Although not a classic British holiday, the North American tradition of Thanksgiving is still celebrated in the capital amongst expats and tourists as well as Londoners themselves who revel in American culture. You’ll be able to get your fill of plenty of American style dishes in the restaurants near Paddington station and find plenty of London hotels offering attractive special offers over this time.
If you’re an American in London this Thanksgiving, Thursday 28 November, here’s the lowdown on how to celebrate in the capital.
The great American banquet
At the heart of every Thanksgiving is a huge, delicious home-cooked meal shared with beloved family and friends. There is no shortage of American themed restaurants in London. Whatever you’re craving, there are diners, steakhouses, delis and pizzerias dotted throughout London, and you will find plenty of restaurants near Paddington station who will put on themed menus.
If you have your heart set on the classic Thanksgiving turkey book a table at Smith & Wollensky. For £69, you can indulge in a three-course meal with all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings. Your main course options include turkey served with stuffing, cranberry sauce and red wine gravy and of course, traditional pumpkin pie is the number one choice for dessert. Based in Covent Garden (The Adelphi WC2N 6HT), Smith & Wollensky originated in New York and has been serving some of the best American steaks in London since 2015, when they opened their first restaurant outside the US.
Other restaurants which serve American food all year round are likely to have special Thanksgiving deals advertised nearer the time, add these to your watchlist:
The Diner is a small chain of American themed diners found across the city in Islington, Shoreditch, Soho, Camden, Dalston, and Kensal Rise. They are decked out with all-American style red booths and bar stools and dish up whopping (and delicious) burgers, fries, pancakes and milkshakes.
All Star Lanes
All Star Lanes have bowling arcades in Brick Lane, Holborn, White City and Stratford City – making it easily accessible from the Park Grand Paddington Court London. Revellers can tuck into food from the Lanes Kitchens as they bowl. Classic menu items include main ’n’ cheese, tacos, BBQ wings and fried chicken, and over Thanksgiving, the venues usually dish up special Thanksgiving-themed plates.
Joe Allen Covent Garden (WC2E 7PX) is the sister restaurant of the original New York brasserie. It was founded by actors, directors and producers seeking to impress the West End’s productions and earned the nickname the West End’s Canteen. Their menu is peppered with American dishes, including steaks and hot dogs and for Thanksgiving, they usually put on a special menu.
Catch the NFL
Since its inception in1920, America’s National Football League (NFL) has hosted games on Thanksgiving. The season runs from early September to late December, and viewers right across the fifty states tune in to watch the games on Thanksgiving as they tuck into their turkey. This year’s games are Lions v Bears (12:30 ET, 17:30 GMT), Bills v Cowboys 16:30 ET, 21:30 GMT) and Saints v Falcons (20:20 ET, 01:20 GMT), so if you’re celebrating in the UK, there’s no reason to miss the first two games at least before rolling into bed at the Park Grand Paddington Court London.
In London, you can enjoy the three games at a number of bars – here are our top three-sport bar recommendations:
Nordic Bar, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PN
In the heart of lively Soho, the Scandi themed sports bar Nordic Bar are hosting an all-is-welcome showing of all three games which guarantees to capture the party spirit. The bar has four big screens for your NFL fix, and they have ping pong tables and arcade games too. You must buy a ticket in advance, which includes a free beer to get you started. £5 for a standing ticket, £10 per person for a table spot.
Carlsberg Sports Bar at the Empire Casino, Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA
Self-proclaimed as ‘probably the best bar in the world’ you will find the Carlsberg Sports Bar underneath the Empire Casino in Leicester Square. The bar broadcast NFL games throughout the season and are open 24/7 for die-hard sport fans. They have two huge screens plus 14 smaller ones, so you won’t miss a single touchdown. Be sure to reserve your seats in advance via their website for Thanksgiving. They serve pizza, loaded nachos, burgers and chicken wings to keep you fuelled up for the night.
Six Yard Box, Peckham, SE15 4SE
If you want to watch the games in the place voted the Best Football Bar in London, hop on the tube down to Peckham and settle into this hip and intimate bar which has two big screens plus an external screen when the weather plays fair. Their main audience is football, but they also screen NFL games. Between the games, you can keep yourself entertained with table football (foosball), lego and 20 different craft beers. Keep an eye on their website for details about booking a space for Thanksgiving.
Sleep in style
If you are coming to London to celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to take advantage of the London hotels with special offers and make a weekend of it. Recover from your great American feast and late-night NFL with a light and succulent Park Grand Paddington Court afternoon tea before you head home!
Hit the shops
To conclude your Thanksgiving celebration, pick up some bargains. The day after Thanksgiving, shops and retail outlets across London will slash their prices and offer incredible deals in honour of Black Friday. The majority of the deals will last across the weekend, so it’s a great opportunity to make a start on your Christmas shopping. Brace yourself for the crowds. If you were up until the early hours watching the NFL, start your shopping trip with a strong Americano from one of the local restaurants near Paddington station.