Holiday Inspiration

Five of the Best Bonfire Parties in London

By Susan Ward Davies

The Midnight Apothecary Bonfire Night Special

Down in Rotherhithe, there’s a bonfire night with a bit of a twist, thanks to Midnight Apothecary, the brainchild of Lottie Muir. By day she’s the volunteer gardener who transformed the garden above Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, but on the odd special Saturday night she trades her gloves for a cocktail shaker and rustles up delicious cocktails infused with ingredients from her garden. This Saturday is the bonfire special, and you’ll be able to draw up old deckchairs around the firepit and watch the flares, with cocktails such as gin and lavender fizz and basil daiquiris. Given the fact it’s been voted one of the best pop-up cocktail bars in London, we reckon it’s one that’s well-worth checking out.

Address: Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4L; Dates: Saturday 3rd November 2012. Admission is free; brunel-museum.org

Battersea Park Fireworks

With the Olympics fireworks displays in the back of everyone’s minds, Guy Fawkes night this year is going to have to be something very special indeed. Luckily, over at Battersea Park, Pains Fireworks are on the case. With a track record of providing explosives for the Mayor’s Thames Festival, Disney Concert Orchestras (oh, and the odd Rod Stewart gig), there’s not much about pyrotechnics they don’t know. This year the theme is London Celebrates and it’ll be filled with bonfire night treats, from roasted chestnuts to toffee apples. To pick up tickets you can buy online, or in person from the gorgeous Pump House Gallery beforehand. The four-storey Grade-I listed gallery is right in Battersea Park, and is a wonderful place for a potter before you head outside for a steaming glass of mulled wine and the fireworks. Sounds like the perfect Saturday.

Address: Battersea Park, Queenstown Rd, London, SW11 4NJ; Dates: Saturday 3rd November 2012; batterseapark.org/

Brockwell Park Fireworks

Another London Park, another cracking fireworks display. In fact it’s a bit of a double-whammy, as Streatham Common and Brockwell Park will be holding simultaneous firework displays this year. Both will be completely free, and have a 20-minute show (from Kimbolton Fireworks – who worked on the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies), all to music. There’ll be mulled wine and toffee apples, and for your inner-child, fun- fair rides and carousels with side stalls.

Address: Brockwell Park, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0NG; Dates: Friday 2nd November 2012; brockwellpark.com

The Fireworks Party at The Kensington Roof Gardens

If you don’t fancy tramping round a field in your wellies, then you should head for the altogether more upmarket fireworks party at the Kensington Roof Gardens. The exclusive party will be hosted on the terrace of the Spanish Garden where you’ll be greeted with a cocktail on arrival. You’ll be able to watch the capital’s fireworks light up the sky from a spectacular vantage point, and tuck in to the snacks at the outdoor grill. DJs will take to the decks, while the Roof Gardens gear up for their own private fireworks display at midnight.

Address: 99 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA; Dates: Friday 2nd November. Tickets cost £10. socialite-london.com

Paramount Bar

Ok, so this one isn’t technically a bonfire party, but it’s a heck of a lot warmer than our other picks and you’ll get to see the breadth of the fireworks over the whole capital. Located at the bottom of Oxford Street on the 32nd floor of Centre Point, the Tom Dixon designed Paramount Bar is a cocktail bar that’s up there on our list of favourites. You can order up a martini at the custom-made copper bar and head to a seat by one of the 360 degree floor-to-ceiling windows to soak up the views of the capital on the best night of the year. Make sure you ring in advance to be put on the guest list.

Address: Paramount Bar, Centre Point, 101-103 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DD; tel: 020 7420 2900; paramount.uk

Like our pick of the best Bonfire parties in London but looking for somewhere a little cosier to escape from the cold? Check out our pick of the best art-house cinemas in London

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