The first few weeks after the August Bank Holiday weekend are always slightly odd. To make that lingering-hangover feeling even worse, everything's a bit blue as it looks like the summer's on its way out the door. No matter how long you cling onto that summer duvet and insist on drinking Pimm's, it's time to face facts. But this year, we've got plenty of reason to be excited. From incredible new restaurant openings to mahusive Halloween blowouts and Oktoberfest celebrations, Autumn's never looked so good. So forget the doom and gloom, and check out our 7 reasons to look forward to the arrival of Autumn instead.
Flip flops are out, Lederhosen are in - Oktoberfest East 2017
If last year's festivities are anything to go by, Oktoberfest East at Oval Space will be a highlight of London's Autumn this year. Even though nothing quite matches the vibe that courses through the entire city of Munich over the three weeks, the organisers here come pretty close, bringing huge steins of Weissbier, a live oompah band, plenty of drinking games and tasty Bavarian dishes all under one roof. Be warned though, you'll feel hungover for about five days afterwards (no, just me?), but you'll never find another party like it. Well, at least not for another year.
The Ultimate Vintage Bash - Cahoots Underground Knees Up
The Cahoots team are taking London back to the postwar 1940s, hosting a wild soirée set in the sprawling Vaults (located directly beneath Waterloo Train Station) that's complete with gin parlour cocktails served in old tin cans, live swing music, vintage outfits and antique decorations. It's rowdy, it's vibrant and it's about as Insta-worthy as it gets. Better yet; your ticket price includes all the entertainment, a selection of tasty food and unlimited cocktails all night long.
Return of the Roast Dinner
Now though it's okay to eat a roast dinner during the summer, we all know you need to be tucked up by a warm fire, seeking shelter from the grey rain outside to really appreciate the beauty of this British culinary king of a dish. Luckily for us, London's pubs never mess about when it comes to Sunday dinners and this Autumn will be no different. Top tip: check out one of these bottomless booze roasts to liven things up a little.
Our favourite holiday of the year - Halloween 2017
No matter what quirky theme London's bars come up with, nothing ever comes close to Halloween. Come the last week of October, the entire city ironically bursts into life with haunted parties for the undead, terrifying immersive theatre events and outdoor screenings of some of the scariest horror films ever made. There's no real reason for it but some of London's best bars and clubs really push the boat out, completely transforming their spaces into eerie lairs and truly terrifying spots. And that's not even mentioning London's constantly-on-point fancy dress.
Getting arrested in the name of cocktail - Alcotraz
Things can be rough in the clink. It's a dog-eat-dog world where snitches get stitches, bug juice is king and wimps get sold for a pack of Marlboro Gold. Offering all that (not really) and more, Alcotraz is London's first prison-themed pop-up bar, where guests wear orange and sneak around guards, all in the name of great tasting cocktails. The event is BYOB, meaning you'll have to smuggle your chosen poison past the guards if you want to enjoy it - and if you do make it through, you'll find a few inmates willing to mix you up just about any concoction you can think of, all using their own smuggled-in bitters, juices and expert cocktail know-how.
All of these Autumn restaurant openings
There's a constant conveyor belt of restaurants opening in London these days. But with the harvest coming in and Britain's seasonal ingredients at their best, the Autumn has always been the optimal time of London's best chefs to set up shop. This year, the capital is getting a fresh Korean barbecue spot called Olle, an LA-inspired Italian restaurant named Passo and its own Mamarosa, a favourite dining spot in A-list celebrity circles.
This massive Bonfire Night Party
No Autumn guide would be complete or credible without mentioning Bonfire Night; the only night of the year where you can set off explosives in your garden and burn a Catholic effigy without ending up on some kind of register. The team at Kensington's Roof Gardens are going all out this year with their celebrations. After first serving each guest a complimentary cocktail and a few barbecue nibbles, they'll hand over the reins to their pyro-mad firework specialists, who'll fill West London's sky with flashing colours and loud bangs.