A fabulous festival of colour and lights, commemorated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world, Diwali is one of the most important events around. And thanks to the capital's multi-cultural nature, there are more parties, parades and special set menus than you can shake a stick at. But if you're not sure where to go? From fancy fine dining in plush surrounds to dancing and music at cool museums, here's our guide to the 10 best Diwali events in London.
EC4N 8AR, 21st to the 29th of October, £85
Brigadiers is going all out this year, marking the festival with a special Diwali set menu. Settle into the luxe interiors, which boast stained glass windows, a unique, panelled bar and snazzy booth seating, then kick things off with a few nibbles; we're talkin' achari chicken skins and Benarasi samosa chaat. Next up, you’ll be treated to plates such as Amritsari fried fish paos and a mouthwatering maharaja lamb biryani.
W1U 3DG, 21st to the 31st of October, £90
Nestled in Marylebone Village, Trishna is an eye-catching Michelin-starred restaurant that sports marble countertops and a laid-back atmosphere. It’ll be commemorating the festival with a week of fabulous feasting by candlelight, slinging out stunning five-course meals, including bites like the nariyal scallops and tandoori lamb chops. Thirsty? Accompany it all with a wine pairing for an extra £80.
Meet at Crown Pier, EC4Y 9AY, 22nd of October, £30
Skyline Boat Parties is hosting a much-anticipated shindig on the 22nd of October, its Diwali Festival of Lights Celebration. Hop aboard the party boat, which will cruise you down the Thames showcasing the very best Bollywood and bhangra dancers. You can also enjoy drummers, cracking tunes blasted out by resident and guest DJs, as well as, of course, mesmerising views of London at night.
SW1E 6AF, 19th to the 24th of October, Varying Prices
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences will be celebrating the festival of lights with a whole load of unique events and activities from the 19th to the 24th of October. Get stuck into a Jasmine Indian afternoon tea, indulge in tantalising thalis and try your hand at diya painting or rangoli making. But whatever you do, make sure you don't miss out on the finale - a private fireworks display in the hotel's picturesque courtyard.
W1S 2QH, 15th to the 30th of October, £65
Taking place from the 15th to the 30th of October, Kanishka's Diwali celebrations are going to be nothing short of spectacular. Not only does it flaunt striking interiors, including mellow, patterned walls and unique artworks, but it also has chef Atul Kockhhar at the kitchen's helm. He'll provide you with a fabulous feasting menu, showcasing the likes of a tender goat kosha and paneer kadhai, not to mention the saffron rice, garlic naan and festive sweets.
National Maritime Museum
SE10 9NF, 22nd of October, Free
Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum always blows it out of the water for Diwali, and this year is set to be no different. Not only can you expect a range of fun workshops on the go (think jewellery-making, beaut rangoli and incense sampling), but also fascinating talks and demonstrations. Though that's just the beginning, as there will be plenty of other entertainment too, including singers, DJs, dancers and digital art, all hosted by BBC presenter and comedian, Parle Patel.
W1K 3NF, 20th to the 24th of October
The chefs over at Jamavar are rustling up something very special; a scrumptious Diwali dinner in London. Highlights of the limited-edition six-course tasting menu include dishes such as the Kawari soft shell crab with blueberry ginger chutney and the duck galouti spiced using black cardamom, plus there will be plenty of vegetarian options too. And to wash it all down? Choose from the carefully selected wine list or opt for a pairing.
W12 7FR, 24th of October, £55
Kricket is undoubtedly one of the best Indian restaurants in London, serving gorgeous small plates that are bound to make your tastebuds tingle. And on the 24th of October? It's hosting a special Diwali feast at its White City outpost. You’ll chow down on a traditional vegetarian thali, which offers dishes such as variegated kale pakoras and a lasooni paneer tikka, with snacks, sweets and a welcome drink up for grabs too.
SE23 1JP, 23rd to the 27th of October
A Forest Hill stalwart, Babur is a gorgeous dining destination that's ideal for celebratory meals out with your nearest and dearest. So if you're looking for fun things to do on Diwali in London, mosey on over to this much-loved spot between the 23rd and 27th of October to enjoy traditional dishes with a modern twist. Our favourite? The Kasundi king prawns accompanied by Bengali mustard, spiced puff rice and green papaya muraba.
SW1P 1SB, 24th to the 30th of October, £49.50
An exciting new restaurant housed within Old Westminster Fire Station, Yaatra is treating us to a limited edition Diwali menu this October. While in stylish surroundings, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cocktail on arrival before scoffing down dishes inspired by little-known Indian villages. Dive into the sharing kebab platter, which features Achari chicken tikka and Amritsari prawns, before filling your boots with biryani and curries.
Studio Spaces, E1W 2BB, 20th of October, £18
On the 20th of October at Studio Spaces, Dishoom will be hosting a lively Diwali party in London, complete with an exciting South Asian lineup. Anticipate performances centred around dance, music and poetry, plus colourful interiors adorned with twinkling lights as your backdrop. But if your stomach starts to rumble, fear not, as you'll also be able to indulge in a load of top-notch vegetarian fare.