Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in London
The traditional American holiday feast is gathering steam on our shores, and these local restaurants are offering a slice of the action
Whichever side of the political divide you fall on, what better way to celebrate or drown your post-US-election sorrows than with a traditional all-American party on 24 November? The popularity of Thanksgiving continues to rise in the UK, and there are ever-increasing ways to observe the holiday in authentic style, helped in part by a continuing influx of American-inspired cafes and restaurants.
Since opening three years ago, this brasserie has become as much a staple on the London dining scene as the New York original. For one day only it is paying homage to its Franco-American roots with a three-course feast, offering a subtle twist on the occasion's classic fare. Options include a warming roasted butternut squash soup served with corn bread, the obligatory roast turkey with plenty of trimmings, and a choice of pumpkin cheesecake or pecan pie for dessert. Its popular boulangerie next door will also be getting in on the act, serving tempting pastries including apple and cinnamon doughnuts and iced pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies.
Balthazar's Thanksgiving menu is available on 24 November, £55; balthazarlondon.com
This year marks Christopher's 25th anniversary, and head chef Francis Agyepong, who has been at the helm for 23 of those years, has put together a suitably celebratory menu. He has taken the holiday's homely food staples and elevated them to match the glamorous surroundings. Dishes to look forward to include Maryland crab cake with red-pepper mayo, plus slow-cooked ballotine of turkey accompanied by corn bread and hazelnut and Michigan-cherry stuffing, while for pudding there's a pear and almond cobbler with blackberry compote and salted-caramel ice cream.
The Christopher's Thanksgiving menu is available on 24 November, £58; christophersgrill.com
The Riding House Cafe
For a more relaxed affair, head to the Riding House Cafe. It kicks of its feast with the Nicklejack cocktail, an intriguing mix of applejack brandy, scrumpy reduction, roasted pumpkin and autumn spice puree, topped with a candy waffle. Aiming to recreate a family table experience, for the so-called "main event", dishes are served sharing-style and, in addition to the turkey, include maple-buttered sweet potatoes, truffled mac and cheese and creamed corn casserole. Pumpkin brulee pie and chocolate pecan pie are offered for dessert.
The Riding House Cafe's Thanksgiving menu is available on 24 November, £40; ridinghousecafe.co.uk
The pastry chef's recently launched London outpost saw him bring a taste of his signature Cronuts to the capital. Now, Dominique Ansel is introducing another favourite from his New York bakery – his popular sweet pies. Available to buy in store by the slice are flavours such as salted caramel apple, lemon cream and extra-silky pumpkin, which has been triple-strained, resulting in an ultra-smooth custard filling. Whole pies, which serve up to eight, can also be pre-ordered via the website.
Pie Season at Dominique Ansel Bakery runs from 16 to 27 November, individual slices are £6, whole pies are £35; dominiqueansellondon.com