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Hallowe’en Food: Sh*t or Treat?

Is Hallowe’en food actually any good? Is it just ... pumpkins? Look no further than Instagram for the answer

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns in New York Photo by Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is not in any way nightmarish.

News of the week

In this era of national foodstuff days and weeks, it is perhaps easy to overlook the significance of a proper food-related calendar event. Christmas, obviously, is god tier; the blowout feast with which many major religions celebrate the end of a period of fasting is also a culinary highlight. Valentines is fun, if a little sickly; there might even be a case for Bonfire Night, with its deeply satisfying cinder toffee and parkin. Languishing alone on the literally-just-pumpkins tier, though, is Hallowe’en — and with the rampantly commercialised celebration of all things spooky plonked inconveniently midweek this year, London’s Instagram gets not one but two bites at the gourd. Any questions?

Takeover of the week

There was devastating news earlier this year, when beloved — and essential — Mayfair institution Gymkhana was forced to close due to fire. Step forward beloved — and essential — Bloomsbury institution Noble Rot, to host a one-day-only #rotterkhana collaboration and remind the capital what it has been missing. Probably a better name for it than #gymrot, too.

Opportunists of the week

Fans of Pret’s weirdly popular but (probably) temporarily discontinued jambon beurre, rejoice: there’s no need to go cold ham.

Cook’s tour of the week

Although his bromance with Will Guidara may be no more, superstar chef Daniel Humm’s upcoming project at Claridge’s, Davies and Brook, steams ahead. Humm has recently been spending more time getting to know the culinary scene of the city he’s about to call home — and he’s not off to a bad start.

Serving suggestion of the week

No more nonsensical than the stuff on the pack.

Family meal of the week

Just a light dusting.

Heads up, incoming laboured dad pun of the week

Eat all that and there won’t be mush-room for the next course!

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A 12kg hen of the wood.

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Good boys of the week


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Menu of the week

In a recent review, Marina O’Loughlin described Italy’s somewhat narrow-minded view of what constitutes acceptable cooking as “raging culinary chauvinism”. Thank goodness, then, that the Italians who emigrate over here are a little more open to local customs — otherwise the U.K. might never have benefited from the British-Italian triple-carb fusion masterpiece that is lasagne, garlic bread, and chips. In a London obsessed with micron-thin fresh pasta, this might be the single most quietly thrilling menu of the year.

Dish of the week

Sure, gluttony. But also, like, just a little bit of lust?

Shot of the week

Alt title: The Wasp Factory.

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Malaga wine + figs = cool pics

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