Are you dreaming of a wonderful gathering with family, friends, colleagues and loved ones over Thanksgiving? Recently, I hosted an intimate lunch with my closest friends, at Balthazar Restaurant in London, to celebrate the occasion. Drinking the ginger fizz cocktails, sampling the hearty menu and mouthwatering dessert to complete the satisfaction, leaving everyone in a joyful mood at the end of the day.
While there is some debate around the exact origins of the first Thanksgiving, the dishes associated with the modern-day American celebratory dinner have probably evolved from that first celebration, which was shared amongst the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe in 1621. The meal included turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin and squash – mainly traditional Native American foods. Literally, the table was covered with a huge feast to enjoy.
People out there often ask exactly what does Thanksgiving refer to. Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays to occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada, on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.
Thanksgiving at Balthazar has become something of a tradition over the years. Each November they celebrate their US heritage with a special set menu of all-American classics in the restaurant, with pumpkin and pecan pies available in the boulangerie. This year they are taking things one step further, with a brand new American whiskey cocktail available at the bar and included in the set menu. Please see the full menu here.
The original New York branch of this French brasserie and bakery is set in Manhattan’s upscale Soho neighbourhood. A celebrity favourite, Balthazar was one of the hardest places in which to get a reservation after opening. Its London branch is offering a Thanksgiving-themed menu on November 22nd. Whether you’re an American in London looking for somewhere to celebrate the holiday, or just like the sound of a hearty butternut squash soup, traditional roast turkey and either pecan pie or pumpkin cheesecake, come and book at Balthazar London.
Balthazar also offers a Thanksgiving party pie. Whether you are throwing a Thanksgiving dinner party, need a gift for a homesick American friend, or just want to treat your colleagues, their take away sharing-size pies are the perfect dessert. Choose from crunchy pecan and chocolate or creamy spiced pumpkin – they’re almost too good to share.
Spiced Pumpkin Pie, £10
Pecan & Chocolate Pie, £12
The pies serve 6-8 people and are available to order from the boulangerie until Thursday, 22 November. Delivery is free within the WC2 area and outside this area can be made at an additional charge. Please give at least 24 hours’ notice by calling the boulangerie on 020 3301 1155 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order. Be sure not to miss this one, as it’s absolutely delish.
Thank you, Balthazar, for organising an intimate Thanksgiving lunch. I hope you have an enjoyable experience at Balthazar and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and have a glass of champers on me.