The American holiday of Thanksgiving – which commemorates a banquet prepared by the early white settlers in appreciation of their native hosts helping them to work the land – may not mean that much to most Brits, but with an ever-growing US ex-pat community in London it could be fun to join the party this year.
Taking place on the last Thursday of November – which falls on the 28th in 2013 – the festival consists of a number of traditions, among them eating things like roast turkey and pumpkin pie (in separate courses, obviously), and watching American football.
Given the fact that the popularity of the NFL has soared in the UK in recent years – with several regular season matches now held at Wembley stadium – there are sure to be more Brits than ever getting in on the action this Thanksgiving.
American restaurants around the capital will be offering special Thanksgiving menus, and are sure to be lively and cheerful throughout the day.
Among these is the popular BBQ chain Bodeans, which has branches in Soho, Tower Hill, Clapham and Fulham. Guests will be able to enjoy a turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings, while also watching the football on TV.
Elsewhere, Jetlag in Fitzrovia will also be offering Thanksgiving specialities like pecan and pumpkin pies, and apple cider gravy to accompany the turkey. NFL-related movies will be screened during the morning, while the matches themselves will also be shown once they kick off in the evening (remember that the UK is a few hours ahead of the US, so kick-off times are later here than across the pond).
Alternatively, why not head to one of London’s many excellent food markets, such as Borough Market, and pick up the ingredients to make your own Thanksgiving banquet? For those who want to cheat a little, ready-made dishes can be bought from supermarkets and other food shops across London.