Whether you’re still hungover from a summer of Aperol Spritzes, are prepping your liver for the inevitable Baileys-beating it will get come Christmas, or are trying to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, there’s plenty of reasons to take part in Go Sober for October. And while your intentions might be honourable, avoiding drinking in a city that’s made bottomless boozing as normal as popping to the shops for a loaf is no easy feat. Just before you reach for the duvet and sentence yourself to social Siberia for the month, check out our guide to surviving an alcohol-free October, from date nights to birthday celebrations.
Date Night: Nightjar
First date that’s exclusively used photos from 5 years ago? 175th date and trying to avoid bringing up the dirty dishes? Cocktails are a great lubricant when it comes to chatting people up and although sitting opposite someone for an extended period of time stone.cold.sober is a daunting prospect, Nightjar will set the mood for something saucy. As one of the best cocktail bars in the world, the New Orleans-inspired space extends their mixology magic to alcohol-free takes on favourites, including a convincing dedication to the negroni, dubbed the Seedgroni Sbagliato. If you want to carry on the fun, nearby The Book Club has got a whole ‘Lo & No’ menu, while The Gibson is equally as intimate cocktail spot, with an inventive approach to muddling tipples.
Dinner Plans: Dishoom
If the idea of listening to another story about your parents’ neighbours' parking misdemeanours is enough to make you reach for a glass of savvy b, then head to Dishoom (Shoreditch, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden and King's Cross) - them of bacon naan fame. When the Indian restaurant isn't pimping up your breakfast, they’re keeping you satiated with a long list of dry tipples. No matter what your poison, they’ve got it, with alcohol-free beer, wine and cocktails. If watching other people sip something icy is too much temptation try Redemption, the vegan and dry restaurant in Notting Hill, Seven Dials, and Shoreditch, which - despite the loaded name - is a lively spot, with poppy interiors and healthy takes on comfort food classics.
In Need Of A Party: The Ultimate Silent Disco
No one likes to slut drop without a little bit of liquid courage and if you’re missing throwing down your best moves at Infernos every Saturday, then strap on a pair of headphones and shake it like nobody’s business at The Ultimate Silent Disco. Taking place at Trapeze in East London on 23rd October, the event is for the sober-only and is capped at 35 people, meaning there will be plenty of space to boogie without inhibitions. For something a little more raucous, Pop-Up Ceilidh takes the traditional Scottish dance and throws it on its head; with spins and shouts from the caller, your toes will be grateful you’ve not had a drink.
Hanging Out With Mates: BrewDog
You don’t have to say sayonara to seeing your gang over sober October, not if BrewDog has anything to do with it. The Scottish beer blokes have brought craft brews to the masses with sites that focus on freshly pumped pints in stripped back surrounds. Alongside plenty of variations for your drinking mates, the brand has worked on some tasty low-alcohol cans; Punk AF is the alcohol-free version of their most iconic beer, while Nanny State has garnered a following thanks to its hoppy-like flavour.
A Special Occasion: Zuaya
If you normally pop a bottle at the first sounds of ‘happy birthday’, try swapping your celebrations for something equally as special at Kensington’s Zuaya. From the ceiling that swings with foliage to the ceviche accompanied by sweet potato ice cream, the decadent space pays homage to the South American rainforest. As such, drinks are a fresh and fruity list, with a neat choice of non-alcohol versions. Another South American hit is Andina Shoreditch; while interiors aren’t quite as OTT, one of London’s best dishes is on the menu (Don Ceviche) and the mocktails include El Fujimori: a mix of ginger and lemongrass cordial, turmeric, and non-alcoholic absinthe.