I can't quite believe I'm writing the October Hot List. Is it really October?! Should I really be digging my boots from out of the wardrobe and swapping my mojitos for toffee apples? (The answer is no: mojitos can be enjoyed all year round, thank you very much).
There's a lot going on this month, from Late Night London's FIFTEENTH BIRTHDAY to the Frieze Art Fair to London Cocktail Week to the ghoulish brilliance that is of course Halloween. It may seem ages away, but I'm sure you'll be thrilled to learn that Halloween falls on a Friday this year. Nobody likes feeling like a zombie at work and literally looking like one with a Halloween hangover. Speaking of zombies, they're around this month too. Really.
The below suggestions only scratch the surface of what you can do in London this month so prepare for fun fun fun!
Okay this was an easy suggestion. We've all made the necessary calendar clearing arrangements to see this as soon as possible, right? I was relatively late to the Gone Girl party and only read the book in April, but I loved every page and have been not-so-patiently awaiting the movie ever since. I'm going to be boring and insist you do read the book first if you haven't yet, but Gillian Flynn has re-written the ending for the movie version so fans of the book are still in for a twist. The film has just hit cinemas (October 2nd) and I am squirming with excitement. Book tickets here.
All sorts of cinematic wonderment at the BFI London Film Festival.
With 248 films showing across 17 venues it can only be the BFI London Film Festival. Taking place from the 8th to the 19th October you can expect more than just movies, with debates, master classes and - of course - red carpets and awards. I'm particularly excited to see Black Souls, Stereo, White God and Snow in Paradise. More info and tickets here.
Chills in the Chapel: Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
For £22.50 you could spend your Halloween watching Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in a Gothic-revival chapel, Union Chapel to be precise, which sounds like a pretty ace night out to me. Bernard Hermann’s integral score will be brought to life by the Live Film Orchestra (AMAZING) and there's a Bates Motel Ball after. Wonderful stuff. OH AND THERE'S FANCY DRESS. More info and tickets here.
Aaaaaaall the cake at The Cake & Bake Show.
Running from the 3rd-5th October at Earls Court, this cakey paradise is a pretty great place to head if you want to spend a weekend eating cake. And why wouldn't you want to do that? There's loads to learn, demos and live bake-offs so you can see a bit of GBBO in action. (Yes, there will be bakery stars from GBBO in attendance!). Tickets start at £10 and can be booked here.
Treat yourself to a Le Bun Brunch at their Old Bengal Bar pop-up.
October rings in a month long residency at The Old Bengal Bar (Liverpool St) for the luxury French-American street food duo and you know what that means: BUNS FOR BREAKFAST. Brunch will be available every Saturday and Sunday in October from 11am to 4pm and you can expect pure breakfast greatness in the form of Le Benedict Bun (maple bacon, poached egg, hollandiase and an asparagus salad), Le Eggs Royale Bun (Mariage Freres smoked salmon, spinach, poached egg and citrus hollandaise) and bun-free Truffles ‘n’ Waffles (confit Southern-fried chicken, shaved winter truffles, house waffles, truffle butter and rosemary maple syrup) to name a few. As well as buns, there'll be plenty of booze and DJs. We like. More info and booking here.
Celebrate eating out in our fair capital with the London Restaurant Festival.
There is *so* much going on during the almost month-long London Restaurant Festival that it's hard to know where to start. There are special fixed price menus at heaps of restaurants, making this one of the biggest London-wide promotions you could possibly imagine. There are special events with some of the finest chefs in the country and properly excellent guided tours - eat your way around Chinatown? Why not?! You could go to The Terrence Higgins Supper Club or a foodie quiz or a book launch (with plenty of food, don't worry) or you could just a helluvalot of tapas. See what's on and book your tickets here.
Check out what's going on at Inside Out Victoria.
From the 2nd to the 5th of October there are all sorts of events taking place in Victoria to celebrate, well, Victoria! You can take part in a textile upcycling workshop or a musical theatre workshop or even see me on stage (yes, really!) joining Kate Finnigan - Style Director of Stella Magazine - for a fashion Q&A ahead of a screening of Bill Cunningham: New York. And lots more besides! More info and tickets here.
Head over to the Frieze Art Fair.
As one of the world's leading contemporary art fairs, Frieze really needs no introduction. Taking place from the 15th-18th of October in Regents Park you will be able to see (and buy!) artworks by over 1000 of the world’s leading artists. The fair features Frieze Projects, the fair’s unique and critically acclaimed programme of artist commissions and Frieze Talks, a prestigious programme of debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures. This year, the fair also introduces Live – a new section dedicated to ambitious performance-based installations. More info and tickets here.
Run away from zombies.
It was the mention of 'zombie burritos' that first piqued my interest in the 'Apocalypse' event from Backyard Cinema. Much more than just a scary film for Halloween, these screenings include weapons training, secret labs, live actors and real zombies. There are multiple films to choose from and the immersive zombie filled event starts on Halloween (natch) and runs through to November 7th. Tickets are £30 and booking and more info can be found here.
Get your cocktail on for London Cocktail Week!
This is my kinda week. From the 6th-12th of October, 200 bars across London throw open their doors to offer £4 cocktails to anyone wearing the special magical wristband (which you can currently nab for £10 here). There are cocktail tours, events and masterclasses and LNL bars are of course part of the action. Just you wait and see what Foundation has up its sleeve! More info all things cocktail week here.