Move over Halloween, now it’s all about the traditional Mexican Dia De Los Muertos celebrations, and here are 5 ways to celebrate in London
Lead image: Wahaca’s Day of the Dead at The Vaults (Rah Petherbridge Photography)
1 Wahaca’s Day of The Dead at The Vaults, Waterloo
2, 3, 4 November
Straight off the back of Halloween is Mexico’s traditional Día de los Muertos festival, the inspiration behind Wahaca’s Day of The Dead celebrations which will feature rituals, prayer, dance and theatrics at the atmospheric vaults below Waterloo station. The labyrinth of tunnels will be transformed into a Mayan jungle, leading to a re-creation of the Cemetery Panteon General in Oaxaca, where performances of poetry and songs will encourage guests to pay their respects to lost loved ones, before DJs play late into the night. Wahaca has also teamed up with international sensations Morning Gloryville for a Day of the Dead-themed morning rave on Saturday 4 November, kicking off at 7am. Tickets for Wahaca’s Day of the Dead festival are £25 (all profits from the festival will go to charities supporting those affected by the Mexican earthquakes).
Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN. To book see wahacaDOTD.co.uk
2 Day of the Dead at Leicester Square Kitchen
Leicester Square Kitchen, which usually serves up Mexican and Peruvian dishes, is hosting its first ever Day of the Dead party in honour of the Mexican tradition. Drag queen du jour Jodie Harsh will be DJing, while theatrical experiences and horror-themed performers make this a night to remember. 7.30pm till late. Dress code: Dark.
31-36 Leicester Square WC2H 7LH; leicestersquarekitchen.co.uk
3 Painted Black Menu at Ella Canta
Ella Canta, which opened earlier this autumn, is celebrating Día de los Muertos, the longstanding Mexican holiday to honour deceased loved ones, with a special Painted Black menu. The six-course menu will include dishes such as seabass with black aguachile, salty mandarin and turmeric sorbet, as well as quail with black recaudo and caramelized squash purée. There will also be special cocktails like The Lady in Black, a fierce, citrussy black margarita dedicated to the goddess Lady of the Dead, created with Patrón Tequila. From 1-4 November, DJs will be playing uptempo Latin beats and the space will be decorated with traditional floral displays and candles. From 1-3 November, it’s the Painted Black menu only. From 4-12 November the Painted Black menu will be available alongside the à la carte menu for dinner.
One Hamilton Place, Park Lane W1J 7QY; ellacanta.com
4 Day of the Dead menu at Peyotito Notting Hill & Peyote Mayfair
Mexican restaurants Peyotito in Notting Hill and & Peyote in Mayfair will be transformed for two days only to celebrate Day of the Dead. A set four-course menu including Black Aguachile (sea bass, habanero, avocado pureé, lime and flowers) to start and churros to finish (£50pp), alongside live music to set the scene. At the Notting Hill branch, you can also opt for mezcal pairing option (£30pp).
31 Kensington Park Road W11 2EU; peyotitorestaurant.com
5 Corazón x Day of the Dead MIDNIGHT FEAST
Corazón in Soho will be kicking off their Dia De Los Muertos celebrations at midnight on Saturday with a four-course, Oaxaca-inspired menu featuring guinea fowl with mole negro or seabass with mole verde and pepitas as the main event. Sweet treats include candied pumpkin, plantain and tiki cocktails. The menu, with mezcal pairing, is £48pp. £5 from each ticket sold will go to Me Late Leer, a charity set up by Corazon and the SHM Foundation to promote youth literacy in Mexico. Booking essential. Arrival by 11.30pm. Ends 2.30am.
29 Poland Street, Soho W1F 8QR. For tickets see billetto.co.uk