Lunar New Year in LondonFebruary 21, 2018
Every year, London holds the biggest celebration in the world for Chinese New Year outside of Asia. The streets of Chinatown in Soho come alive with all sorts of lanterns and decorations and there are numerous festivals around the city to celebrate the lunar year, with this year being the Year of the Dog. The Chinese restaurants around town hold their own individual and unique celebrations but the main parade and performances are held in Trafalgar Square just minutes outside of Chinatown. Another popular festival, The Magic Lantern Festival, is held at Chiswick House and Gardens, where over 50 light installations light up the park with theatre performances and live dancers. Some museums, including the National Maritime Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, also feature celebratory installations. There is also the Grand Chinese New Year Concert at Barbican Centra that showcases traditional Chinese orchestra performances.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to attend any of the festivals this year, but I did indulge in some delicious Chinese food to partake in the festivities. Here’s my list of the best Chinese restaurants around London:
Park Chinois: This glitzy restaurant in Mayfair is a bit more high end than those in Chinatown but is perfect for a fun night out with delicious Chinese cuisine. Sit upstairs for live entertainment of traditional Chinese music or go downstairs for a more clubby vibe with a DJ spinning till late.
Hakkasan: Another glitzer in Mayfair, this Michelin starred Cantonese cuisine restaurant takes dim sum to a whole new level. Reservations are definitely recommended.
Feng Shang Princess: This floating restaurant on Regent’s Canal is just as cute as it is delicious! It’s perfect for a special occasion.
Hutong: High-end Chinese restaurant decked out in Old Beijing decor. It’s half way up the Shard so come here to dine with fab views over the city.
Royal China: This Baker Street favourite serves some of the best dim sum in town!
Hunan: Not your typical Chinese restaurant. This place doesn’t have menu, but instead there’s a set price for 20 individual tapas-style courses. Let the waitress know what you do and don’t eat and the chef will surprise you for truly a unique experience in a small and intimate setting.