Since Turkey Day is not something we knew much about, we did some research first. Some people thought that if President Obama -research was done pre US election- could spare a turkey from Thanksgiving, then surely he could rescue 9 million Londoners from the same fate.
OK, anonymous Londoner, that’s a bit harsh! Didn’t you loved the Harvest Festival as a kid? Decorating the local church with dodgy dried flowers; stuffing a satchel with mystery food tins that mum won at the WI tombola. It was reassuringly amateurish! There was even a jolly school assembly where everyone forgot the words to We Plough the Fields and Scatter.
So what happened? Maybe some people see Thanksgiving as the upstart country cousin barging between Guy Fawkes and Santa Claus, singing “Happy Holiday”. And they don’t quite understand why is he so obsessed with a turkey dinner, apple pie or sweet potatoes…
Well let’s face it, if Thanksgiving has earned a place in England, we’ve only ourselves to blame. The Pilgrim Fathers sailed from these shores, landed in the Free World and launched this precious and enduring slice of Americana. And now panic sets in when Thanksgiving dares to bounce back across the pond to invade our shores: “Pull up the drawbridge!” “Start an online petition for THEXIT!”
Actually, don’t. Look at the calendar and see what’s planned for the 4th Thursday in November. You’ve got to admit, it’s a bit of a lull. Halloween and fireworks have been seen off and Christmas parties loom like giant killer baubles. So, with 100,000 Americans hanging out in London, what’s stopping you? Go join a few on the 24th and help cultivate the special relationship.
Trust me, there’s no shortage of places to stuff yourself silly. Across the capital, cafes and restaurants are touting their all-in Thanksgiving feasts; cooking off an early Christmas turkey (in the case of Clive’s Midtown Diner, shaping it into a mouth-watering Turkey Melt, and Joe’s Southern Kitchen‘s Thanksgiving Burger is off the metaphorical chain, as you can see on the picture above) and steaming their pumpkins. So park your cynicism and go sample delicious morsels, like Bumpkin‘s Bramley apple crumble, in fact, their whole Thanksgiving menu! Or for a different take on the festivity, but nevertheless an altogether Southern American feeling, head to always festive Bubba Gump!
Frankly, if there’s something to divert us Londoners from the corpulent monolith that is Christmas, I’m all for it. But if you really can’t stand another slice of cornbread, then head off to a rammed shopping centre instead. They’re waiting to entertain with festive musak and oodles of tat. You are free to roam…as the president said to the turkey.