Whilst still very much an US tradition, in recent years Thanksgiving has started to steadily steep into the British consciousness, becoming as much part of the social calendar as Halloween. In the London food scene particularly, it’s just another excuse for restaurants to get their turkey on, coming up with all-American menus and pumpkin-themed parties galore. So whether you have a penchant for pecan pie or just want another reason for some good ol’ fashioned feasting, here our pick of the best events happening in London around Thanksgiving on Thursday 27th November.
12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
As you’d expect from a barbecue and crab shack, the Big Easy in Covent Garden intends to take Thanksgiving dinner pretty seriously. Their feast (available all day for just £30) promises dishes such as pumpkin & squash soup with cumin and chili toasted pumpkin seeds; pit smoked turkey served ‘family style’ at the table with cornbread, pork sausage and apple stuffing, gravy, brown sugar candied sweet potatoes, creamed spinach, roast garlic dirty mash and homemade cranberry sauce. To finish (you off) there's a fresh baked pumpkin pie, topped with vanilla whipped cream.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Bar Boulud’s American Executive Chef, Dean Yasharian has put together a Thanksgiving feast highlighting the very best from his homeland.The three-course menu features Pumpkin Soup to start followed by Roast Turkey with all the trimmings, including sage stuffing, brussels sprout fondue, sweet potato and cranberry compote. For dessert, there's Pecan Pie. Priced at £45 per person, this special menu will be available all day on Thursday 27 November 2014 and will run through to Saturday 29 November 2014.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
If it's buzz you’re looking for this Thanksgiving give the menu at Balthazar a go with spiced roasted butternut squash soup, traditional roast turkey and pumpkin souffle. The pumpkin pie comes with malt ice cream. Don't forget to have a gingerbread sour created by legendary bar keeper Brian Silva before dinner.
Soho, Tower Hill, Fulham, Balham and Clapham
At £23.95, American smokehouse chain Bodeans’ Thanksgiving offering is probably one of the best in the capital. BBQ buffs can tuck into clam chowder or quesadillas to start, a sharing platter of turkey, ham and cornbread, then key lime or pumpkin pie. They will also be showing all the NFL Thanksgiving games and stocking Autumnal beers from Brooklyn Brewery’s, Brewdog, Flying Dog and Fordham.
To celebrate Thanksgiving Chiltern Firehouse will be open all day from noon to 10pm on Thursday 27th November. Executive chef, Nuno Mendes has created two special dishes, Rhug Farm Turkey slow roasted over hay with truffled stuffing and liver parfait and sides of French beans Almondine and maple bourbon sweet potatoes (£32) and for dessert, Spiced Pumpkin and Brown Butter Pie with raisin caramel and bourbon cream (£9).
18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD
Refurbished this year, Christopher’s in Covent Garden is another smart outfit serving Thanksgiving dinner. Highlights of the £52 three-course menu include slow-cooked ballotine of organic turkey with corn bread, hazelnut & Michigan cherry stuffing, cranberry relish, buttered beans & creamed
potatoes, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart. Finish with an Apple Pie Martini of cinnamon infused Zubrowka Vodka, fresh
apply & maple syrup in the Martini Bar.
45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN
CUT’s Thanksgiving menu is at the higher end of scale but, as with everything at Wolfgang Puck’s 45 Park Lane restaurant, guests can expect quality all the way. Diners will enjoy roasted pumpkin soup with cranberry quince compote and red jewell sweet potato gratin with toasted pecans. For dessert how about spiced pumpkin and vanilla gelato baked alaska. Upstairs, the Bar at 45 is serving a Black Friday Thanksgiving cocktail aged for a month in a vintage American Oak barrel.
3 Exeter Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7DT
Classic American brasserie Joe Allen has been a much-loved part of London’s restaurant scene since 1977. Famous for its theatre folk clientele and a secret burger, which everyone knows about, it’s also pretty good at putting on a Thanksgiving bash. This year’s menu, priced at £40 a head, includes pulled pork and duck terrine with spiced plum and sour dough, Sussex bronze slow-cooked turkey and maple bacon bangers, pumpkin pie and marinated cherries and petit fours to finish.
86 Park Lane, London W1K 7TL
The three course set menu (£62) here for Thanksgiving starts with a glass of Champagne or a Bloody Mary on arrival. Expect Thanksgiving classics of Turkey with all the trimmings and Pumpkin Pie (pictured above) as well as Maryland Style Lump Crab Cake and Bourbon Sweet Potato Mash. In addition you can also purchase your turkey and all the trimmings, freshly prepared by Head Chef Julian Ward.
