Eat and drink your way around town this Halloween with these special menus, spooky items and other foodie specials.
Halloween cupcakes at the Hummingbird Bakery
If Hummingbird Bakery's Heinz cupcakes don't send shivers down your spine, how does a zombie unicorn, witch's marshmallow cake, or box of tiny terrors sound? Unsurprisingly, the American-inspired bakery goes big for Halloween, with layer cakes, cupcakes piñata cakes, pumpkin pie and other seasonal treats. It's best to order in advance to guarantee your treats, but also worth dropping by one of the branches for a Halloween cupcake or two in lead-up to the big day.
Halloween cakes at Flavourtown Bakery
As always, Fulham-based Flavourtown Bakery has gone to town with its Halloween options. There's a morbid take on the bakery's ever-popular flamingo cake, while the faultline graveyard cake is a red velvet offering with scream cheese (see what they did there?). More manageable options include mixed boxes of cupcakes and mini cupcakes adorned with ghosts, bats, and other Halloween favourites.
Konditor's spooky Halloween range
We've had first-hand experience of Konditor's zombie gingerbread, and it's some of the finest we've tasted (zombie or otherwise).
Cake lovers are catered for, with the chocolate coconut torte, topped with rich milk chocolate ganache and a white chocolate spider’s web; and the red velvet cake — a blood red sponge decorated with piped white chocolate webs and an iced eight-legged friend.
Various prices. Available 1 October-3 November.
Halloween cakes at Cutter & Squidge
The Bits and Body Parts Cake is a chocolate sponge with digestive buttercream, custard, marshmallow chunks and blood-red jam, topped with marshmallow fingers, almond fingernails and chocolate eyeballs.
The Spooky Cookie Cake consists of cookie buttercream, fresh chocolate custard and choc chip cookie crumbs decorated with more choc chip cookies.
The Bewitched Cauldron Biskie is another Halloween option — chocolate with a swirl of charcoal vanilla buttercream and a chocolate handle and feet — as is the Cookie Monster Biskie with green coconut ‘fur’, a cheeky strawberry tongue with a chocolate buttercream and cookies filling.
Various prices. Available from 1 October.
Halloween at Peggy Porschen
Belgravia's pink palace Peggy Porschen (now with a second branch in Chelsea), has launched a 'Sweet Shivers' range — its own, rose-tinted take on Halloween. Prices are pretty scary (£6.95 for a cupcake/£9.50 for a cookie) but they are beautifully decorated, and very much aimed at those who snap away at their food before tucking in.
Friendly-looking pastel-hued ghosts sit atop cupcakes, cobwebs crisscross layer cakes, and the sharing-sized red velvet cake has had a black makeover.
Halloween afternoon tea at London Hilton, Park Lane
Podium Restaurant within the London Hilton Park Lane offers a ghoulish alternative to its regular afternoon tea. The usual fancy sandwiches and scones are paired with themed treats such as a blood orange and strawberry parfait topped with a chocolate ‘spider web’; a passion fruit and chocolate ‘coffin’; and an orange marmalade and chocolate macaron resembling a pumpkin.
£39 per person/£49 with champagne. Available 21-31 October.
Halloween cocktail at The Last Tuesday Society
Macabre cocktail bar The Last Tuesday Society is serving up a few special concoctions on Halloween itself (reservation required).
The Witches Cradle is a take on the espresso martini... inspired the sensory deprivation experienced by witches who were tortured in medieval Europe. Make of that what you will. The Voodoo That You Do claims to have the ability to revive any corpse left by the Voodoo gods (you won't mind if we don't test it out ourselves).
Given that the bar regularly runs absinthe evenings, we don't expect they're messing about when it comes to these Halloween cocktails. Proceed with caution.
Available 31 October.
Halloween desserts at Creams Cafe
Dessert restaurant Creams sweetens the Halloween horrors with a couple of special menu items.
The London Bridge branch, located at The London Bridge Experience, is the only place to score The Scorpion Challenge (£8.95), a dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream, topped with strawberries, strawberry ‘blood’ and real, crunchy scorpions. Other specials, available at all branches, include Choc Horror, The Monster and The Mummy sundaes, waffles and crepes — no scorpions here, but plenty to give the kids a half term sugar buzz.
Available 14-31 October.
The Devilishly Hansom cocktail at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
No, that's not a spelling error — The Devilishly Hansom is named after the St Pancras bar that's serving it up. Staff at The Hansom have created a fruity cocktail with a spicy kick, consisting of strawberry purée, bold London spirit, chilli-infused Mezcal and Grenadine, topped with zesty lime juice and a pair of horns made from cut red chillies.
£9, available 28 October-3 November.
Halloween treats at Gail's Bakery
Anyone for monster fingers? That's one of the options on the menu at Gail's Bakery this month. The alarmingly-realistic severed digits are actually servings of almond macaroon, with a further almond serving as the fingernail. Other Halloween options include speculoos skeletons, made with mixed spice and cinnamon and topped with icing, and chocolate iced Halloween biscuits.
Various prices. Available 5-31 October.
Halloween at The Parlour, Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason's famous ice cream restaurant The Parlour offers Halloween twists on a couple of menu staples.
The Halloween Sundae (pictured) is made with mint chocolate chip ice cream, spooky spirulina, raspberry sauce, Chantilly and charcoal powder, finished with Halloween sugar decorations.
The Lemon Drizzle Cupcake comes with a special Halloween cream cheese frosting — choose from Red Blood Orange, Black Charcoal or Green Spirulina.
Witches Brew Martini
Steakhouse Bar & Block, which has locations in King's Cross, Aldgate, Wimbledon, and further afield, puts its cocktail wizards to work creating the Witches Brew Martini. Think blue Curacao, vodka and cranberry juice, topped with candy floss ‘smoke’ (supply your own cobwebs).
Available 28 October-3 November.
Halloween food and drink at Maxwell's Group
Maxwell's American restaurant in Covent Garden serves a Hellboy Burger; beef burger, fried sausage, cheddar and garlic cheese sauce, fried onions, bloody hot red chillies and a devil red brioche bun, served with skin on fries.
Meanwhile, Old Compton Brasserie focuses on the cocktails. The OCB PUMPKIN includes Tanqueray gin, Falernum, blueberry syrup, lemon juice, apple and cranberry juices served with dry ice.
Halloween afternoon tea at The Athenaeum
Galvin at The Athaneum serve up a horrifying twist on its usual afternoon tea. The Trick or Treat Afternoon Tea consists of treats including an orange and chocolate spider tart, bloody choux bun, pumpkin tart, chocolate skull pop and candy apple eyeball.
Available 26-31 October.
Pennywise Punch at Tequila Mockingbird
Inspired by Stephen King's IT, Tequila Mockingbird's Pennywise Punch consists of a white coconut rum base, topped with blood-like chilli jam around the rim. A single red balloon is attached to the glass, filled with scented air — pop the balloon over the cocktail as the scent will work with the flavours of the drink.
Halloween toadstool at Harry's Dolce Vita
Harry’s Dolce Vita launches a limited-edition Halloween Toadstool desert for one-day only. The usual dessert gets a Halloween twist, as the white chocolate dome encasing Mascarpone cream will be served with blackberries, bats and pistachio.
Available: 31 October.
Looking for other things to on 31 October? Take a look at our guide to Halloween events in London, and horror film screenings taking place around the capital... then keep the spiritual fun going with Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos events.