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November 2014 / Food & Drink / by Cassia Geller

In thanks of Thanksgiving

Confusion around undies aside, there are several things we simply choose not to share with our American cousins. (Aluminum, anyone?) A celebration is most certainly not one of them. In that deathly dull and utterly underindulgent lull between polishing off the last of the kids’ Halloween candy and plucking our first sheep-shaped choccie from the advent calendar we, wholeheartedly, give thanks for thanksgiving.

True, there is such a thing as jumping on the starry, stripy bandwagon but we’ve watched enough Friends in our time to feel perfectly patriated, and surely such a ‘special relationship’ as ours deserves supporting?

UnknownFirst off, if you’ve got US guests to impress, there’s definitely no smarter place to take them than this year’s indisputable dining hot spot, The Chiltern Firehouse – which’ll be perfectly prepped to make them feel right at home. (If, that is, their home is an Andre Balazs bespoke something beloved of a-listers.) From midday, chef Nuno Mendes will be serving up a Thanksgiving special of (and do excuse us if we drift off in a foodie reverie here) Rhug Farm turkey with hay-truffled stuffing, liver parfait and maple bourbon sweet potatoes, topped off with spiced pumpkin and brown butter pie with raisin and caramel bourbon ice-cream (left). Sweet (potato) dreams are surely made of these. 1 Chiltern Street, W1U (020 7073 7676; chilternfirehouse.com)

Equally, Manhattanites suffering from homesickness will find Spring Street solace at London’s Balthazar outpost, celebrating in fittingly traditional style with a four-course feast featuring such fare as spiced butternut squash soup, the mandatory roast turkey, and pumpkin soufflé – washed down with the perfect tipple to toast the season with: the Gingerbread Sour cocktail. 4-6 Russell Street, WC2B (020 3301 1155; balthazarlondon.com)

For proper, family-style feasting, head to The Riding House Café for towering sharing plates of turkey, cornbread and sausage stuffing, maple butter sweet potatoes, creamed corn casserole, calvados gravy and cranberry and orange relish, finished up with Pumpkin Brûlée Pie, while Camden’s Blue’s Kitchen (main image) is going proper deep south with pumpkin ale, New Orleans gumbo and slow roast turkey – all accompanied by a live Chicago blues band. RHC: 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W (020 7927 0840; ridinghousecafe.co.uk); Blue’s: 111 Camden High Street, NW1 (020 7387 5277; theblueskitchen.com)

A special mention must – as is the case whenever and wherever we get the chance – go out to the Truscott Arms. Clearly not resting on their Michelin-noted laurels, they’ll be celebrating in style with, well, everything your stateside dreams are made of – not least the promise of pecan and pumpkin pie for all. And finally, anyone flying home for the holidays must stop by Heathrow’s Terminal 2, where the lovely ladies at The Gorgeous Kitchen will whet your appetite with such Thanksgiving specials as Eggnog and Pumpkin Pie. Truscott: 55 Shirland Road, W9 (020 7266 9198; thetruscottarms.com); Heathrow, The Queen’s Terminal 2 (020 8976 7527)

Right, so that’s next week sorted, any other national celebrations we can capitalise on until Christmas?

Photo (pie): Jamie Orlando Smith