With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, we thought it would be fun to see if restaurants around London were laying on special Thanksgiving Day meals for our American cousins, as we have a lot of Americans living and working in and around the city.
Having lived and studied in America myself, I do enjoy this special day, which I have always felt is a bigger celebration than Christmas, as it’s the one time of the year families really do make the effort to try to get together and celebrate over a special meal of turkey with all the trimmings.
With this in mind, here is a small selection of places that have created a special Thanksgiving menu for 2019.
The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch
One of my favourite East London restaurants, The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch has created an enticing Thanksgiving Day menu available over the Thanksgiving weekend from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th November and has once again partnered with Wild Turkey Bourbon to create three rather special Thanksgiving cocktails named after iconic American songs and celebrating four of the classic American harvest fruits – apples, blueberries, grapes and cranberries.
The three-course menu kicks off with a welcome cocktail named Bad Apples, which is a Guns’n’Roses inspired autumnal combination of Wild Turkey Straight rye, Laird’s applejack, pumpkin butter, lemon, sugar and bitters.
You’ll then begin your meal with a Cream of Squash Soup, topped with winter truffle and pumpkin seeds, paired with Forever in Blue Jeans, which is a concoction of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, Aperol, sweet vermouth, blueberry jam and sugar, mixed to the tune of Neil Diamond to bring out the full flavours of the soup.
The main event is of course a traditional Roast Turkey accompanied with all those tasty trimmings including stuffing, buttermilk mash, greens, Brussels sprouts, garlic buttered breadcrumbs, cranberry sauce and of course lots of gravy. This course pays homage to the humble grape and The Mammas & The Papas’ California Dreamin with a glass of 2016 Truchard Chardonnay from the award winning Truchard winery in Napa Valley.
It’s then onto the final course, and depending on whether you come from the North or South, you have a choice of Anna’s Pumpkin Pie with double cream or Lizzy’s Pecan Pie (my favourite) topped with nougat and cranberries and paired with a Sweet Bitter Love digestif cocktail, designed with Aretha Franklin in mind, made with a sweet and sour combination of Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, sherry, cranberry, pineapple and a dash of sherry vinegar.
This special Thanksgiving dinner costs just £39 per person or £76 when paired with the drinks. To make a reservation please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Jones Family Kitchen in Belgravia
Last year saw the opening of The Jones Family Kitchen in fashionable Belgravia, tucked away in Eccleston Yards, a little oasis and short walk from Victoria Station. And being part of the “family” they will also be offering exactly the same Thanksgiving menu as their older sibling in Shoreditch above.
This special Thanksgiving dinner also costs £39 per person or £76 when paired with the specially created drinks. To make a reservation, as all Thanksgiving Dinners must be pre-ordered, please email email@example.com
108 Brasserie at The Marylebone
Two years ago I celebrated Thanksgiving at 108 Brasserie in Marylebone, where a small group of us enjoyed a superb Thanksgiving lunch with colleagues from Fort Myers and Sanibel in sunny Florida.
This Thanksgiving, 108 Brasserie’s Thanksgiving-themed menu kicks off with a bowl of New England Clam Chowder which comes with delicious home-baked corn bread.
They will then be serving a Roast Caldecott Farm Bronze Turkey with cranberry stuffing and all the trimmings. And if you find you still have room for a dessert, then why not sink your teeth into a traditional Pumpkin Pie topped with cinnamon cream.
The Thanksgiving Day 108 Brasserie special three-course dinner menu is £40 per person or £45 with the special Thanksgiving cocktail and is available between 5:00pm and 10:30pm on Thursday 28th November 2019.
Town House Kensington
The Marylebone’s sister hotel is home to the cosy Town House Kensington restaurant, who are also offering their own Thanksgiving menu with a special three-course dinner featuring a selection of seasonal ingredients. It is priced at £50 per person or £95 if you include the special wine pairings and available from 6:30pm on Thursday 28th November 2019.
You will begin your evening with a Fall Harvest Salad followed by a Long Island Pumpkin Soup with smoked paprika crumbs.
There is then a choice of three main courses this year, which includes the Meaty Pork Ribs with Carolina gold barbecue sauce, broccoli and Kansas baked beans or for the non-meat eaters a Chestnut Risotto with crumbled blue cheese. But my guess is that many people will go for the Roast Turkey Confit Leg with fritters, chipolata sausages, apricot stuffing, cranberry sauce and chestnuts.
You can then round your meal off with one of my favourites, a Pecan Tart with vanilla ice cream, along with some tea, coffee and petits fours.
So, whatever you do decide to do this Thanksgiving Day, there is plenty of choice on offer in London to make you feel right at home even though you may be far away from home.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs of The Jones Family Project & Kitchen by Simon Burrell, other photographs courtesy of 108 Brasserie at The Marylebone and Town House Kensington