Black Friday, bad politics, the phrase ‘y’all’: why do we keep importing the worst bits of American culture? Instead of introducing, we should take their best ideas – mainly their food. And Thanksgiving is a time when they produce some of the best food so of course we’re on board! But if you can’t make it to the States this year, don’t worry. A number of London restaurants have wised up to how big Thanksgiving could be over this side of the Atlantic and are offering delicious feasts on the day to celebrate.
What: Traditional American Thanksgiving Roast
Why: Villandry might have an elegant, European feel to each of its three cafes, but they certainly know how to do a proper blow-out U.S. feast. Their Thanksgiving menu brings the traditional American dish of a roast bronze turkey served with the whole shebang of sides – chestnut stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots and parsnips, gravy and cranberry sauce. And there’s homemade pecan pie for pudding – provided you have enough space.
Where: 12 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AU
What: London's Oldest Hotel Goes All American
Why: With none other than the legendary Mark Hix on board (Tramshed, Pharmacy 2, HIX Mayfair), the Thanksgiving feast on offer at Brown’s hotel is next level. Taking traditional Thanksgiving ingredients and giving them a cheffy twist, guests will enjoy a warming woodland mushroom soup before the main event; roasted Holly Farm free-range turkey. And the pumpkin pie is not just any pumpkin pie, it’s served with Peruvian Gold chocolate. Boom.
Where: Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BP
What: Kooky Fried Chicken Specialists Take on a Bigger Bird
Why: Fried chicken specialists Absurd Bird aren’t about to be left out of this turkey celebration. They’re offering a stuffed turkey crown rubbed in Southern spices, an intriguing twist on the usual Thanksgiving set-up of gravy and vegetables. Big Mama’s Favourite Southern-style smoked whole chicken caters for those turkey-sceptics out there. And if you’re sick of pumpkin and pecan by now, there’s something called a Crack Brownie for dessert. Crazy.
Where: 25 Peter Street, Soho, W1F 0AH
What: New York restaurant brings Thanksgiving to London
Why: When it comes to something like Thanksgiving, you can probably trust the Americans. Avenue is a proper New York restaurant in St. James’ with some serious Manhattan-style glitz. And yet for all the glamour, their 3-course family-style Thanksgiving feast is just £30, with two courses at £25. As well as the big bird itself, there’s sweet potato gumbo with buttermilk corn bread, New England-style clam chowder and key lime pie.
Where: 7-9 St James's Street, London, SW1A 1EE
What: Maple-syrup Infused Stateside Feast
Why: The stars and stripes are coming to life in Mayfair. Head to Blades, on the first floor of Hush Mayfair, to be treated to some real Stateside excess. Like the Maple Mark cocktail, featuring Kentucky’s finest handmade Maker’s Mark bourbon and maple syrup, before tucking in to copper pot mac-n-cheese and sticky barbecued short back ribs. It’s £25 for two courses or £29 for three, with the maple syrup bourbon included in both. Yeehaw!
Where: 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London, W1S 1EY
What: Thanksgiving feasting, Texas-style
Why: It doesn’t get any more American than Texas. Luckily the Lone Star State’s famously enormous feasts are closer than you think. Bermondsey to be precise. Texas Joe’s are offering a Thanksgiving feast ‘the Texan way’ – expect slow-smoked turkey, chipotle glazing on the vegetables, and gallons of bourbon to wash it down. It’s £40, but with typical Texan generosity that price is all you can eat, including two Texas-sized shots of Garrison Brothers, the first organic bourbon in the UK and the oldest family run distillery in Texas.
Where: 8-9 Snowsfields, Southwark, SE1 3SU
What: Four-course Feast in a Stylish Setting
Why: In the States, the Thanksgiving meal begins early on in the afternoon – to give the whole family plenty of time to get through it. For the authentic experience, go beyond the traditional 3-courses. In the Amaranto Lounge of the Four Seasons Hotel, they’re offering 4-courses this Thanksgiving for £55. Start off with some delicious Rockefeller oysters before warming up with the roasted potimarron squash veloute before finally tucking in to the Rhug Estate roasted organic turkey with bread stuffing. There’s a whole host of pies for pudding, from hazlenut to pecan and pumpkin. The only trouble is choosing between them…
Where: Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7DR
What: Champagne and Lobster
Why: Want something with a little more finesse this Thanksgiving? Look no further than Sea Containers. This ‘transatlantic restaurant’ offers a glass of Champagne on arrival, followed by souped-up classics such as shrimp mac ‘n’ cheese with Mornay sauce, a clay-baked half lobster for those who don’t like turkey and a roasted Norfolk bird for those who do. If pie doesn’t suit you, plump for pumpkin cheesecake instead.
Where: Mondrian London at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
What: Mac 'n' Cheese and Pecan Pie
Why: Come Thanksgiving, Bronte will be serving up a menu which quite frankly makes us wish Thanksgiving happened at least once a week. Dishes include mac ‘n’ cheese served with maple bacon and Taleggio cheese; Maryland crab cakes; roast turkey, pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake with carrot and orange sorbet. Then again, probably best it doesn’t happen more than once a year for the sake of our waistlines.
Where: 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5EJ
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