in the year 1852 sounds delightful, but things take a turn for the worse when a scream is heard from the kitchen.

Put down your knife and fork and try to solve the mystery before the homemade apple crumble dessert is served, if you hope to catch the villain. Tickets from £50.

Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, CT16 1HU; english-heritage.org.uk

27. A spooktacular fireworks show, Ratho

Friday 1st November

These delicious-looking burgers will be on offer along with sweets and treats at the Halloween event

At The Bridge Inn’s annual fireworks show there will be face painting, pumpkin carving and fancy dress competitions. Homemade hot chocolate, trick-or-treat sweets for the kids, beef burgers and chilli will be available all night – the perfect winter warmer. 

The Bridge Inn, 27 Baird Rd, Ratho, Newbridge EH28 8RA; bridgeinn.com

28. Día de Muertos on Greek Street, London

Friday 1 November – Sunday 3 November

A Day of the Dead bonanza with Patrón Tequila taking over 19 Greek Street for a three-day event featuring themed artworks, a tequila education experience and, of course, agavé-based cocktails, including a sweetcorn old-fashioned. Tickets £15. 

19 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DT; eventbrite.com

29. Night Of The Living Memes, London

Saturday 2 November

Given that the events of 2019 have been frightening enough for most people, this party offers some light relief by encouraging people to dress up as their favourite memes.

Bacardi are handling the cocktails: choose between the Devil Daiquiri (rum and raspberry, charcoal) or the Angel version (coconut rum with lime and ginger bitters). Tickets £18. 

The Curtain Hotel, 45 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3PT; designmynight.com

30. The Dark Circus Party, London

Saturday 2 November

Expect fire-breathers, stilt walkers and burlesque dancers at this Day of the Dead party, with plenty of tequila cocktails. Tickets £35.

Bourne & Hollingsworth Bar, 28 Rathbone Pl, London, W1T1JF; darkcircusparty.com