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The 13 best pop-ups happening in London this October

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Whether you fancy a bowl-along screening of 'The Big Lebowski', carb-loading at London's first roast potato pop-up, or sipping on champagne in a bubble bath bar, we've got you covered with this month's best pop-ups.

Burn After Reading

Would you usually choose to spend your Saturday night in a bookshop? Probably not. But the London pop-up collective are here to change that by turning Waterstone's Piccadilly (Europe's biggest bookshop, dontcha know) into a pop-up cocktail bar for the night. Prop yourself up at a bookshelf and sample one of their tasty tipples including a mezcal and toffee apple concoction or a rum, ginger lemongrass and coconut cocktail. They'll also be serving up canapes and late-night snacks so you can graze on through until 2am. But the books haven't totally been forgotten – authors from indie book publishers Galley Beggar will be taking the early evening slot for some short readings, as well as giving away free books throughout the night. Waterstone's Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, W1J 9HD. October 3, 10pm-2am. £15.

Feed Me Films: The Big Lebowski

Relive your early teenage years with a night of bowling, a movie – and the welcome addition of white russians. Feed Me Films are taking over Rowans Tenpin Bowling in Finsbury Park for a screening of 'The Big Lebowski', which means you can show off your strike capabilities before kicking back to watch the film. As well as four themed snacks to eat during the screening, you'll get to stuff your face with Voodoo Ray's pizza and an edible bowling ball dessert, with Brooklyn Brewery beers and Kahlua cocktails to drink. Rowans Tenpin Bowl, Finsbury Park, 10 Stroud Green Rd, N4 2DF. October 15 and October 29. £40.

Just Defy! Inhumanity benefit for Kobane, Syria 

It's always nice to know that your money is going to a good cause, which is definitely the case at this pop-up restaurant that's raising money to build a hospital in Kobane in Syria. Your ticket includes canapes, wine, and a three-course meal of Middle Eastern treats including flatbreads, baba ganoush, lamb tagine and chilli chocolate torte. Email to book your place. Grow, 98c Main Yard, Wallis Road, E9 5LN. October 29, 6pm–11pm. £30.

The Lodge 

Can't afford a trip to the French Alps? Pas de problème! Jimmy Garcia's aprés-ski-inspired lodge is back for another year, which means you can get the best bits of skiing (the part that involves beer, mulled wine and fondue) without all those aches and pains. The Alpine-themed restaurant will be serving brunch, lunch and dinner with dishes including venison, wild boar scotch eggs and cheesy fondue by the bucket load. 409 Clapham Rd, SW9 9BT. October 8–March 17.

POP-Down to The Vaults

Pop-up dining company Cuisson is taking up a three-month residency at The Vaults, where they'll be serving up unusual flavour combinations including cured mackerel with horseradish 'snow' and slow-cooked brisket served with a savoury pick 'n' mix garnish. You won't have to sing for your supper, but you can lend a helping hand as chefs will be plating up dishes in front of guests, so that you can get involved with garnishing and customising your dinner. The Vaults, Leake St, SE1 7NN. October 20–January 16.

Herman Ze German's pop-up cocktail bar

Hot dog joint Herman ze German is bringing a bit of Oktoberfest to London with a new pop-up bar called Willy's in the basement of its Charlotte Street branch. They've teamed up with Elephant Gin and The Candlelight Club to create a German-themed cocktail bar using local ingredients, spirits and wines. Just make sure you line your stomach with a big old plate of currywurst, if you want to be really 'traditional'. October 5-14. 43 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RS.

Bubbles: champagne bath bar

You know what most bars are lacking? A bubble bath for you to bathe in while you knock back glasses of champagne. At least, we can only assume that was the thinking behind Bubbles, a two-day pop-up that's coming to Shoreditch this October. The bar will be kitted out with a selection of baths, which can be booked for one solitary bather, or you can opt for a bigger bath to accommodate two or three people – and we can't decide which is weirder. Oh, and 'bath butlers' will be on hand to top up your glass as well as add some fizz to your bath with a choice of bath bombs, bath oils and rose petals. Book your place by emailing with your name and contact details. Arch 406, Long St, Shoreditch, E2 8HG. October 8-7.

'Barley & Buns' Bao pop-up 

If you've already tried everything on the menu at Bao in Soho, then you'll be pleased to know there's a new place in town where you can get your steamed bun fix. South-east Asian restaurant Spice Market is launching a new pop-up, Barley & Buns, where you can sample their savoury buns stuffed with soy-glazed short ribs, soft shell crab, or a sweet deep-fried bao filled with coconut jam. Spice Market, 10 Wardour St, W1D 6QF. October 19–November 1.

The Heart and Lung Convenience Store

Rather than the usual convenience store staples of ready salted crisps and bags of Haribo, the Heart and Lung Convenience Store will house a collection of interactive exhibits and installations exploring modern medicine. Visitors can play heart and lung lottery, create a 3D print of a section of a vein or artery, or select a pick 'n' mix of microbial species that live in our lungs – which is way more exciting than a packet of gummy bears, right? They'll also be hosting talks, workshops and events including a heart and lung-themed pub quiz. Kings Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9HW.  October 19–November 1.

Lyle's Selfie-Service breakfast café 

Start your day with the best kind of breakfast – the FREE kind. Lyle's golden syrup is launching a pop-up café where they'll be dishing up porridge and pancakes and you won't have to part with a single penny. The catch? You'll have to 'pay' for it by sharing a 'smiling selfie' on social media. And if you're not smiling, it doesn't count. Say cheese! 44 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HA. October 6–8, 7.30am–11.30am.

Bourbon and BBQ at Bodean's

Like barbecue? Like bourbon? Then you'll be in meaty, boozy heaven at this one-off event at Bodean's. They've teamed up with whisky pros Jim Beam to lay on a five-course meal of smokey meats paired with even smokier bourbon to complement each course. Bodean’s, 16 Byward St, EC3R 5BA. October 6, 7,30pm. £40. Book your place by emailing

Pact Coffee pop-up shop

Trade in that drab filter coffee for something a bit more refined at Pact Coffee's first pop-up shop. They'll be serving up freshly brewed coffee made from their signature roasted beans, as well as other treats including caffeinated ice lollies. Grab yourself a free coffee everyday between 3-4pm or pick up some tricks of the trade at one of their free classes, which are running all day. 45 Brushfield St, Spitalfields Market, EC1 6AA. Until October 11, 8am–6pm.

Sunday Best 

Carb-lovers, rejoice! Sunday Best is a one-off pop-up that's doing away with all the superfluous aspects of a roast and focusing on the one thing we all care about: the roast potatoes. McCain's has teamed up with foodie connoisseurs The Robin Collective to serve up a spud-heavy menu of roast potato kebabs, roast dinner ice-cream sundaes and – be still our beating hearts – a gravy fountain. 18 Maddox St, Mayfair, W1S 1PL. October 23.

Monograph supper club

Slurp your way through steaming bowls of udon noodles at Monograph's supper club, where they're keeping things simple with only two choices on the menu - miso salmon or smoked mackerel. Everyone will be seated on one long table, so you can get to know your fellow diners - and to help get conversation flowing, it's bring your own booze. Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB. 7pm, £29.


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