While still very much a US tradition, in recent years Thanksgiving has started to steadily steep into the British consciousness, not least because of the greater influx of American chefs and restaurants. In the London food scene particularly, it’s a good 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 26th November.
292-294 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LH
Islington's LeCoq has a weekly changing menu and they'll be switching it over to a Thanksgiving themed one for the week of 23-29 November. It'll be their usual 2 courses for £17 and 3 courses for £22 and include "Ribs, Cornbread & Sour Cream", "Deep Fried Yams & Chiptole", "Rotisserie Sutton Hoo Chicken with Bean and Root Hash" and "Pumpkin Pie with Brandy Cream".On the day itself they'll be adding some more specials of lobster rolls and s’mores tart.
181 Clarence Road, London, E5 8EE
On the 26th, Verden in Clapton will be hosting Rita's for a one-night-only Thanksgiving evening. Rita’s head chef Gabriel Pryce will be putting on a menu featuring "Spiced chicken livers, bitter leaves, pecan and corn crumb", "Roast and confit turkey, cornbread stuffing, brown butter sweet potato and greens" and "Pumpkin pie, toasted marshmallow and cool whip". Alongside this, Verden will be pulling together a list of the very best American wine and beer. And even if you're just popping in for a drink, there will be a special bar menu for the night with Rita’s cocktails, Californian wine and US craft beer.
Various Bodean's locations
This year, all the Bodean's restaurants have a special Thanksgiving Burger on the menu from 23 - 29 November. That'll be the "6oz succulent seasoned turkey patty mounted on homemade corn stuffing, topped with tangy cranberry relish, fresh watercress and a hand-carved slice of juicy turkey ham smothered in a thick gravy." for £9.75. Plus they'll have Brooklyn Brewery's Post Road Pumpkin Ale and a Thanksgiving Manhattan on hand too.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
Covent Garden's Balthazar has all-American classics on the menu, including spiced roasted butternut squash soup, traditional roast turkey and pecan pie. And if you're only passing, you should pop into the Boulangerie (from 23 - 26 Nov) which will have s’mores, pecan pies, pumpkin tarts and iced pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on the shelves.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
At the Mandarin Oriental, Bar Boulud has a pretty special Thanksgiving menu for the day itself, costing £45 per person. There are three courses, including Velouté de Chaitaignes - chestnut velouté, duck gizzard confit, butternut squash sponge, Degustation de Dinde - turkey breast, leg galantine, white sausage, sage stuffing, brussels sprout fondue, sweet potato, cranberry compote and La Noix Pecan - pecan cream, pear and vanilla gel, almond shortcrust pastry, caramelised walnut ice cream, thin dentelle tuile.
12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
Both the original Chelsea Big Easy and the Covent Garden version will have a special Thanksgiving feast for £30 a person on the day. That'll have Butternut Squash Soup; ‘farm to table’ herb roasted turkey with southern slow cooked gravy, Grandma Emma’s Apple cranberry chutney, sweet potatoes mash, green bean casserole and coleslaw. For dessert, they'll have Key lime pie or homemade pumpkin pie.
Nuno Mendes is putting on a Thanksgiving feast for Chiltern Firehouse, including Hay Roasted Organic Turkey with sausage, truffle and foie gras stuffing, buttered brioche and a sour berry jus (£32) with sides of Maple Bourbon Sweet Potatoes (£6) and Green Beans almondine (£6). For dessert, there's Pecan Pie with Bourbon Cream (£9). It'll be available on the 26th.
18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD
This year, Christopher's has a three course menu for £55 on the day, including Blackened Shrimps with Sunchoke & Truffle Cream, Shaved Blue Mountain Truffle, Pistachio Crumbs; Slow-cooked Ballotine of Organic Turkey with Corn bread, Hazelnut & Michigan Cherry Stuffing and Pear & Almond Cobbler with Blackberry Compote & Salted Caramel Ice Cream.
They'll have some special Thanksgiving cocktails too, including "Pumpkin Rum Fun" - Appleton 12yo Rum, Pumpkin Puree, Orange Juice, Demerara Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice & Butter served warm in a copper mug.
