by Lizzie Franier, The Telegraph, November 12, 2018
Even though I'm half English and have been living in the UK for practically all of my adult life, Thanksgiving is still the holiday that I most adore. The way I think about it, it's like Christmas without any of the pressures (and expense) of presents. It's simply about sitting down with family and friends to enjoy a great feast.
This year, the big day falls on November 22, and a number of London hotels are putting on their own version with beautiful roast turkeys, all-American sides and decadent pies. There's also interesting renditions on the classics: thinks chestnut mac and cheese and pumpkin waffles topped with fried chicken. The added bonus being that you don't have to do any of the washing up, and if you book into one of the rooms you won't have far to go post-feast either. Go on, American or not, and try London's take on this holiday out for size.
CUT at 45 Park Lane
The quintessential British tradition of afternoon tea gets a star-spangled update at 45 Park Lane . California-born executive chef David McIntyre launched the American-themed CUTcakes & Tea earlier this year, but in the lead-up to November 22 he's gone one step further and given it a Thanksgiving twist. Picture fried turkey and buttermilk bisquets, bacon macarons, and candied pecan and maple syrup cake pops. On the day itself, CUT will serve a stylish three-course dinner, featuring roast turkey with wild mushroom stuffing and Désirée potato purée with black truffles. Cap off the evening with an American craft beer in BAR 45.
Afternoon tea is £55 per person, and is available from November 12. Three-course dinner from £110 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: 45 Park Lane
Dining Room at The Goring
If you want a seriously swish and gourmet Thanksgiving dinner this year, then the Michelin-starred Dining Room at The Goring is a pretty good bet. The six-course menu is filled with high-end ingredients, from a buttermilk pancake toped with native lobster, pickled vegetables and béarnaise sauce, to crispy fried quail with truffled white polenta and a bacon crumb. Don't worry though, the traditional turkey is still in place for one of the courses, and is served with spiced crushed roots, glazed parsnip and charred Brussels sprouts. A duo of dessert courses includes a walnut and pumpkin cake with Beauvale cheese, and pecan pie with lime and crème fraîche.
Six courses for £104 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: The Goring
Indigo at One Aldwych
Autumnal ingredients come into the spotlight on the three-course Thanksgiving menu at One Aldwych . Proceedings begin with a pumpkin velouté topped with chestnuts and rosemary, before a roast Rhug Estate turkey with a stuffed leg and cranberries. The maple glazed sweet potato that comes on the side sounds like a more sophisticated take on the classic American dish of sweet potatoes with marshmallows (yes, it is a thing, and it's better than you might think). A Valrhona chocolate and pecan pie with bourbon ice cream is the perfect sweet finish.
£45 for three courses on November 22.
Read the hotel review: One Aldwych
The Game Bird at The Stafford
It would seem fitting to begin your evening at The Stafford with a pre-dinner tipple in The American Bar. This intimate cocktail spot has kept its name from the 1930s, when many London hotels renamed their bars for the North American visitors who frequented them in search of Manhattans and Martinis. Then make the move to the dining room of The Game Bird for creamed sweetcorn soup with bacon and rye croutons, and a maple-glazed roast Norfolk turkey with all the trimmings. There's corn pudding, green beans, carmelised onions, steamed sprouts, and even a sweet potato gratin. Dessert is a traditional pumpkin pie with oat and pecan crust and buttermilk ice cream.
Three courses for £45 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: The Stafford
Hunter 486 at The Arch London
The menu at The Arch London will combine more traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a few surprising twists. Roast Norfolk turkey is of course the main event, with chestnut stuffing, sweet potato mash and cranberry sauce as excellent bedfellows. But there will also be green beans wrapped in bacon, and starters of clam chowder and spiced pumpkin salad with sweet and sour dressing. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the blueberry and lime cheesecake, as well as the mini apple and cinnamon doughnuts that arrive just as you thought you couldn't eat anything more, but somehow you will find room. Now, that's the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
£35 for four courses on November 22.
Read the hotel review: The Arch London
The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London
The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London is switching things up on November 22, and will instead serve an all-American menu in lieu of its usual British fare. If turkey isn't your thing, you can opt for roast cod with New England lobster and clam chowder or macaroni with Wisconsin cheddar, goats cheese and spiced roast corn. All come served with sweet potato and toasted marshmallow, Pennsylvania creamed corn, braised cabbage and crispy bacon. Starters and desserts also allow a range of options, with respective highlights set to be the Maryland soft shell crab and a Bramley apple pie with cinnamon custard and apple sorbet.
