Thanksgiving in London

We will be traveling to London for Thanksgiving 2012 to visit our daughter who is attending the University there. Can anyone recommend a restaurant that serves a traditional Thanksgiving meal?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8727 posts

I'd be interested to see the answers on this question. The turkey in the UK is cooked and served very differently to that in the US. You might be surprised to see small sausages and bacon on and around the turkey and it being served with bread sauce. Thanksgiving Day is neither celebrated nor even noticed in the UK. Maybe an expat group meets for a get together; maybe the Embassy does one for VIPs but the only US style T-Day do I've ever seen is in my dining room, and that not very often. You can get cranberries frozen, as well as in jars, very easily in most good supermarkets around then as they will be laying in stock for Christmas when most English have their bird. I know a few places to get Libbys pumpkin pie filling and other fixin's are available including a secret source for (very expensive) Pepperidge Farm Stuffing so maybe daughter could whip up something in her flat? My ears are expectantly waiting...

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9088 posts

I was in London once during the US Thanksgiving. A guy at the pub greeted me with "Happy Thanksgiving, Yank." Other than that, it could have been any other day of the year. I'm guessing that finding a traditional US Thanksgiving celebration in London is going to be like finding a Guy Fawkes or Bastille Day observance in Los Angeles. Find some ex-pats or a business that caters to them. Otherwise, probably nothing at all.

Posted by D.D.
England
375 posts

I know you asked for a specific recommendation for a restaurant, so my response will not directly answer your question. I'll throw it out there anyway in case it is useful for you or other posters who will be travelling on American holidays. My recommendation is to do something totally new on the holiday that is as different as can be from how you usually celebrate it. This will create some interesting stories and fond memories. As Americans living abroad, we often travel on our holidays. For example, some of our Thanksgivings have included having squid at a little Mom-and-Pop restaurant in Italy, having an elaborate afternoon Tea in Bath, enjoying a cinnamony chicken dish in Morocco, and having Tapas in Spain. Yes, I love our American traditions, but I've had a lot of those in my life and I hope to have many more. But for now while we're here, there's something to be said for immersing ourselves in something different.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1634 posts

Kathy, in England Thanksgiving day is just another day. They do not celebrate it nor do they even acknowledge it. I would go to...The Sherlock Holmes pub near Trafalgar Square and have a great pub meal.

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2001 posts

As noted by OP's Turkey Day isn't celebrated world wide. Remember our history. The revolution fought in the 1700's that separated us from England. All over the colonists hatred of taxes. (What's new?!) Christmas, Halloween and Easter are celebrated worldwide because of their European religious and pagan origins. You will be in one of the greatest cities on the planet. As a guest partake in an English tradition and enjoy a pub meal. Pub grub these days is stellar as many of the pubs have evolved into gastro pubs. Great way to experience London's charm and excellent food. Here are some places to try (look up their menus online), The Anchor and Hope near Waterloo Station, The Pig's Ear in Chelsea, The WhiteHorse on Parson's Green, The Tea Clipper near Harrod's, and lastly, The Oxford in Kentish Town where I had one of the best meals I've ever eaten in a dozen trips to London. Could dine there after spending the afternoon wandering through and around Camden Lock Market which is about 10 blocks away.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I can't imagine why an American would think Thanksgiving is celebrated in Britain, or any other country.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2684 posts

I can't say anything about LA and Bastille Day observances and celebrations, but in San Francisco they definitely take place... not far from the Bank of America building and the Consulate.

Posted by Peter
Kingsville, Ontario
165 posts

Monte, why cant you imagine any other country having one? Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada, but in October. It's not a big deal like in the US, but still a day off.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

The OP did not imply that she expected that Thanksgiving was celebrated anywhere but the US. She just asked where they might find a turkey meal in a restaurant.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

Peter, I know all about Canadian Thanksgiving, I'm married to a woman who was born in Canada. In this country when Thanksgiving is spelled with a capital T that makes it a proper noun, which indicates American Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving spelled with a lower case t indicates the comparable holiday in another country. Canadian Thanksgiving means that a large number of Canadians travel to northern Washington and northern Idaho to buy ammunition for their unreported firearms. Canadian shoppers arrive in cities like Spokane, Sandpoint, Idaho and Couer D'Alene to shop, and we welcome them.

Posted by Peter
Kingsville, Ontario
165 posts

Monte, this is my second reply to your last post, within seconds of posting i deleted it as too snarky. Thanksgiving Day is always spells with a capital t in Canada, it's a proper noun here too. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine

Posted by Ceidleh
Boston, MA, United States
1173 posts

@Peter: Monte fancies himself something of a wordsmith as he just recently devoted an entire posting to ask about the origin of the term "Open Jaw" which he considers crude (huh??? but "finding your own back door" is just peachy...). Kathy is not asking if they recognize Thanksgiving as a holiday in London - she's simply looking for a place that might serve some turkey with cranberry sauce which isn't exactly a crime last time I checked. Her daughter is away at school and maybe for one day would like to have a small taste of home as the kid might be sick of bangers & mash or mushy peas by the time late November rolls around. As mentioned, Time Out London had an entire article online last year devoted to places that dished up Thanksgiving meals - including some Gordon Ramsey places like The Savoy Grill and Narrow, as well as another restaurant called "Bodeans" in Soho which is run by an American chef and where they also show U.S. football games on TV if you really want the full-on Thanksgiving With A Capital "T" Experience.

Posted by Nancy
London, UK
159 posts

Contact the Benjamin Franklin House in London. They put on a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings every year! Last year was our first Thanksgiving in London and we went to the Thanksgiving service at St Paul's in the morning and to the Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. Cannot recommend this enough!!!

Posted by Nancy
London, UK
159 posts

Contact the Benjamin Franklin House in London. They put on a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings every year! Last year was our first Thanksgiving in London and we went to the Thanksgiving service at St Paul's in the morning and to the Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. Cannot recommend this enough!!!

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2001 posts

@Nancy, who knew? The exact type of information that is appreciated on the Helpline!!! Love learning new stuff!!!
THANKS for sharing!!!!

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1583 posts

Sheeesh. Some of you are way too hard on the OP, pointing out that Thanksgiving is an American holiday ( and yes Canadian on a different day) and not celebrated abroad, or in London. As Maggie, Ceidleh, and Nancy pointed out, there are restaurants that enjoy serving up an American-style Thanlsgiving dinner to Yanks and anyone else who might be interested. I am sure Kathy will be able to find a nice place for her family dinner. If Gordon Ramsey's place Narrows does it again this year that would be my choice.

Posted by Carole
London, London, England UK
1 posts

Hi Kathy, Yes, there's great Thanksgiving Dinner in London this year. My meetup group for Americans has organized a delicious dinner in Chelsea at a really good American restaurant. Come join us! Everyone's Welcome! Your text to link here...
Carole