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. They'll have a three course Thanksgiving menu, including Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cranberry Quince compote and Roasted Turkey with Wild Mushroom Stuffing and Braised Greens. The desserts will have a thanksgiving twist, adding Spiced Pumpkin & Vanilla Baked Alaska (with Candied Pumpkin Seeds) and Bourbon Pecan Pie with maple ice cream. The set menu (with non-thanksgiving options too) is £90 a head.
24 Seymour Place, London, W1H 7NL
This year at The Lockhart, Brad McDonald is putting on a special menu for Thanksgiving, available on the 26th. £50 will get you a glass of Michelle Brut sparkling wine from Columbia Valley, and a menu that includes Smoked Turkey with Bourbon Gravy, Mashed Potato, Oyster and Country Ham Stuffing, Collard Greens, Marshmallow and Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Chantilly.
43-51 Great Titchfield St, London, W1W 7PQ
Riding House Café are putting on a special menu for the evening for £40. That'll start with a Southern Belle - made with homemade ‘Southern Comfort’, sweet potato syrup and cranberry juice. The main event will include Roast Norfolk Bronze Turkey, Maple-Buttered Sweet Potatoes and Truffle Mac & Cheese. Plus Chocolate Pecan Pie for dessert.
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
American chef Seamus Mullen has a four course Thanksgiving dinner planned for Sea Containers. For £65, it'll start with Wood Roasted Celeriac Soup with winter truffles while and for the main course there's a Roasted Norfolk Turkey with mushroom pine nut stuffing, crispy fried Brussels sprouts, Sobrasada sausage, roasted potatoes, turkey sherry vinaigrette and the healthier option of a Thanksgiving Warm Salad. Deserts include a Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake and a Brown Butter Pecan Pie.
26 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QD
Brad McDonald's new restaurant is getting in on the Thanksgiving action this year. They'll be putting on a Thanksgiving Sandwich filled with smoked turkey and cranberry, mashed potato and served in a potato bun with giblet gravy on the side. The sandwich will be available at lunch and post dinner on 26th November. And if you miss that on the 26th, don't worry - the sandwich will remain on the menu for the weekend.
1-11 John Adam St, London WC2N 6HT
Newly arrived American steakhouse Smith & Wollensky will have a three course Thanksgiving dinner available from 26-28 November. As well as a glass of sparkling Michelle Brut, that'll have a choice of sunchoke and wild mushroom soup or gravadlax to start; herb-roasted turkey with sausage and cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and red wine gravy, beetroot and shallot tart, or a signature 14oz USDA Prime dry-aged sirloin steak for main and pumpkin and pecan pie with malted vanilla ice-cream or chocolate marquise with whipped cream for dessert.
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. It's £40 per adult and £20 per child includes Champagne on arrival, Butternut bisque and cheddar biscuits, roast turkey with cornbread and chestnut stuffing, sweet potatoes with caramelised apples and both pecan and pumpkin pies (plus a broccoli and rice casserole for vegetarians). It's all served family-style and available at lunch and dinner.
Ramsay likes a bit of Thanksgiving it seems, so three of his restaurants are taking part this year. First, there's the Narrow which has a three course meal for £35 with herb-stuffed turkey and honey roast root vegetables, pigs in blankets and cornbread. And to finish, pecan pie with bourbon vanilla ice-cream (the boozy kind).
The Savoy Grill, meanwhile, has a five course menu for £65 with traditional Yorkshire turkey served surrounded by roast yams, cornbread stuffing, braised red cabbage and jus de rôti and for dessert spiced pumpkin pie with whisky maple syrup ice-cream.
Finally his two new Maze Grills on Park Walk and New Hospital Road are doing a menu for £35 with sharing starters that include grilled cheese and jalapeno cornbread with maple bacon butter, smashed avocado and sweet potato chips and buttermilk fried chicken with blue cheese and hot sauce. Also served family-style is roast turkey with sides of chilli, garlic and lemon collard greens, grilled corn on the cob with chimichurri dressing and smashed pumpkin with orange and lime. And there's bourbon-soaked drunken Monkey Bread for dessert.