24 Seymour Place, London, W1H 7NL
It's all about family at The Lockhart with their Thanksgiving Menu served family-style for £60 per person. Dishes are fried turkey legs, country ham, smoked brisket along with side dishes of stuffing mashed potatoes, cornbread, green bean casserole and coleslaw. For dessert, what other than pecan pie?
Park Lane Hilton, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE
Kick start your Thanksgiving with some seasonal cocktails at Trader Vics where they're putting on Pumpkin Mojitos and Wild Turkey Sours. There'll be a live band playing American tune and the full Thanksgiving menu will be available on the night itself featuring butternut squash soup with goat cheese, apricot glazed roast turkey with stuffing and pumpkin pie with salted caramel ice cream.
55 Shirland Road, Maida, Vale, London, W9 2JD
If you want to get out of central London for Thanksgiving, gastro pub The Truscott Arms in leafy Maida Vale has a three-course harvest menu running from 12pm-9.30pm. This family-focused feast at £40 per adult and £20 per child includes Champagne on arrival, Butternut bisque and cheddar biscuits, roast turkey with cornbread, bacon, leek and pecan Stuffing and both pecan and pumpkin pies. It's all served family-style and available at lunch and dinner.
199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Just opened at the Hoxton Holborn hotel, Hubbard and Bell is taking its American influences into its Thanksgiving menu too. They'll have traditional Smoked turkey leg, cranberry, pumpkin, green bean and well as the staple of Pumpkin Pie for dessert. The dishes will be available on Thursday 27th November from noon until midnight.
Also worth checking out
- BRGR.co are launching a Pilgrim burger which is a 6oz turkey and thyme burger, with cranberry ketchup, hash and buttered sprout leaves, served alongside pigs on a stick and fries (£10.95). It's available from 24-30 November.
- Stay at The Ritz over Thanksgiving and enjoy a special menu of clam chowder, Norfolk Bronze turkey with all of the traditional trimmings, and delicate pumpkin soufflé. Priced from £1,246 for two nights' accommodation, Thanksgiving lunch or dinner on Thursday 27th November, English breakfast each morning and a gift of a Ritz Candle.
- Royal China restaurants are putting their own take on a traditional Thanksgiving with a menu that includes Almond flavoured Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat (£8.50); Empress Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion (£13.50); and Apple in Toffee Syrup (£5.50).
- Ben's Canteen are doing a a special Thanksgiving Burger: Turkey & Stuffing Patty topped with Smoked Bacon, Smoked Cheese and Maple Mayo. You can get this with Sweet Potato Chips and a Pecan Pie with Ice Cream for dessert for £16 and expect some eggnog too. It'll be available from 5pm on the 27th Nov.
- Q Grill in Camden will have a special Thanksgiving menu on the 27th. It's a three course set menu including Clam Chowder with spiced corn bread, Roast turkey served with maple glazed root vegetables and wilted sprout tops and lastly Chocolate and pumpkin pie for dessert.
- Jackson & Rye (Soho, Chiswick and Richmond) have a two or three course meal (£14.50/£17.95) with roasted pumpkin soup with truffle and grilled garlic shrimps, creamed grits, crispy buttermilk turkey breast served with spiced cranberry slaw and sides of mac & cheese and sweet potato fries. Desserts are either pecan pie and rye whiskey ice cream or toasted marshmallows topped with chocolate sauce on offer. It's available on the 27th.
- The Rib Room will have pecan pie alongside a bottle of Peroni premium beer for £12 in the bar, and a three course meal of of Monterey Jack cheese straws, turkey with Ontario cranberries and sweet potato purée, and pecan nut pie with bourbon ice cream for £58 per person. All on the 27th.
- Big Easy in Covent Garden has a family-style Thanksgiving feast on the 27th. For £30 you'll get pumpkin & squash soup with cumin & chili toasted pumpkin seeds; pit smoked turkey served ‘family style’ at the table with cornbread, pork sausage and apple stuffing, gravy, brown sugar candied sweet potatoes, creamed spinach, roast garlic dirty mash and homemade cranberry sauce.
- United Ramen has a few specials on the menu on the 27th including teriyaki sweet potato with sesame and spring onion as well as potato and chive rosti with katsu sauce. And of course, there's also a special turkey ramen made with a special turkey-bone based broth and topped with turkey leg ballotine, cranberry sauce, ginger soy runner beans, braised shitake, spicy buttered sweetcorn, turkey gravy and fried sage.