Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand, creatures crawl in search of blood and restaurants have some frightening fun. Restaurants that offer ‘Instagram-friendly’ dishes to celebrate Halloween have an advantage with the younger demographic, according to GlobalData senior foodservice analyst Morgane Richert.
Richert says: “Although only 13% of UK consumers post a picture of their food or drink on social media at least once a week, this rises to an average of 34% among 18-34-year-olds. For foodservice operators across channels, offering a range of limited-edition Halloween themed food and drink options can, therefore, be an effective way to encourage visits by Gen Z and millennial consumers during the holidays. Giving these young, hyper-connected consumers something worth posting on social media also guarantees free publicity, which can be especially beneficial for smaller, independent operators with limited advertising and promotional budgets.”
Here are six of the best restaurants for Halloween in UK making an effort by serving themed dishes and transforming décor.
M Restaurants – spooktacular feast in London
M Restaurants is going all out this month in anticipation of Halloween. M’s Threadneedle Street location is transforming its dining room into a ‘spooktacular feast for the eyes’, including illustrations of skulls and butterflies. The menu follows suit with the metamorphosis theme with executive chef Mike Reid having designed a four-course meal consisting of edible flowers, bone-marrow potatoes and bone broth in a skull-shaped bowl and salted chocolate tart, which represents a swarm of butterflies. The M Victoria location is hosting a brunch for diner’s dogs followed by a fancy dress contest.
Date(s) available: Throughout October
20 Stories – Blackout Dinner
This Manchester restaurant is serving an exclusive four-course menu including roasted langoustine with hazelnut risotto, sherry jelly and smoked foie gras, beetroot poached salmon with citrus salad and fennel in the run-up to Halloween. The spooky touch of its Blackout Dinner event sees diners eating in the dark, with thousands of candles and the skyline available as the only sources of light. Halloween-themed cocktails will also feature until November, including ‘Killing Me Sloe-ly’, made from sloe gin, Solerno blood orange liqueur, apple liqueur, black walnut bitters, blood orange puree and vanilla foam with dehydrated raspberry powder.
Date(s) available: 22 October to 1 November. Photo credit: Jack Kirwin, JK Photography.
Tom’s Kitchen – scary but sweet desserts
The British chain is known for its classics and seasonal specials, however, this Halloween, Tom’s Kitchen is getting a little creative. All three locations, in Chelsea, Birmingham and Canary Wharf, are offering a white chocolate and pumpkin mousse dessert, covered in dark chocolate and served with a skull-faced, orange macaroon and whipped cream.
Date(s) available: 26 October to 31 October
Mr Bao – Mini bao pumpkins
Mr Bao’s restaurant serves a wide range of steamed bao buns, with fillings ranging from butternut squash, tofu and coriander to teriyaki, miso mayonnaise and shallots. The Taiwanese establishment has found a clever way to incorporate Halloween into its meals this year with the creation of miniature pumpkin bao. The sweet-tasting bao is filled with roasted pumpkin and raisins.
Date(s) available: 31 October
Bluebird – veiny-looking chocolate
Another dessert-focused restaurant is Bluebird in Chelsea, London. Its Halloween special is a white chocolate ‘eyeball’, decorated with raspberry coulis veins to appear bloodshot, certainly a contender for Instagram-worthy pictures. The European-cuisine restaurant also features a pumpkin patch display in its courtyard.
Date(s) available: 22 October to 11 November
Radici – black dough pizzas
This Italian restaurant is offering a pumpkin-filled Halloween with chef patron Francesco Mazzei’s pumpkin and sage soup, and a black pizza topped with roasted pumpkin, fiordilatte mozzarella cheese, Italian kale and toasted pumpkin seeds. The Halloween pizza is arguably a little less sinister looking than last year’s, which also consisted of black dough coloured with ink, but with anchovies, pumpkin, onion roots and mozzarella.
Date(s) available: 31 October