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 28th November.
332-334 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR
As you’d expect from the infamous Chelsea-based barbecue and crab shack, the Big Easy on the Kings Road takes Thanksgiving dinner pretty seriously. This year’s three-course feast (available all day for just £29.50) promises to be better than ever with dishes including lobster and butternut squash soup to start; farm-raised herb roasted turkey stuffed with bacon and leek (not to mention uber traditional Southern sides such as cornbread, green bean casserole and angel biscuits); followed by an indulgent three-layered red velvet cake or pumpkin pie. Once you’ve had you fill, kick back with an Apple and Cinnamon Margarita or (if you can move) throw some shapes when the live band starts at 8.30pm.
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. Not including wine (though if you wanted to, Head Sommelier David Vaielle is opening three-litre bottles of 2010 Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet from his cellar for the occaision) his three-course menu is priced at £45 a head and, amoungst the expected turkey with all the trimmings, will include a pumpkin and pecan pie created by Head Pastry Chef Hélène Rosier. Should you not want to fork out for the full meal, these swoon-inducing pies, which serve eight, are available to take away.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
Keith McNally’s London outpost of the New York brasserie Balthazar may have divided the critics when it opened its well-polished doors earlier this year, but the fun factor was unanimous. So if its buzz you’re looking for this Thanksgiving, we’d give their £45 set menu a whirl. Choose from spiced butternut squash soup or winter kale salad to start; turkey with chestnut stuffing or whole salmon en croute; then pumpkin soufflé, coffee ice cream and pecan pie & malt ice cream.
Soho, Tower Hill, Fulham and Clapham
At £22.95, 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 Brooklyn Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale.
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 £48 three-course menu include slow-cooked ballotine of turkey with hazelnut & Michigan cherry stuffing and a peanut butter chocolate tart. Finish with a cocktail in the stunning Martini Bar.
45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1PN
At £90 per person, 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. Going down a traditional route with a luxe twist, diners will tuck into pumpkin soup, roasted turkey with roasted chestnuts and squash, Red Jewell sweet potato gratin with toasted pecans; finishing with puddings including a Bourbon Pecan pie. To make the day all the more spectacular, the head mixologist at Bar 45 has created a show stopping cocktail - an infused martini that cleverly changes colour and taste (now we really need to see that).
97-113 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BS
New Shoreditch opening Far Rockaway has a traditional Thanksgiving a la carte menu on offer. Begin with Cherry Stone Clam Chowder (£8.50), while for mains it's got to be Maple Roasted Organic Turkey with yellow corn stuffing, roasted sweet potato, honey cured bacon and spiced cranberry relish (£22.50). If you still have room there's also Pumpkin pie for £7 to follow.
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, Mayfair, London, W1K 7TN
If CUT doesn’t
24 Seymour Place, London, W1H 7NL
American wine is the focus of The Lockhart’s Thanksgiving banquet, the three-course menu paired with some of the Napa Valley’s finest courtesy of Wines of California. Food has not been totally forgotten at the ‘Southwest US Kitchen’ near Marble Arch however, with dishes including Texas caviar (black eyed peas and pickled jalapenos), maple-glazed ham, turkey and classic pumpkin and pecan pies with bourbon ice cream.
292-294 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LH
This chicken rotisserie restaurant changes its menu every week, so the week of Thanksgiving there's a distinct American feel about the menu. There's a starter of Maple Ribs With Cornbread & Sour Cream, the main course Rotisserie Sutton Hoo Chicken comes with ‘Green Bean Casserole’ and desserts are "Pumpkin-ish Pie" or Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream. It's the usual steal at £17 for two courses and £22 for three.
They've also a few bookings left for their private dining which includes lobster rolls, roast capon, sweet potato mash, pumpkin pie, maple and pecan ice cream and loads more for £50 each for 8-14 people.
Soho Bar & Diner
19-21 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 5JJ
Just over three months old (it opened on 4th July) this will be the first Thanksgiving celebration for Soho House groups’ Soho Bar & Diner – but that don’t mean it aint gonna to be a good one. Slip into one of their booths and tuck into their Philly cheese steak sandwich with a side of mac n’ cheese and finish with a banana split and one of their on-tap cocktails including Root to Mule.
The Truscott Arms
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 confit garlic croutons; turkey with trimmings such as creamed corn and cranberry maple jelly; and a selection of pecan, pumpkin and pear & almond pie with cinnamon cream.
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