London celebrates Songkran

curry_selection.jpgThis weekend, Thailand celebrates Songkran - a New Year festival to mark the sun passing through the first sign of the Zodiac, Aries.

While boiling hot Thai Songkran revellers like to soak each other in colossal water fights, in London we see it as an excuse to indulge. Here are the best ways to get a taste of Thailand in the capital. 

busaba.jpgFairground Fun with Busaba (pictured right)
Busaba Eathai is preparing to launch its Songkran Festival this weekend, in collaboration with new pop-up venue Fairground in Hackney. Inspired by a recent trip home to Thailand, Busaba executive chef Jude Sangsida has been working on new dishes for the festival, some of which may find their way onto Busaba’s restaurant menu. Cooking fans can enjoy free ‘CookThai’ classes throughout the day, encouraging visitors to brush up on those pestle and mortar skills. The event will also mark the launch of Fairground, billed as ‘a cultural emporium of food, music and opinions’, giving visitors two excuses to let their hair down. Entrance to the festival is free, with first admittance at 10am until late. For menus and more, click here.

Mango Tree Songkran Menu
Explore the four corners of Thailand with your taste buds next week at Mango Tree in Belgravia. From Monday to Saturday the kitchen will be offering a ‘Four Regions’ set menu, highlighting local specialities from northern spicy sausages to a southern lemongrass and prawn salad, priced at £32 per person. More information about the menu is available here.

Thai Transformation in Covent Garden
St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden will be turned into a British outpost of Thailand on Saturday and Sunday, with street food offerings from Suda Thai Café & Restaurant. Feast on massaman curry and noodle soups, grab a Thai beer at the tuk-tuk bar and take home a ‘Thai Taste’ cooking kit. More info on the event is here

thai-afternoon-tea.jpgExotic Afternoon Tea at Lancaster London (pictured left)
With a twin hotel in Bangkok, it’s no surprise that Lancaster London will be embracing Thai new year festivities all weekend: guests will be greeted by hosts in traditional Thai dress and treated to free Thai sweets from 10-15 April. The hotel's Nipa restaurant will be offering a special £55 set menu or there’s the inventive Thai Afternoon Tea, with a selection including mango scones with orange and jasmine marmalade, as well as chilli, avocado and green papaya wraps. Tea is served from 2pm until 4pm Friday to Sunday for £22 per person. 

For more places to celebrate this weekend, take a look at our pick of London's best Thai restaurants.

Published 10 April 2014.