From celebrating the Day of the Dead – a time to honour the deceased with tasty feasts and great pals – to dedicating two whole days to all things agave (aka Tequila Fest), November is feeling very Viva Mexico! So skip the long haul flight, and get into the spirit right at home. And welcoming winter just got a bit easier, with Taste Festival throwing up its foodie festival at the naturally atmospheric Tobacco Docks. Get your bellies ready.
Saturday 1 November: Day of the Dead Supper, El Nivel
For supper, it’s about celebrating the communal spirit – everyone will sit family-style to enjoy a festive evening featuring a seasonal three-course Mexican meal paired with specially created mezcal and tequila cocktails. True to Mexican tradition, face painters will also be on hand and there will be a plethora of traditional Day of the Dead sweets and treats for the fully immersive experience. And if you can’t make it down for the dinner, the special themed cocktails will be on the menu from 24 October through to 7 November.
For bookings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
8:00pm-12am. £45 including three courses and two cocktails. 28 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS.
30 October-2 November: Jose Cuervo’s Day of the Dead Festival at The Bargehouse, OXO Tower
Jose Cuervo are pairing up with the Mexican Embassy to host the Day of the Dead Festival 2014. Expect contemporary art (from artists including the Chapman brothers), tequila masterclasses, Jose Cuervo seasonal cocktails, arts and crafts workshops and film screenings. Try the Winter Margarita with cinnamon, and the Autumnal Tradicional Sour with figs. Brand ambassador Gabriela Moncada will also be hosting masterclasses on Saturday 1 November, discussing the history and production of Jose Cuervo while tasting the brand’s different expressions.
11am-6pm. OXO Tower, South Bank, SE1 9GY.
Friday 31 October: Day of the Dead with Don Julio at Shoreditch Cocktail Club
Creep down into the dark basement and there you’ll find Don Julio tequila cocktails and Sugarskull painted faces galore. This is the the first OFFICIAL Shoreditch LCC party, and these kids know how to throw down so help them break the place in! And head there early to take advantage of the two for £10 cocktails (from 5pm-8pm).
5pm-3am. Unit 12, 29 Sclater Street, E1 6GX.
Saturday 1 November: Day of the Dead, 184 Hackney Road
Start your night with the spirit of Mexico and mezcal. They say a picture captures your soul … so you can offer up yours to the giant shrine of Lady of Guadalupe (note: this can be done via Polaroid, relatively painless). So after you offer your soul to the lady of the night, paint your face, write to the gods, say a prayer, enjoy cocktails, drink mezcal and get down to the live music. Well, simply put, live for the night. *And for the after-party, you’ll get a reduced price guest list at the Casa Negra Playroom. Sorted.*
6pm-1am. 184 Hackney Road, E2 7QL.
Sunday 2 November: Day of the Dead Luau, POND Dalston
A traditional Mexican day to celebrate the passing on of loved ones, who are returning to party – luau-style. Expect lots of tequila, of course, with a Hawaiian twist. Come and celebrate with Kalua Pork, heaps of tamales, and Espolon tequila cocktails all night long.
Doors from 6pm. Mexican luau from 7pm. Unit G2, Stamford Works, 3 Gillett Street, N16 8JH.
From 7 November: Night Tales
Night Tales returns this winter for a 7-week celebration, hosting the best of London gastronomy, music and bar culture. Taking over a 10,000-sq. ft. space in the heart of Shoreditch, you can expect bites like beefy burgers from Patty & Bun to cheesy pizzas from Voodoo Ray’s. Drinks are going just as big: from the Whiskey Bar you can try a Liquorice Bourbon Old Fashioned while at the Hot Hut Cocktail Bar grab yourself a Night Espresso Martini. DJs will keep the party going late into the night, and during the day you can swing by for the crafts market.
288-299 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A
22-23 November: Tequila Fest
Two days dedicated to all things agave, Tequila Fest comes to London for the very first time – bringing together a collection of tequilas and mezcals like you’ve never seen before. And you’ll soon find out that this stuff ain’t what you were shooting back in the day. So ditch the salt, lime, and sombrero – then head down to discover the smooth complex flavours of these well crafted spirits, sip by sip. Expect live mariachi music, abundant food pairings and cocktail masterclasses – where you can pick up skills to impress your mates with tasty drinks recipes (and a new-found ability to do blind tastings of the spirits). We have come a long way since our first, ill-conceived dalliances – so let’s keep going up.
£15 tickets available here. Grange Tower Bridge Hotels, 45 Prescot Street, E1 8GP.
20-23 November: Taste of London Winter Festival
Over a dozen of London’s best restaurants will be slinging dishes all in one space, meaning you can have one of the most diverse (and filling) tasting menus around. From Shake Shack to Hixter to Andina, you’ll feel like you’ve done your fair share of globe trotting by the time you get done eating. Plus there will be live demonstrations from some of the best chefs in the world, a BBQ fire pit, cocktails at home masterclasses with Diageo, as well as Gü’s Garden of Temptation where you can both eat and learn their most popular recipes.
Tickets here. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, E1W 2SF.
26-28 November: Press Play Presents: Cool Runnings “On The Ice”
This a next level movie watching. Wrap up in “Caribbean ski wear”, jump in the bobsled, head onto the ice rink and watch everybody’s favourite Jamaican bobsled team on the big screen. Warm up with rum cocktails from The Duppy Bar and feast on jerk chicken from the Dubjam Shack. They’ll be sure to keep you toasty throughout the night with blankets, hand warmers and hot rum punch. Keep things winter themed and head to the after-party at Bodo’s Schloss on Thursday and Friday, where your wristband means you’re a complimentary guest.
Wed-Thurs: doors at 7pm. Fri: doors at 6:15pm for screening 1. Doors at 8:15pm for screening 2. 17 Queensway, W2 4QP.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips