I’m sure it seems a little strange to be reading an article about how to celebrate Thanksgiving in London and yet here you are!
To be honest, there are a lot of Americans are living in London, and the city does cater to us, overall. And for that I am grateful. It’s just one more reason to love London! And even though it’s really just Thursday on this side of the pond, there is a surprisingly large number of places to dine and things to do to celebrate the holiday.
Things To Do On Thanksgiving In London
Attend The Thanksgiving Day Service At St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s has had a link with Americans for over 100 years going back to 1903. J. Pierpont Morgan provided funding to bring electricity to the Cathedral and after World War II, the British raised money to build the American Memorial Chapel, which replaced the east end of the Cathedral that was damaged by bombs during the war. Queen Elizabeth II dedicated the chapel in 1958.
The nondenominational service takes place from 11:00am – 12:00pm and is free to attend. This event does fill up, so going early to queue is advisable. Doors open at 10:00am.
Imbibe At The Mayflower Pub
The Mayflower Pub is the oldest pub on the Thames and it has a special connection to Thanksgiving history as the ship originally set off from Rotherhithe in July 1620 before an unfortunate series of events happened, causing the ship to eventually wind up leaving from Plymouth.
Tour The Benjamin Franklin House
Located on a quiet side street off of Strand, The Benjamin Franklin House in London is the only surviving former residence that Franklin resided and worked in for nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775.
And though the story of Franklin championing the turkey as the national bird of the United States is just a myth, he did say the turkey is “a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America…He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage.”
And there you have it.
Watch An American Football Game (NFL)
Are you ready for some football?! Nordic Bar, located just off of Oxford Street, has an NFL Thanksgiving Party beginning at 4:00 pm and tickets are between £5 and £10.
Biscuiteers in Notting Hill is hosting a Thanksgiving biscuit decorating event on Sunday, November 24th. For £85 they’ll supply the materials and expertise! If you go, you may happen to see yours truly there.
Places To Eat On Thanksgiving In London
Did you know that the original Smith and Wollensky is based in New York? The London local is in Covent Garden, and naturally, they’re offering a three-course meal for £69. Yes, they have pumpkin pie.
Another New York originated establishment in Covent Garden, delivering Thanksgiving delicacies. Don’t be taken aback when you see the restaurant dressed in its Christmas finest as it is already. Thanksgiving is definitely happening here!
I have a long love of Joe Allen. It’s another restaurant founded in…surprise…New York, but I first discovered them via their location in Paris on my honeymoon many (so many) years ago. They make a fantastic burger…a secret burger! And they also dish up a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more on the traditional side there is one event that does have more of the real deal American Thanksgiving vibe to it:
The evening starts with a wine reception and then moves into a traditional Thanksgiving style extravaganza. Everyone is seated at long tables, and the food is served family-style. Whole turkeys with all the trimmings line the tables, and people are encouraged to carve them. The evening ends with coffee, tea and of course, pumpkin pie! The cost is £90 per adult and £50 per child. I heard a sad rumor that this may be the last year of this event taking place so sign up if you don’t want to miss it!
Resources For Celebrating Thanksgiving At Home In London
Each year my family and I host our own Thanksgiving feast in London with British friends, and we always have such a lovely time. We have our celebration on the Saturday following Thanksgiving to make life easier. It takes a bit of planning, but there are so many resources that help to make the preparation that much easier.
Every item needed for a successful Thanksgiving feast can be purchased at Whole Foods and it can all be delivered! It’s a blessing for those of us with small kitchens with nearly no storage. I order from them every year and have it all delivered on the day of our feast.
This fabulous butcher in Holland Park has gorgeous meats that can be delivered. Bonus – the shop is just a few steps away from the American Food Store which carries provisions for Thanksgiving, as well.
Partridges carry an impressive amount of food items to ensure a lovely Thanksgiving. There are two locations in London: Chelsea and South Kensington. Turkeys can be ordered through them, as well. And guess what? They deliver!
So there you have it. How to celebrate Thanksgiving in London. Strange as it may be. I hope you enjoyed reading about just some of the holiday offerings this beautiful city has to offer.
Have you ever celebrated a holiday while traveling or living abroad? Was it a memorable event? Talk holidays with me!
Thanks for reading! Cheers!