A Guide to Thanksgiving in London
If you’re an American travelling through London, you might feel as though Thanksgiving is not really a big deal here. We don’t blame you, I mean if you’ve ever had a conversation with someone British about Thanksgiving, we can bet it probably went something like this:
What is Thanksgiving actually about: It’s just a catholic tradition
Nope: Something about Abraham Lincoln?
Guess again: I thought it was just about a massive harvest that we had to give thanks for.
Last chance: No, no, no you’re over complicating it, it’s just to show much we like food.
Seriously, lets put an end to the confusion. Thanksgiving has been celebrated since the 1620′s. It commemorates the first good harvest which took place after a particularly cold winter, which saw the deaths of a large number of pilgrims. In the US, it’s almost as big a holiday as Christmas, some would say bigger, and it’s celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the Month. Just because we can’t define it, doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate it, as a matter of fact, we celebrate it pretty well! We’re not promising Martha Stewart in a can but here’s how you can have a good old fashioned Thanksgiving knees up in London.
Restaurant recommendation number one has to be The Big Easy. On any normal day, this feels like a real deal American crab shack plucked straight out of the The OC (although unlike the characters in The OC you don’t hate everyone there) so, when it comes to Thanksgiving you know they’ll show you a good time. Their set menu is only 29 quid and if your still umming and arring, first course on the menu is lobster. Tempted? For something a bit more plush with a broader selection of gourmet food, head to Hix in Mayfair. It’s double the price of The Big Easy and we would say a lot less of an atmosphere, but if that’s your cup of tea…or should we say pumpkin spiced latte, then do it. Last on our list is the cosy little Breakfast Club. It’s cheap and cheerful and best of all, they’ve chosen pecan pie for their menu, the far superior thanksgiving pudding to pumpkin pie. Who can resist sweet crunchy hot caramelised pecans!
Thanksgiving and Wholefoods go together like peanut butter and jelly time. They’re scattered all across London and decked out for the event. Where else would you find a whole pumpkin pie making station? You don’t need to wander through the busy isles, it’s all there ready for you to scoop up and throw into your basket. They also sell the impossible to find, tinned pumpkin puree, which is key for the perfect pie. Americans if your missing home then you’ll feel a little bit closer to your roots when the check out girl asks, ‘would you like your receipt?’, in an American accent.
Thanksgiving Supper Clubs
Supper clubs are popping up all over London these days. They’re sociable, affordable and fun… and mostly BYOB which is always a winner. Grumblings of a Greedy Girl , takes place in tooting market this Saturday with festive turkey burgers and mac and cheese on the menu. If you don’t normally venture to the deep south of Tooting then don’t fear there are a bunch of pubs, most of them under the Antic umbrella, just round the corner for before or afters. Ever heard of Thanksgivingukkah? You and us both. So, apparently this Thanksgiving Thursday coincides with day one of Hanukkah, something which won’t happen for another 70,000 years. I mean,we’re not quite sure why that is SO exciting, but the fact that their pop up is in the Olympic Park and that they’ll be dishing out samples of weird and wonderful Jewish treats like glazed turkey with Challah stuffing, makes it totally worth the visit!
There you were thinking that you’d have to give up and head home to the US for Thanksgiving. Ye of little faith. We may not have turkey parades. We may not have American accents. But if anything, just be thankful for the fact that we have shops that stay open on Thanksgiving, so when you have to go for an emergency bottle of wine at 11pm to drown your sorrows for being here and not at home, you can.