Three courses and a glass of champagne for £65 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: Corinthia Hotel London
Sea Containers at Mondrian London
The roasted Herefordshire turkey main at Sea Containers in Mondrian London is designed to be shared between two, and comes with pork stuffing, an array of root vegetables, cranberry compote and turkey gravy. But it's the starter of chestnut mac and cheese topped with aged parmesan and white truffle oil that arrives in a mini pumpkin that is the real draw here. There's also a dessert of sweet potato pie topped with maple Chantilly cream and served with pecan nut crumble and mango gel, and cocktails such as the Kentucky Elixr and Chic-cherry Old Fashioned to keep the festivities going.
Three courses for two people for £89, or order à la carte, from November 19-25.
Read the hotel review: Mondrian London
Red Rooster at The Curtain
The Curtain 's deep South restaurant Red Rooster understands that this holiday is all about good food, and lots of it. A special menu on Thanksgiving gives you plenty to choose from. For starters, there's the likes of chicken 'n' pumpkin waffles, and devilled eggs with duck crisp and caviar. As for the mains there's roast turkey, bourbon-glazed ham, prime rib or butternut squash gnocchi. It's followed up by a festive dessert (pecan or pumpkin pie?) and includes a 'Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini'. Performances by Heavy Beat Brass Band round out the offering.
Three courses for £55 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: The Curtain
Neptune at Kimpton Fitzroy
The soaring ceilings, curtained chandeliers and swanky pink banquettes of Neptune make for a swish spot to celebrate Thanksgiving. The restaurant is in the recently rebranded Kimpton Fitzroy (formerly The Principal) and will be serving up a special holiday menu. Start off on the East Coast, with a New England chowder made with Poole clams and smoked bacon. The main event is a Norfolk Bronze turkey, served with sharing sides of sweet potato and marshmallows, corn and cheddar biscuits, and creamed kale. But save room for the pumpkin custard tart and maple pecans, too.
Three courses from £35 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: Kimpton Fitzroy
Céleste at The Lanesborough
When Thanksgiving dinner begins with canapés and a glass of champagne, it's a good sign of things to come. That's exactly the case at Céleste at The Lanesborough . The three courses that follow include a rock oyster tartare with burnt leeks, mimosa eggs and noisette butter; turkey with roast sweet potatoes, chestnut purée and roasted juice; and a pecan pie with crunchy sablé, caramelized banana and pecan Chantilly. You can also opt for matching wines to really elevate your experience.
Three courses for £65, or £130 with accompanying wines, on November 22.
Read the hotel review: The Lanesborough
Brumus Bar & Restaurant at Haymarket Hotel
It's the starter on Haymarket Hotel 's festive menu that is the most interesting: Manhattan clam chowder, razor clams, sticky pork beignets and crispy potato. Later on, things take a more traditional turn with roast turkey, cranberry and chestnut stuffing, maple roast sweet potato, carrots and greens, before a slice of dark chocolate bourban pecan pie. At £30 for three courses, it's good value too, and would work well combined with a trip to one of the surrounding theatres.
Three courses for £30, or à la carte, on November 22.
Read the hotel review: Haymarket Hotel
Blakes Restaurant at Blakes Hotel
The slick black and gold walls and furnishing of the restaurant in Blakes Hotel give off a cosy vibe and make it seem an apt choice for a dark autumnal night. This year's Thanksgiving menu sees a roll call of classic ingredients. Picture a butternut squash soup with brussel sprouts, chickpeas and sage, followed by a Norfolk Bronze turkey with roasted veggies, cranberry sauce and hazelnut stuffing – rounded off with a decadent chocolate pecan tart with cinnamon ice cream. Bag a table by the fire for the best atmosphere.
£49 for three courses on November 22.
Read the hotel review: Blakes Hotel
Beck at Brown's
Sink into one of the floral banquettes at Beck at Brown's and prepare for a Thanksgiving feast of the best autumnal produce. There's a pumpkin soup to start with cinnamon and woodland mushrooms, and then, of course, there's a turkey main that's kitted out with cornbread stuffing, sweet potato mash, autumn greens and cranberry sauce. Dessert arrives in the form of a dark chocolate spiced pie with crème fraîche and ice cream. Afterwards, make your way to The Donovan Bar for a post-dinner cocktail, or two.
Three courses for £60 on November 22.
Read the hotel review: Brown's Hotel