While not officially a holiday in the UK, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving in London (which this year falls on Thursday 25 November 2021), not least the veritable feast that Americans rustle up for the occasion. A typical Thanksgiving dinner involves turkey, stuffing and various other trimmings, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie and mac ‘n’ cheese, followed by a decent helping of pumpkin and/or pecan pie and we won’t be saying no to any of it.
The tradition of Thanksgiving is celebrated across the United States, Canada and Brazil among other countries, and is intended as a way to pay homage and give thanks for a good year around the time of the traditional main harvest. Years on and this pivotal moment in the calendar is still upheld, allowing friends and families to gather together to show their appreciation for the people and things they’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by in their lives. After the last couple of years we've had, in 2021 - more than ever - we’re sure there’ll be plenty of things to celebrate. And in our opinion, where better to celebrate it all than at one of London’s best restaurants? This year we’re thankful for lots of the little things in our lives and think celebrating Thanksgiving in London 2021 will give us all the chance to take a deep breath, collect our thoughts, count our blessings and hope that the future is a little brighter.
In our round up of Thanksgiving restaurants in London for 2021 we’ve tried to include a variety of settings and price points for feasts taking place across the capital this year, but there’s one thing you’re going to need regardless of which one you choose: an elasticated waistband. So, whether you’re from America or just hitching a ride on their bandwagon for the day, dust off those Stars and Stripes and get ready to chow down on some Thanksgiving pies.
Please note: Some of the menus and prices below are based on last year's offerings, but we'll keep things updated with 2021 menus and costings as soon as we have them.
Oblix at The Shard
What: Boasting some of the best views in the capital, come Thanksgiving Oblix at The Shard puts on one of the most indulgent spreads in London. Available between the 25-28 November, this year’s Thanksgiving menu is served family style with a rotisserie turkey with chestnut and truffle stuffing coming out on top, as the star of the show. In supporting roles are green beans wrapped in pancetta, baked sweet potatoes with garlic and rosemary and crushed butternut squash with maple syrup and sage, as well as Brussel sprout tops. Sweets are a nod to traditional fare with a caramelised pecan pie and bourbon ice cream.
Where: Oblix at The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
How much: £97 per person
What: If you’re in the market for a Thanksgiving dinner with a twist this year, Sette might make the perfect venue. This Italian restaurant in the heart of Knightsbridge typically puts on quite the spread to mark this traditionally American feast. Last year, for £50 guests were treated to four courses of fusion food which included the likes of chestnut and porcini soup, roasted bronze turkey with guanciale and a cinnamon sugar bomboloni (a sweet Italian filled doughnut). Make it a real celebration for £30 more, which will get you accompanying paired wines. Children are also catered for with a special menu priced at £30.
Where: Sette, 4 Knightsbridge Green, SW1X 7QA
How much: £50 per person for four courses
No. Fifty Cheyne
What: With its picturesque river-side setting, No. Fifty Cheyne makes an atmospheric spot to soak up this year’s celebrations from. Iain Smith – the restaurant’s head chef – has come up with a particularly indulgent menu this year (which we think is only fitting given the pandemic we’ve all had to endure). To start there’s a wild mushroom and ham hock soup that comes with all the trimmings in itself – think a cauliflower cheese garnish, a mushroom brioche bun and a truffle Chantilly with herb pesto. If you still have room after all that, the main is roast turkey with redcurrant glazed cabbage and maple bacon, while puds bring a warm cinnamon and apple tarte tatin with clotted cream ice cream, fresh grated nutmeg and salted caramel.
Where: No. Fifty Cheyne, 50 Cheyne Walk, SW3 5LR
How much: TBC
What: Wonderfully convivial at the best of times, Darby’s takes things up a notch for Thanksgiving with a delectable four-course family-style feast curated by the talented kitchen team. Bring your appetite for an all-American set menu, usually available on Thanksgiving only, that has included deep-fried truffle mac and cheese, home-baked cornbread with scallion cream cheese, a full turkey feast with all the trimmings and apple pie for afters in the past. And just as you would in the States, if last year is anything to go by, you’ll even get a doggy bag containing a slice of Darby’s addictive burnt honey cake to take home.
