Hallmark may have been busy commercialising the diary with Fathers’ Day, Valentines Day and even Boss’s Day, but for some reason they missed a trick with Death Day. Fortunately the Mexicans were more savvy and Dia De Los Muertos, Day Of The Dead, has long been a national holiday where families gather to mourn friends and family no longer with them and go to mass, then dress up as skeletons and drink copious amounts of. Thankfully it’s the latter two traditions that have travelled best, and so London is awash with Day Of The Dead celebrations at the start of this November. Here’s some of our favourites…
Corazón on Soho’s Poland Street will be kicking of their celebrations at midnight with a 4-course, Oaxaca-inspired menu including a guinea fowl and seabass main course and delights including candied pumpkin, plantain and tiki cocktails.
Saturday 4th November, get tickets here
Park Lane Mexican restaurant Ella Canta are keeping it classy with Painted Black. With the tagline “Black is death. Black is strength. Black is beauty” Chef Martha Ortiz will be curating a menu called Painted Black, which has a continuous line of black running through it to celebrate life. Check out the Lady In Black margarita cocktail made in collaboration with tequila-ers Patrón.
Wednesday 1st to Sunday 12th November
Over at Wahaca in Waterloo there’s a 3-day subterranean Festival of Life, an immersive event being held to mark Day Of The Dead. The aim is to fill the event space they’ve taken in The Vaults at Waterloo with live music, Mexican performances, street food and, of course, tequila and Mezcal.
Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th November
The crazy-golf labyrinth that is Junkyard Golf will be seamlessly transitioning from Halloween Junkyard Golf to Day Of The Dead Junkyard Golf with the help of el Jimador and internet sensation The Magic Ball Man (Google him). Sink golf balls and cocktails at this Day Of The Dead golfy extravaganza.
Tuesday 31st October, get tickets here
Day Of The Dead will see mexican restaurant Peyotito in Notting Hill transformed for two days only to celebrate the festival. A set menu, available with a cocktail pairing option, will offer appropriate classics with celebrations set to live music to complete the authentic effect.
Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd November
Grand Union in Brixton is now the Hope and Anchor and conveniently relaunches in time for a Day Of The Dead launch party! As well as a tequila van and selection of street food, the entertainment will include a live Mariachi band, DJs and professional make-up artists to create all those skulls (good luck getting that off in time for work the next day!).
Thursday 2nd November, get tickets here
Burrito restaurant Benito’s Hat are offering a novel Day Of The Dead treat, painted Burrito wraps and a month’s supply of free burritos. Professional illustrator Bryony Fripp will dye and paint nine special tortilla wraps with a traditional Day Of The Dead skull design. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself served one of the painted wraps, which will be randomly distributed among venues, then you’ll be given a free burritos for the rest of the month.
Thusday 2nd November
Cantina Laredo are calling all ‘Tequilistas’ and ‘Guacamaestros’, to celebrate with a one-off ofrenda menu, with specials like The Juan’s That Passed Away mezcal cocktail and The Smokey Flower Mezcal Guacamole, made with mezcal, grilled avocados and edible flowers. Cantina Laredo will be offering Day Of The Dead-ers the chance to celebrate with florals, face paint and, most importantly, a 4-course menu featuring dishes such as aubergine tostadas, served with green habanero mayonnaise, duck tacos with Nutella mole and plums and butterfly tiger prawn served with Valentina butter
Thursday 2nd November
The first Saturday of each month temper City will be hosting a quiz and curry lunch, complete with limitless drinks, including their famous temper Mary, Prosecco and Mimosa and in November they’ll be hosting a Day of the Dead themed quiz. Points mean prizes so get swotting up now. Here’s a fact for you to start with: in 2008, Day of the Dead became part of the Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity by UNESCO.
Saturday 4th November