While not officially a holiday in the UK, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving in London (which this year falls on Thursday 26 November 2020), 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 yea 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. While this year might look a little different thanks to Covid measures being put in place, we’re still 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 more than ever we’re thankful for lots of the little things in our lives and think celebrating Thanksgiving in London 2020 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 2020 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.
Each of the menus and prices below are based on last year's offerings, but we'll updated with 2020 menus and costings as soon as we have them.
What: This American fried chicken and waffle restaurant serves up southern US comfort food all year round, and each November diners can opt for its extra special Thanksgiving menu. Available for an entire week usually, Sweet Chick’s exclusive offering comprises a whole confit turkey leg complete with sausage stuffing, all the trimmings and a mountain of fluffy pumpkin waffles, followed by a slice of sweet pumpkin pie.
Where: Sweet Chick, 8 Market Place, Fitzrovia, W1W 8AG
How much: £26 per person for two courses
What: Given that you can almost see America from the heady heights of The Shard (pinch of salt required here), it makes sense that it typically serves up a Thanksgiving feast. Usually available for a limited time in November, the three-course set dinner has previously involved juniper smoked salmon with pumpkin and black truffle salad to start, either grilled lobster with cornbread crumble or roast turkey with all the trimmings to follow, and not one but two classic pies – pecan and pumpkin – to finish.
Where: Aqua Shard, Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Southwark, SE1 9RY
How much: £75 per person for three courses
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 is putting on quite the spread to mark this traditionally American feast. For £50 guests will be treated to four courses of fusion food which includes 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
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 head chef Dean Parker. 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 2019 menu.
Where: Lutyens Grill,27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
How much: Holiday specials from £17
Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
What: Celebrate Thanksgiving in style with Bar Boulud’s annual, refined three-course Thanksgiving dinner menu. Usually available on Thanksgiving itself only, it has in the past comprised of butternut squash soup with truffle marshmallow to start, turkey with all the trimmings and a cornbread basket with truffle honey butter to follow, and pecan tart with vanilla ice cream to finish. That's a tick, tick, tick from us.
Where: Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA
How much: £45 for three courses
The Potting Shed at Dorset Square Hotel
What: For something a little different, book yourself a place at The Potting Shed’s special Thanksgiving Chef’s Table in November. We're yet to get confirmation on dates for 2020 as the restaurant is currently temporarily closed, but typically guests will begin the evening with a glass of Chapel Down's Bacchus sparkling wine and a selection of canapés before sitting down to an indulgent three-course meal. Classic Thanksgiving dishes have previously included glazed ham, roast turkey, sweet potato gratin, and apple pie with Chantilly and custard, and the price includes paired wines.
Where: The Potting Shed at Dorset Square Hotel, 39-40 Dorset Square, NW1 6QN
How much: £50 per person
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 2020.
Where: The Game Bird at The Stafford London, 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ
How much: £49.50 per person
The Jones Family Project
What: The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch has in the past marked Thanksgiving with a three-course feast inspired by four classic US anthems and four classic US harvest fruits. Usually available on Thanksgiving itself, as well as a couple of days around the main feast, the menu might feature dishes such as cream of squash soup topped with truffle shavings, and roast turkey with garlic-buttered breadcrumbs and gravy. Finish up with nougat and cranberry studded pecan pie or a slice of pumpkin pie with cream. While the restaurant closed during lockdown to undertake some rennovations, we hope to see it open its doors again in time for the big day.
Where: The Jones Family Project, 78 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL
How much: £39 per person (or £76 with paired drinks)
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, London, W1K 1PN
How much: £115 per person
Riding House Café + Rail House Café
What: To get into the spirit of the American tradition, both Riding House Café in Fitzrovia and Rail House Café in Victoria usually put on a show-stopping feast each Thanksgiving. Available on the big day only in 2019, we're expecting the same in 2020. Last year the special menu included 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.
Where: Riding House Café, 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ and Rail House Café, 8 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ
How much: £40 per person
Smith & Wollensky
What: As usual, we're expecting world-famous steakhouse Smith & Wollensky tp 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 and drizzled with cranberry sauce and red wine gravy, and traditional pumpkin pie. For those craving something less traditional, S&W’s famous steaks will also be available.
Where: Smith & Wollensky, 1-11 John Adam Street, WC2N 6HT
How much: £69 per person for three courses
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. While the restaurant is currently marked as temporarily closed, we've got everything crossed it won't be long before it's open again. 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 and 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
What: For an elegant and refined Thanksgiving dinner, complete with thoughtfully curated live music and spotless service, reserve your place at Corrigan’s Mayfair. Taking place in November, the restaurant has been know to put on set four-course feasts which start with things like game sausage rolls and oysters and also features roasted lobster, pumpkin bisque, Waldorf salad, roasted turkey with all the trimmings and pecan pie. Currently the dining room is taking a hiatus, but we hope by November things will be back to (nearly!) normal.
Where: Corrigan’s Mayfair, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, W1K 7EH
How much: £95 for four courses and a cocktail
Neptune at the Kimpton Fitzroy London
What: Neptune at the Kimpton Fitzroy London is known to go all out come Thanksgiving with a menu full of classic American dishes. While the restaurant is closed currently due to Coronavirus, we're hoping it's back up and running again soon to serve the likes of clam chowder and stuffed pumpkin; a traditional roast turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce, plus a choice of pecan and apple pie.
Where: Neptune at the Kimpton Fitzroy London, Corner of Guilford Street and Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE
How much: £35 per person for three courses
What: Kensington's smart boutique hotel typically celebrates Thanksgiving with a three-course menu designed to showcase America’s traditional autumnal flavours using the finest British ingredients. Guests in the past have started with a silky butternut squash velouté with Brussel sprouts, chickpeas and sage, before tucking into a Norfolk Bronze turkey with seasonal vegetables, cranberry sauce and hazelnut stuffing. Just be sure to save room for Blakes’ apple caramel tart with cinnamon ice cream. Typically, vegetarian and vegan options are available upon request and this special menu will likely be served on certain dates in November only.
Where: Blakes, 33 Roland Gardens, SW7 3PF
How much: £49 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 2020 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