Where: Darby’s, 3 Viaduct Gardens, Vauxhall, SW11 7AY
How much: £55 per person for five courses
Lutyens Grill at The Ned
What: Lutyens Grill, with its wood-panelled walls and old-school clubby feel, oozes Britishness. For one night only in November, the restaurant usually pledges its alleigance to the USA and serves up a handful of Thanksgiving specials alongside the à la carte. Previously guests have had a choice from the likes of roast turkey with creamed sweetcorn or slow-roasted USDA Prime rib with sweet potato mash. There are also usually all-American desserts on offer for the evening – perhaps something like a pecan and Bourbon tart will take your fancy, or maybe you'll fall for the charms of the apple and cinnamon cobbler if there's a repeat of the previous menu.
Where: Lutyens Grill,27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
How much: Holiday specials from £17
The Game Bird at The Stafford London
What: For one day only, The Game Bird at The Stafford usually serves up an extra special three-course Thanksgiving menu in its sumptuous dining room. If the likes of corn and ham chowder soup to start, a traditional roast Norfolk turkey as a main course, and a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert sound good, be sure to book your place before it sells out for 2021.
Where: The Game Bird at The Stafford London, 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ
How much: £49.50 per person
Cut at 45 Park Lane
What: Thanksgiving dinners don’t get much fancier than dining on Park Lane, so if you’re looking to push the boat out (a lot), this one’s for you. The Thanksgiving menu at Cut is usually brimming with the hearty, comforting flavours of autumn – sorry, fall – meaning you can probably look forward to the likes of roasted squash soup with goats’ cheese and sage, roast turkey with all the trimmings, and that all-American favourite, pecan pie.
Where: Cut at 45 Park Lane, 45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN
How much: £115 per person
Riding House Café
What: To get into the spirit of the American tradition, Riding House Café in Fitzrovia put on a show-stopping feast each Thanksgiving. Available on two days only in 2021, you'll have to book your seat at the table speedily to be in with a chance of trying the seasonal set menu. This year the special menu will include a seasonal cocktail, slow-roasted Norfolk Bronze turkey cooked in herb butter, loads of trimmings including cornbread and sausage stuffing, and a choice of two classic desserts: pumpkin brûlée pie or pecan pie. Can't make it down to the restaurant? They is also an at-home meal kit available for nationwide deliveyr.
Where: Riding House Café, 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ
How much: £45 per person
Smith & Wollensky
What: As usual, we're expecting world-famous steakhouse Smith & Wollensky to be hosting a decadent Thanksgiving celebration this year. Patriotic guests typically enjoy an indulgent three-course menu featuring the likes of free-range turkey with sausage and cornbread stuffing drizzled with cranberry sauce and red wine gravy, and traditional pumpkin pie. For those craving something less traditional, S&W’s famous steaks are also typically available.
Where: Smith & Wollensky, 1-11 John Adam Street, WC2N 6HT
How much: £69 per person for three courses
What: Smack bang in the centre of Soho, Sussex is the ideal place to celebrate a properly British take on Thanksgiving. The menu has been devised by head chef Oliver Gladwin whose feast begins with cornbread and a smoked whipped butter. Following this there’s a choice of starters that include rock oysters with an apple shallow vinaigrette; a duck liver macaroon and herby cheese croquettes. Turkey – of course – is the hero come mains, and is accompanied by creamed leek, salt baked potatoes, parsnip chips, brussels sprouts, and an apple, cheddar and walnut salad. Sweet tooths will be satisfied with the Nutbourne pumpkin and ginger pie for pudding, while those who prefer something savoury will be given the choice to swap their dessert for an all-British cheeseboard. The menu includes a seasonal cocktail too.
Where: Sussex, 63-64 Frith Street, W1D 3JW
How much: £55 per person
What: If Thanksgiving classics made with an Italian twist sounds like your idea of heaven, you’ll love Margot’s annual special three-course Thanksgiving menu. Here you’ll likely start with a plate of pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with sage butter, toasted hazelnuts and Grana Padano, before tucking into roast turkey with all the trimmings. Finish off with an apple and calvados cake with warm caramel sauce perhaps, a cup of coffee and some petit fours.
