Brits Now Celebrate #Thanksgiving!

On a recent visit to London, David Copperfield was surprised to find British friends who were planning to have Thanksgiving dinner. Why are the English embracing this quintessentially American holiday? Is it because nearly 200,000 Americans reside in the UK? Or maybe the British are trying to make up for never really taking to USA-style Halloween? Perhaps we’ll never know the reason why but we can at least figure out how.

Brits who plan to make dinner at home gravitate towards a traditional menu; turkey (more commonly served in the UK for Christmas), stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Dining out? The Savoy Grill offers such luxurious selections as Norfolk Bronze turkey–take that, Perdue!–venison terrine, crab & sweetcorn chowder, even a vegan Wellington. If you don’t fancy turkey the Plowden Arms in Reading substitutes pheasant for the native American bird. If you find yourself in Edinburgh you can get the entire works at the Calistoga Restaurant; amongst the dishes are sweet potato gratin, cranberry stuffing, buttered sprouts, maple ice cream-topped caramel pumpkin pie.

Surely the best place to celebrate the holiday is in Plymouth, Devon from whence the Pilgrims originally sailed. Though the focus is on the waterfront, and recreating the history of the ships, “an all-American lunch” will be served at noon on the Mayflower Steps following a short service. Who needs the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?



11 thoughts on “Brits Now Celebrate #Thanksgiving!

  1. My Daughter has lived over there in the UK for 13 years now,
    and has always hosted an ‘American Thanksgiving’ for her
    village friends and UK family. They Love it! 😀 Wonderful

  2. Restaurants will offer a ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner here in the UK, although it is loosely-termed and applied even with an American behind it (see: stuffing rolled into balls…). In my experience, I have not seen it celebrated in British homes, unless there is an American lurking about somewhere for whose benefit it is celebrated. I usually host one, never on the Thursday as the Brits (and me) are working, but on the Saturday afterwards. Because I am not constrained by tradition as I would be in the bosom of my family, I have been able to experiment: Mexican Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving in a Pie etc. I have not been able to disabuse my British friends of the notion that Thanksgiving is a gift-giving holiday: they still persist in bringing some little token not associated with the main event aka the food…

    1. Hey, the Thanksgiving “gift” sounds like a great tradition, lol. And I love the idea of stuffing rolled into balls! Thanks for your comment; being an American with some British friends I appreciate their sometimes wacky but well-meaning take on things!!! I am going to keep Thanksgiving in a Pie in mind for the future.

      1. A layer of turkey, a layer of stuffing, a layerof mashed potato, a layer of sweet potato etc (however you choose although I would suggest turkey on the bottom as is a stable base) all encased in pastry with cooked/par cooked cranberries on top (you can add the cranberries after it is cooked). I decided not to go with pastry between layers. You can round of the meal with pake: pie in cake! To complete the theme of meals within meals…

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