Fun Activities To Plan For Sober October

Sober October is right around the corner. If you’re thinking of giving up alcohol next month, don’t be put off by a lack of things to do that don't involve a drink. From escape rooms and Bake Off experiences, to pottery and film nights, here are some of the best non-boozy activities the capital has to offer…

PERFECT YOUR LATTE ART: Artisan Coffee School

Artisan Coffee School was founded in 2015 by Edwin and Magda who also own popular Artisan coffee shops in East Sheen, Ealing, Putney and Stamford Brook. As well as serving coffee, the team also offers coffee courses for everyone from amateur coffee-lovers to barista pros. ‘Both the Signature Masterclass’ and ‘Home Brew Masterclass’ are held in a specially built workshop at the Ealing Artisan coffee shop, where the school provides top-draw training in barista skills and brewing techniques, as well as sensory and roasting courses. Ideal for budding coffee enthusiasts looking to hone their talents and impress guests at home with a great cup of coffee.

32 New Broadway, Ealing, W5 2XA

Visit ArtisanCoffeeSchool.com

TRY AN ESCAPE ROOM: AIM Escape

AIM Escape aims to take the escape room concept to a new high and is for anyone who likes their escape rooms filled with extreme challenges, complex narratives and hyper-realistic sets and props. Gone are the days of locks, combinations and keys – AIM offers a fully automated experience. Each of the four rooms tells a different story, where your group of up to five will solve mysteries and unravel the plot in order to earn your freedom. Aside from one aimed at stag dos, three other games on offer include ‘Patient Zero’, ‘Psychopath’s Den’ and ‘Spy Heroes’. All safety measures are in place, according to government guidelines.

8 Canter Way, Whitechapel, E1 8PS

Visit AimEscape.com

GET BAKING: The Big London Bake

Has the new series of Great British Bake Off inspired you to get in the kitchen more? Based in Tooting, The Big London Bake is back with its own marquee and 12 well-spaced-out cooking stations. At The Big London Bake, you've got 90 minutes to whisk, roll and drizzle your way towards a winning bake. The team will give you all the instructions, tools and tips to create a showstopper, ready to be judged at the end. There’s a new bake on offer each month, for those you fancy honing their skills on a regular basis. 

38 Tooting High Street, Tooting, SW17 0RG

Visit TheBigLondonBake.com

GET IMMERSIVE: The Crystal Maze Live Experience

The Crystal Maze Live Experience opened a second, much larger site in the West End last year. New safety measures have been put in place: groups won’t mix, sets are cleaned down between groups, masks must be worn at all times, and hand sanitising stations have been installed around the venue. The games mirror those on the show: some require mental agility, while physical tasks see participants clambering over net ladders to grab a gem. But nothing beats the feeling as the wind machine fires up in the Crystal Dome, where you’ll compete for gold tokens. Start the fans, please!

22-32 Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly, W1D 7EU

Visit The-Crystal-Maze.com

HEAD TO A GALLERY: Science Museum

Open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm, new measures have been put in place at the Science Museum to help maintain social distancing and ensure visitors can enjoy themselves safely. Where possible, interactive exhibits have been kept open (including the impressive Wonderlab gallery) with an enhanced cleaning regime, while some highly interactive spaces that are not heavily staffed remain closed until further notice. If you fancy making a whole day, why not also visit the Natural History Museum and the V&A, which are both next door. Make sure to pre-book your free ticket in advance.

Exhibition Road, Kensington, SW7 2DD

Visit ScienceMuseum.org.uk

PLAY CRAZY GOLF: Swingers

After successfully launching in the City in 2016, crazy golf club Swingers opened a larger site in the West End in 2018. Now the venue has reopened – with all safety measures in place – with a new theme. The latest holes, which are inspired by the fairground, will feature clocktowers, waterwheels, carousels and ferris wheels. Street-food vendors located in beach huts include Patty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims and Breddos Tacos and Hackney Gelato (an ideal cocktail replacement) – all of which are available to order via an app to avoid unnecessary contact. Other crazy golf options across the city include Junkyard Golf, Plonk and Puttshack.

8 Brown's Buildings, City, EC3A 8AL & 15 John Prince's Street, Marylebone, W1G 0AB

Visit Swingers.Club

MAKE YOUR OWN CERAMICS: Turning Earth

Super-stylish ceramic community Turning Earth has a range of evening masterclasses for beginners. Across its two sites in Hoxton and Leyton, courses run year-round and everyone is taught by an experienced artist. It’s only 12 students per teacher – now all spread out two-metres apart – so you can expect plenty of individual attention, with classes covering both hand-building techniques and wheel throwing. When students ‘graduate’, they can become a studio member, coming and going whenever they want to get making. Be quick – when new classes go on sale, they tend to sell out instantly.

Arches 361-362 Whiston Road, Hoxton, E2 8BW & 11 Argall Avenue, Leyton, E10 7QE

Visit TurningEarth.org

HAVE AFTERNOON TEA: Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

A firm favourite with fashionistas, Prêt-à-Portea puts a contemporary twist on afternoon tea with its collection of bold catwalk cakes. This season’s ‘cakewalk’ is an homage to the Autumn-Winter designs taking the catwalks by storm. Expect to sample a Molly Goddard gown, transformed into pink spun sugar encasing a cinnamon financier filled with Pink Lady apple mousse and apple compote; and an ode to Jacquemus’s ‘Le Micro Chiquito’ handbag, which has been reimagined as an almond and blackcurrant cake with chocolate garnish, finished with a cassis mirror glaze. The tea also includes a collection of elegant canapés and finger sandwiches, and guests can choose a loose-leaf tea from the team’s extensive collection.

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL

Visit The-Berkeley.co.uk

SEE A FILM: The Prince Charles Cinema

After closing in March, the Prince Charles Cinema is reopening with a full programme in October. The Leicester Square indie movie spot is the place to head for a rotating programme of cult, arthouse, and classic films alongside recent Hollywood releases. Capacity has been reduced by 75% to offer the safest possible environment – perfect for anyone looking to curl up with a classic film away from their sofa. Upcoming films include David Byrne’s American Utopia, Mean Girls, Lost In Translation and Fight Club.

7 Leicester Place, West End, WC2H 7BY

Visit PrinceCharlesCinema.com

SEE AN EXHIBITION: British Museum

Bloomsbury’s British Museum is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8m works, and is among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Among its most famous artefacts are the controversial Elgin’s Marbles, its selection of ancient Egyptian mummies and original sketches by Leonardo da Vinci. The British Museum is free to get into (although certain temporary exhibitions do have an entrance fee), but you will need to book online for your timed entry into the venue. The British Library next door is also worth a visit.

Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG

Visit BritishMuseum.org

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