We’re going to have a pun time, Oktoberfest jokes are literally the wurst…
Every year Munich’s tradition of Oktoberfest, consisting of wearing leather rompers, booby push-up dresses and drinking copious amounts of ‘bier’, arrives in London unbidden and unquestioned coz who wouldn’t want to wash down curry wurst with steins upon steins of Bavarian lager? If the answer is ‘me’, then this guide isn’t for you, if the answer is ‘noch ein bier, bitte’ then here’s all the places you can get Oktoberfesting…
London’s Dock X hosts a taste of Bavaria Thames-side thanks to Erdinger Beer. The event from the Awesome Group, dubbed Doktoberfest, transforms a warehouse close to Canada Water Station into a mini Munich, offering a live oompah band, dancers, games, circus acts as well as traditional German bites like bratwurst and plenty of Erdinger beer. Grab a stein and celebrate a mix of themed nights, including Pink Oktoberfest as well as Halloween celebrations.
Handbook readers can also get a 20% discount on tickets using the code PROST20, by logging onto TicketMaster and entering the promo code at checkout.
Henry VIII might pre-date Oktoberfest by around 260 years and beer by around 100 or so, but Ivory Vaults have it on very good authority that the murderous king was a big fan of both. Which is why the Victorian Ivory Vaults will be celebrating Oktoberfest with a medieval banquet, hosted by England’s most famous post-Medieval king: Henry VIII. Embrace the randomness with an evening of joy and free upgrade ale to lager, served by ‘a comely wench’ and while being entertained by fighting knights, aerialists, contortionists, jugglers, a ‘hand balancer’ and court jesters.
Where: Ivory Vaults Ivory House St Katharine Docks London, E1W 1BP
Nearest station: Tower Hill (0.4 miles)
Mews of Mayfair may boast their own Italian pizzeria, but we’re over the Alps this month for Oktoberfest and what they promise will be the best Bavarian party this side of Munich. Running across the next three weekends, the eighteenth century courtyard will be transformed into a traditional German beer garden with kellners and kellnerins, dressed in traditional Bavarian attire, serving a wide selection of authentic beers from Mews’ brand-new beer menu including steins of Hofmeister Helles Lager and Weissbeer.
Food options include sausage and mash (made with German bratwurst, of course), achnitzel with potato salad (kartoffen salat) as well as schnuggets. As if that wasn’t enough, Mews Pizza Company will also be serving up actual Bavarian pizza.
Why limit yourself to London? Cheltenham Racecourse is the perfect getaway and what could possibly be better than horses and beer? Cheltoberfest (see what they did) is the course’s take on Oktoberfest and takes place during The Showcase, the opening fixture of the jump racing season. The event will include live music from The Bierkeller Boys, a range of local real ales, Magners Cider and exclusive racing tipster guidance in this Cotswolds-meets-Austria (not Germany, interestingly).
Friday 25th & Saturday 26th October
Famously landlocked Munich comes to Fulham Beach Club this Oktoberfest. The Neverland popup venue will spend two weekends celebrating the Bavarian festival, transforming into an autumnal wonderland with an authentic Germanic vibe but also with a jungle twist (unclear why jungle, perhaps these are some of those Germans that fled to South America…). Long wooden tables, bunting and decked out like a sort of bohemian schloss, the venue comes with oompa music (and live DJs, fear not), staff dressed in traditional dirndl and lederhosen plus steins and steins of bier.
Sat 28th September and Friday and Saturday 4th and 5th October
The ‘official’ Oktoberfest celebration in London, London Oktoberfest is truly massive, ironically on a scale larger than anything in Munich. Held at Millwall Park on the Isle of Dogs (Hund Insel?), over 50,000 guests are expected to make their way to East London to celebrate all things Germanic, dressed in fancy dress (very much encouraged) and loads and loads of German beer. Shifting locations in the final week of October to the rather more refined auspices of the HAC in the City, this is the Oktoberfest to experience if you want to do things on a large scale.
Thursday to Sunday each weekend in October
If you want an authentic Music-style Oktoberfest, then there’s only one place to head: Munich. But if you’re staying in London then you need to get down to Bierschenke, London’s only authentic Munich Beerhall. Located at Liverpool Street and Tower Hill, expect lashings of Bavarian bier, authentic German dishes and new for 2019, a Beer Queen, selected from hundreds of applicants and chosen for her extensive knowledge of beer to open the Oktoberfest proceedings.