Boy About Town Zak Smith gives Spear's a rundown of the capital's most delightfully debauched places to celebrate Halloween
London is gearing up for its most decadent and devilish Halloween yet. With events galore, it's difficult to know which will be worth attending and which will fall flat into a kitsch nightmare. From themed balls to members' club events, wild costume retailers and everything else in between, here is a rundown of London's luxury guide to Halloween.
The perfect Halloween has to start with the perfect costume. For this, head to North-West London, where legendary stalwarts of the fancy-dress scene Oscar's Den and Escapades brim with outrageous outfits suitable for every type of party, from the tame through to the outrageous.
With paint, prosthetics, costume-specific accessories as well as some outrageous latex faces at Escapades, these long-serving retailers have all the accoutrements necessary to spice up a themed costume, providing a one-stop-shop for Halloween fun. For a lady looking for something racy, treat yourself to Coco de Mer's new William Wilde X Coco de Mer range, where latex is 'luxxed-up', with the signature dress covering all sorts of risqu’ lingerie underneath.
Halloween night can begin in a semi-familiar setting: Kensington Roof Gardens are transforming their already exotic and lush floating foliage into a nightmarish ghost garden (pictured). With a complimentary 'flesh wound cocktail' on arrival, pumpkin punch and a Halloween-themed BBQ grill, the venue is going all out for ghoulish treats.
In a similar vein, Proud Camden is hosting a Halloween-themed slaughterhouse cabaret evening, complete with three-course meal, entertainment and the right sort of setting for an indulgent fright night. They are also throwing another Halloween special, Touch the Sky, to ensure that the throngs of guests that usually fill the gargantuan event space in the centre of Camden are all catered for.
If you are a member and haven't booked, or have a friend that is a member and need somewhere to go, Annabel's are throwing a decadent bash; word, however, is that the event sold out weeks in advance. If that is the case, for similar opulence, head to Cuckoo Club, home to London's euro-party scene, where a serious refurbishment of their downstairs nightclub has just been undertaken, giving its Halloween party the perfect opportunity to showcase the new face of a much-loved nightlife venue.
For more adventurous revelry, London-based bar and hospitality group Bourne & Hollingsworth have teamed up with One Embankment to provide 'Terror on the Thames', where you can expect to 'enter the bedimmed and hazy opium den and rub shoulders with shifty grave robbers and ginned-up strumpets'.
Finally, if none of the above appeals due to a hunger for something more outrageous, try get a last minute ticket at Torture Garden's Belle Epoque Ball, which will no doubt feature the avant-garde, hyper-sexualised crowd that characterises London's most notorious debauchery, which, with the added incentive of being Halloween-themed, is certainly not for the faint of hearted.