Also worth checking out
- The Mount Street Deli will have all manner of Thanksgiving goodies on the day, including crab chowder, a turkey ballotine sandwich, and a great sounding salad - roasted Brussels sprouts salad with spiced sweet potato, green beans, cranberries and a maple-pecan dressing. They'll have fresh pumpkin pies too.
- 34 Restaurant will have a special Thanksgiving menu - New England shellfish chowder, roast turkey with cranberry stuffing and caramel pumpkin pie, served with maple ice cream.
- Slap Ya Papa are having a special New Orleans style Thanksgiving celebration at Styx in North London from Thursday 26th up until Saturday 28th. Expect a banquet featuring Deep Fried Turkey and Glazed Roast Ham, served with Cornbread Stuffing, Candied Yams, Squash Casserole, FANCY Green Beans, Smoked Glazed Baby Carrots, Truffled Brussel Sprouts, Creamed Collard Greens, Super Sweet Potatoes, Oyster Dressing, and Cranberry Sauce.
- Draft House will be having a Thanksgiving Beer Feast with turkey platters and matched beer - plus all Draft Houses will have Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale for the week of Thanksgiving.
- Melt Room in Soho will have a Thanksgiving Melt - pulled turkey, roast sweet potato, stuffing, and Montgomery jack cheese in between two pieces of sourdough bread and cranbeery sauce on the side.
- Boneyard in Shoreditch will have a Thanksgiving Feast burger on the day - "the turkey breast burger patty, with Boneyard’s secret stuffing mixed through, is topped with cranberry mayo, smoked sweet potato hash and honey roast ham." It'll be £9.
- Pont St in Belgravia are putting on a Thanksgiving Feast for £55 including roast bronze turkey and sweet potato topped with caramelised marshmallow.
- Q Grill in Camden has a three course menu for £35 a head on the day, including "Turkey-with-all-the-trimmings to Truffled mac & cheese and Chocolate, pumpkin & pecan tart".
- There will be a Thanksgiving pizza at Rocket restaurants "topped with succulent roast turkey in a honey-soy glaze, pancetta, creamy Gorgonzola, roasted pumpkin, sweetcorn and zucchini, finished with a delightful drizzle of cranberry sauce." It'll be available from Monday 23 - Sunday 29 for £13.50. Although check individual restaurant openings as some aren't open during the weekend.
- Parlour in Kensal Rise will have a two course menu at lunch (£10) and dinner (£18) featuring "roast turkey with sprouts, cranberries, gravy and the ever-intriguing dish of Sweet Potato with marshmallows."
- The newly arrived Hotel Chantelle will have a Thanksgiving Feast from 24-26 November featuring Figs Brulee, Butternut Squash Risotto, and a Roasted Turkey with chestnut brioche stuffing for £35 per person.
- Trader Vics has created a special Thanksgiving menu for £40 per person, available only on 26th November. Diners can expect all of the classic Thanksgiving dishes, including a roast Butternut squash soup with crème fraiche and the famous roast Turkey with stuffing and fresh herb gravy. Wash it all down with a Tiki Mai Tai.
- Royal China is offering a twist on traditional Thanksgiving dishes on the day itself, serving a unique menu based on traditional Thanksgiving and autumn flavours including Almond flavoured Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat, Empress Chicken with Ginger and Spring Onion and Apple in Toffee Syrup.
- Dirty Bones in Soho and Kensington have a trio of limited edition ‘thank-FULL’ specials available from 26-29 November. A two course sharing menu will include a group platter of free range fried chicken, jalapeño corn bread muffins and rosemary fries with sage gravy for dipping. That's followed by chocolate ganache tart with pumpkin pie gelato and pumpkin brittle. It's £22 (min 2 persons)
- The Magazine restaurant at Serpentine Sackler is open for a rare dinner on Thanksgiving - £40 a head for three courses and an American cocktail on arrival. There are also American wine pairings for each course (£55 a head for three courses) and live music on the night.
- Soho's Melt Room is putting on an American-inspired Thanksgiving melt consisting of pulled turkey, roast sweet potato, stuffing, and Montgomery jack cheese in between two pieces of sourdough bread, and of course, a side of cranberry sauce.