The Day of the Dead – or Día de Muertos, in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday which is celebrated in order to honour loved ones who have passed and support their spiritual journey. Like many traditions and cultural holidays, this is no longer something that exists in Mexico so here is how you can celebrate in London.
It is important to note that while these events are fun and enjoyable ways to celebrate the Day of the Dead in London, that they are more entertaining than traditional. In Mexico and Mexican households, families decorate tables or altars with flowers, candles and ceramic skulls. Most importantly, they display pictures of their loved ones who have passed. This is their way of including their lost loved ones in their celebrations and allowing them access to join the festivities. Often, food and drinks are on the table or altar to welcome the dead appropriately after their long journey back home.
But for now, here’s the best places to celebrate the Day of the Dead in London.
Patrón cocktails at 19 Greek St, 100 Wardour St and more
Friday 1st November (7:30-11pm); Saturday 2nd November (12:00pm-11:00pm; Sunday 3rd November (12:00pm-5:00pm) at 19 Greek St
All weekend across bars in London, including but not limited to 100 Wardour St, Raffles, Novikov and Chotto Matte
To celebrate the Day of the Dead this year, Patrón Tequila invites the world to enjoy a variety of fun and immersive experiences they’ve put on. To celebrate the Day of the Dead in London, the main celebrations will take place over three days (Friday to Sunday) at the Patrón pop-up event at 19 Greek St in Soho – including Mexican art, a tequila education and, of course, an abundance of delicious cocktails. On Friday 1st, a street performer will entertain the streets of Soho, finishing at the pop-up which will take guests on the authentic journey of learning about the Day of the Dead. You can buy tickets now for £15 for a two-hour daytime slot – this includes entry and two cocktails. Alternatively, it’s £30 for entry and two cocktails at the VIP launch party on Friday night. There are key events all over the world – from Paris to Madrid – to the US and Australia too. There is a special Day of the Dead cocktail list at 100 Wardour St, where guests can enjoy a limited edition drink and even participate in making it inside the Den. Patrón is also taking over some of London’s most popular bars – including Swift, Chotto Matte and Raffles – to offer visitors their signature cocktails and Day of the Dead experience.
Painted Black Menu at Ella Canta
31st October – 16th November
Chef Marta Ortiz at Ella Canta is paying tribute to this Mexican tradition by welcoming you to celebrate the Day of the Dead in London. Available from 31st October, the Painted Black menu will launch in time for Día de Muertos, the annual Mexican holiday, which honours and celebrates the lives of beloved lost ones. Dishes such as black quesadilla with courgettes flowers and octopus with black sesame sauce will be available on this special menu. Guests can also enjoy pork taco with black bean (frijoles) sauce and seabass with onion ass powder. Priced at £70 per person, the black signifies death, strength and beauty and the menu allows guests to discover the authentic flavours of Mexico. The menu also includes a cocktail; ‘The Lady in Black’ – named after the holiday’s goddess ‘Lady of the Dead’ – which is a citrus-based margarita with Amarillo Chile-infused Patrón silver tequila, Cointreau, Rinomato Bianco aperitivo, lime juice, angostura bitters and Serrano Chile.
House of Suntory at Sexy Fish
Friday 1st November
Mayfair hotspot Sexy Fish has partnered with The House of Suntory to give its annual Halloween party a Day of the Dead twist. This Friday, the restaurant will celebrate the Day of the Dead in London by putting on the first of four immersive dining experiences. Guest will will enjoy dinner and be able to taste cocktails from The House of Suntory created using authentic and premium Japanese spirits Haku vodka, Roku gin and Toki whisky – all while being treated to a show of acrobats, dancers and other performers. This bespoke show was created especially for Sexy Fish and will take place throughout the restaurant. House of Pyramid performers will be wearing authentic Day of the Dead-themed dress, taking inspiration also from the restaurant’s most iconic characters. The restaurant has also partnered with beauty app Ruuby to allow guests to have four bespoke Sexy Fish makeup looks created by a makeup artist ahead of the night. The team will also be on hand to provide touch ups during the evening too.
Casamigos at Oblix
Friday 1st November, 11pm – 3am
This year, Casamigos has teamed up with one of London’s favourite landmarks, The Shard, to celebrate the Day of the Dead. George Clooney’s tequila and mezcal brand will be sky-high for the evening, with live entertainment acts throughout to celebrate the Day of the Dead in London. There will also be make-up artists on hand and a photo wall to display pictures of your costumes. Casamigos cocktails will b available all evening, and guests can expect to be dancing all night long, as the DJ will be on the decks until the early hours. Currently tickets are sold out online, however there are a handful of tickets available at the door – so if this sounds like your Friday night plan, head to London Bridge tomorrow night. Tickets were from £25 online but expect them to be slightly more on the door.
Dia De Los Muertos at Plaza Pastor
Friday 1st November from 9.30pm
Casa Pastor’s outdoor venue in Coal Drops Yard is putting on a fiesta in honour of the dead this Friday. DJ Severino will be playing tunes all evening and there will also be a mariachi band – Los Soneros. It’s not a ticketed event – guests can just book their table online for dinner or pop by later in the evening to have drinks at the bar. The tables are fully booked out for dinner (although it might be worth checking online for cancellations) but everyone is invited to the party afterwards (from 9.30pm) to celebrate in the bar with drinks. Every guest gets a tequila shot upon arrival and you’ll need it as you can expect to be dancing all night long. What better way to celebrate the Day of the Dead in London?
Saturday 2nd November, 6:30pm till late
Brixton Village will also be hosting Day of the Dead festivities – with their free event on Saturday 2nd November. From 6.30pm until late in the courtyard, guests can enjoy delicious, traditional food and drink from Brixton Village’s Latin American eateries – as well as a special live performance and talk on the origins of the Mexican holiday, performed and hosted by the Mariachi band Las Guadalupes. Not only do they want to spread the love and joy of the holiday through their music but their talk will explore the folklore behind the Day of the Dead. Everyone – of all ages is invited to celebrate – and it’s completely free. Brixton Village favourites, Jalisco and Casa Morita (both family-run restaurants) will be serving up authentic Latin American dishes for everyone to try – expect taco and margarita bars from Jalisco, as well as Casa Morita’s signature chilli rum hot chocolate to keep guests warm. There will also be churros and tacos from Casa Morita and extra margaritas from neighbouring bar Seven (although these are £5) and and a piñata for those little ones.
Mexican Feast and Cocktails at Peter St Kitchen
Friday 1st November, 9.45pm – 1am
Not London, I know, but if you happen to be further afield, Manchester’s award-winning Peter Street Kitchen (part of the same group as Monmouth, Leicester Square, Mayfair and Bloomsbury St, in London) will celebrate the famous Day of the Dead with a huge feast of Mexican-style dishes – and Patrón Tequila Espresso Martinis. There will also be an exclusive late-night after party on Saturday 2nd November. Guests will be welcomed with this tequila Espresso Martini before dinner begins at 7.30pm. Small plates and dishes include short rib tacos, chilli-salted frijoles (refried beans) and avocado and corn salad. The dinner is unfortunately sold out but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at the party afterwards. From 9.45pm, everyone is invited to party into the dead of the night with live DJ’s keeping the dance floor going until 1am. It’s worth noting though that extra drinks will be at guests’ own cost. Tickets for the afterparty only are £35 and include and Espresso Martini on arrival (the dinner and party together cost £55).