How to treat your team with an All-American Thanksgiving
While Thanksgiving itself remains a true American pastime that you won’t hear much about if you don’t live, work, or hang out with an American, Thanksgiving dinners have continued to pop up over the city these past few years. It might be the kind of Americanism that would make your Mum roll her eyes to the ceiling, but as the nights draw in and the days get ever more grey, taking a bit of time to think about what you’re thankful for can’t be a bad thing. After all, there’s no need to miss out on sweet potato and marshmallow mash just because of the passport you hold.
So whether or not your team is full of Americans, desperate to spread some Turkey Day gospel, Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to gather everyone around. Take a few hours off on Thursday 26th November, and raise a glass to the people that make your work possible.
1. Go swanky with Balthazar
Hey, for a nation that doesn’t do anything by halves, it’s important to go all out when you’re saying ‘thanks’, okay? In the States, Balthazar is the much-referenced French-style Bistro you’re likely to spot Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Taylor and Tina Turner in during the same lunch service, and in London, the scene is just as opulent. For Thanksgiving at its Covent Garden outpost, think gingerbread fizz to begin, winter kale salad, turkey with corn fritters, butternut squash gratin and, of course, pumpkin pie. It might be a bit of a splash out budget-wise, but if you’re looking for an early Christmas party for a small team, it could be just the ticket.
Price: The set menu is £55 per person
Location: Balthazar, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
2. Celebrate blue-plate style with The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club has been doing a brisk trade in Thanksgiving dinners for Londoners these past few years, so you know they’ll have that stuffing recipe down. Normal service at this joint focuses on updated diner food, with breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros and some way-high pancake stacks. So for Thanksgiving, their head chef Matt has put together a three course meal under £30 that’s hard to resist. We’re talking maple and pecan cornbread and baked kale mac ‘n’ cheese with Ritz cracker breadcrumb topping, all served in a roasted squash (alongside all the more traditional fixings, of course).
Price: £28 per person
Location: Choose between a 3pm (Canary Wharf only), 6pm or 8.30pm sitting at your preferred Breakfast Club cafe.
3. Order-in Thanksgiving
If all that sounds like a bit too much to organise, but you’d still like to put on a mini-Thanksgiving in your office, why not embrace some other culinary highlights from across the Atlantic? You could have a traditional hot thanksgiving feast or thanksgiving pie 'n mash.
If you don't want to go the whole hog, try some Artisan Thanksgiving Sandwiches from Fork Deli or some crunchy french thanksgiving baguettes from Moba. Gather everyone around and toast your coffee mugs to some team work. Don’t worry, it’s okay to feel this cheesy, it’s Thanksgiving!
Price: Sandwiches come in at just £4.95 a head and a full thanksgiving feast at anywhere between £12 and £16.
Location: An office to suit you! Follow the links to find out more about each package.
4. Pick a pop-up supper club
Book your team into a Thanksgiving Supper Club and get all the benefits of a home-cooked meal and eating out, all in one! This year Soul Kitchen are cooking up an early Thanksgiving feast on 19th November, with a marshmallow sweet potato bake, chili creamed corn and maple and pecan crumble-topped pumpkin pie served with bourbon cream. There’s even a mention of eggnog shots, all for £35 over at Stepney City Farm.
Price: £35 a head
Location: Stepney City Farm Cafe, Stepney
5. Go off piste with The Groundnut
And hey, if all of this is sounding a little too Team America to you, no-one’s saying you can’t go off piste with your own celebrations. Raise a glass with your staff down in South London over a West African feast instead, where The Groundnut team are putting on a run of pop-up nights between now and Christmas. Duval, Yemi and Jacob, the three guys behind Groundnut, have been cooking up a storm bringing totally new flavours and dishes to the already-incredibly diverse London food scene. Thursday 26th also happens to be one of the only nights that isn’t sold out yet, so get those tickets booked pronto…
Price: £30 a head
Location: St Johns Hall, Tower Bridge