Where: Margot, 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA
How much: £55 per person for three courses + coffee and petit fours
Blues Kitchen Camden
What: There’s nothing like a lively New Orleans-style night out to make you thankful for great food and soul music, which is why Blues Kitchen Camden’s Thanksgiving in November is always such a hit. Here you can dig into the likes of buttermilk turkey, twice baked mac and cheese, broccoli and cheddar pot pie, and a generous slice of pumpkin pie with toasted marshmallows, all while soaking up the finest honky-tonk bar room tunes courtesy of the Jambalaya House Band. What’s more, bona fide Americans (with a valid passport) can usually claim a free shot of bourbon!
Where: The Blues Kitchen Camden, 111-113 Camden High Street, NW1 7JN
How much: £29.95 per person for three courses
What: This year, Sea Containers will hopefully provide a home away from home for Americans in London again with its traditional three-course set menu. Courses are priced individually and, in the true spirit of the holiday, the restaurant usually sees that 20% of the cost of every dish is donated to The Felix Project, which helps people suffering with food poverty in London.
Where: Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
How much: £46 per person for three courses
Brasserie Max at the Covent Garden Hotel
What: Covent Garden Hotel has celebrated Thanksgiving with a special dinner at Brasserie Max every year for almost 25 years, and this year we're hopingn to be no exception. Here you can indulge in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with dishes usually including clam and coconut chowder, thyme-roasted turkey with chilli cornbread stuffing, and maple glazed pumpkin and pecan pie before winding down with a selection of artisanal cheese for the table, tea or coffee and petit fours. Seriously though, that elasticated waistband is a must.
Where: Brasserie Max at the Covent Garden Hotel, 10 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HB
How much: £55 per person for five courses
Ham Yard at Ham Yard Hotel
What: We’re willing to bet our bottom dollar that one look at Ham Yard’s Thanksgiving menu will be enough to sway you. Last year it featured a warming sweet potato casserole with pecan crumble and marshmallows to start, roast Norfolk bronze turkey with cornbread stuffing, maple sweet potatoes, creamed corn, cranberries and brown butter roasted sprouts for the main course, and an indulgent pecan pie with Bourbon cream, cranberry and orange to finish - it’s certainly a meal you’ll be thankful for.
Where: Ham Yard at Ham Yard Hotel, One Ham Yard, W1D 7DT
How much: £55 per person for three courses, plus coffee and truffles
Heddon Street Kitchen
What: A number of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants usually serve up an indulgent take on Thanksgiving, but we particularly liked the menu on offer at Heddon Street Kitchen last year. Here you can indulge in the likes of confit turkey leg served with bacon popcorn, green beans, a mushroom bake with Jack Daniel’s gravy, and warm pecan pie with cinnamon spiced ice cream to finish.
Where: Heddon Street Kitchen, 3-9 Heddon Street, W1B 4BN
How much: £50 per person (minimum two people)
Temper City & Covent Garden
What: The chefs at trendy Temper restaurants in Covent Garden and the City switch from South to North American cuisine come Thanksgiving, and everyone’s invited. If last year is anything to go by these guys will be promising a feast of a meal. Guests can look forward to the likes of jalapeno corn bread with whipped butter, slow roasted dark turkey meat pie with sweet potato and a pecan crumb, and pumpkin pie, with cinnamon ice cream. Pre-bookings are usually essential.
Where: Temper City & Temper Covent Garden
How much: £39 per person for three courses
Duck & Waffle
What: Those looking for a Thanksgiving feast with a view should check out Duck & Waffle’s ‘Friendsgiving Feast’ from last year, which took place in its stunning private dining room – the highest in the country, fyi – in November. If 2021 holds more of the same, guests can look forward to a feast brimming with festive classics such as pumpkin soup, sweet potato casserole, and a succulent turkey, carved tableside, and served with all the trimmings.
Where: Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
How much: £90 per person for a Thanksgiving feast
For US-style feasting all year round, check out our list of the best fried chicken in London