It’s Thanksgiving this Thursday, presenting the perfect chance to be at one with our Stateside brothers and sisters. How? By celebrating the holiday in the traditional way – stuffing ourselves to the point of obscenity.
While Thanksgiving in the US can be traced back to the story of Pilgrims breaking bread with Native Americans to celebrate their first harvest in the New World, nowadays it’s all about turkey and pumpkin pie.
“If you’re counting calories, Thanksgiving is not for you,” says Bernie Rogers, the Canadian chef at Camden’s The Blues Kitchen.
We asked the maestro behind the restaurant’s Thanksgiving spectacular (see right) what makes the perfect meal on the day.
“Roast turkey with all the trimmings and five-cheese mac and cheese,” he begins.
”And some pan-fried greens in garlic butter – the only light dish, just to make some room for desserts.
Finish with rich and creamy pumpkin pie with whipped cream and pecan pie with clotted cream.”
We can feel the food sweats already. And with that, here’s our guide to the perfect Thanksgiving in London this week.
Best for: A party
What: The Blues Kitchen is having a proper party for the big day, with dinner, DJs and live music, and a competition to win a Fender Telecaster guitar worth £700.
You can also wash down the heart-stopping feast (as promised by Rogers) with the bar’s 80 varieties of bourbon and six brands of US-style craft beer (think Dixie and Brooklyn).
They say: “Everything is 100 per cent American, from the booze to the chef.” Er, North American anyway.
More: All three courses £22pp. Free entry from 5pm-1am.
Best for: Entertainment
What: The Jetlag Bar in Fitzrovia is hosting a whole day of US-themed entertainment alongside its traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Catch the 3pm matinee of Thanksgiving comedy Planes, Trains And Automobiles, then see the Detroit Lions take on Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys up against Washington Redskins in back-to-back NFL matches. Yeee-haaww!
They say: “Like enjoying the holiday at home, but pimped up big style.”
More: All three courses, plus screenings, is £30pp.
Best for: Serious foodies
What: A mammoth feed at the Big Easy in Chelsea, with decadent delights including mashed sweet potato with pecan topping and bourbon gravy accompanying the traditional herb-roasted turkey.
There’s a bar full of special Thanksgiving cocktails to get stuck into as well – try a pumpkin martini or a Big Easy eggnog.
They say: “Don your elasticated trousers.”
More: All three courses £24.50pp; cocktails from £6.95.
Best for: Flexibility
What: Can’t be assed to get dressed for dinner? Ffiona’s in Kensington will let you collect your Thanksgiving feast if you pre-order it, which means you can enjoy a filthy display of gluttony in the comfort of your own home without having to dirty so much as a pan.
There’s a range of starters and desserts to choose from (including an ace-sounding sweet potato meringue pie) and turkey with all the fixings.
They say: “This is our 19th Thanksgiving in Kensington and it’s our favourite holiday bar none.”
More: All three courses £39.50pp.