Your Guide to Chinese New Year in London | 2017
Fact: there are more people with the surname “Wang” currently living in China than there are people of any kind living in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand put together.
Thus we heartily recommend joining them in ringing in Chinese New Year in London with one of the following supperclubs, parades, feasts, festivals, and concerts…
THINGS TO DO:
The Chinese New Year Parade
This is probably the grandest way to spend Chinese New Year in London – because outside of China, this is the biggest Chinese New Years parade in the world. So – we’re all thinking it – it better f**king impress. And given that they’ve lined up dragon dances, live music, acrobatics, pyrotechnics, comedy, martial arts displays, and a TON of noodles…. it probably will. Things kick off at 10am, and work their way from Trafalgar Square through to Chinatown, and onto Soho.
Details: 29th January | Central London | Free
The Grand Chinese New Year Concert
Every year for the last 20 years, one of China’s traditional orchestras presents a sample of the country’s colourful musical tradition around the world. This year, you can treat your ears to the mellifluous sounds of both the Shaanxi Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra and Zhejiang Traditional Orchestra at the Barbican.
Details: 7th February | The Barbican, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS | £25–55
Magical Lantern Festival
If you enjoy standard, run-of-the-mill lantern festivals, you’re going to love the Magical Lantern Festival. It involves a 15-metre wide lantern of London’s Houses of Parliament, moving animal lanterns, an ice rink, funfair rides, VR games, and an ice bar.
Details: Now-26th February | Chiswick House Gardens, W4 2QN | £16.50
National Maritime Museum: Chinese New Year
If there’s one thing that Britain and China can and always have truly and unequivocally agreed on, it’s that tea is delicious. And no ship brought those tasty leaves to us better than the Cutty Sark, which makes it the perfect place for the NMM to host talks on the tea trade & the opium wars, performances from the Guangzhou Art Troupe, and some good ol’ Chinese New Year Storytelling.
Details: 28th-29th January | Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF | Free (with some ticketed events)
PLACES TO EAT:
Hutong at The Shard
Ruthlessly one-upping Maccy D’s, Hutong at The Shard are serving not just a Happy Meal, but a Double Happiness Meal. It doesn’t come with a toy. But it does come with a four-course feast (including a raw seafood salad with sweet plum sauce and Shanghai wonton in chicken broth) plus a traditional lion dance, and a Chinese calligrapher available to provide you with personalised mementos.
All on the 33rd floor.
Details: 28th January | The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9RY | £88
TĀTĀ Eatery is a Chinese-Portuguese restaurant, and as is – we assume – standard practice for Chinese-Portuguese restaurants on Chinese New Year, they’re putting on a special 9-course menu cooked up by 5 chefs from various standout London restaurants (Koya bar, Taberna do Mercado, etc.). Dishes will include Iberico Pork & king prawn dumplings, plus something called “sticky rice cake ragu”, and you can also expect a glass of prosecco on arrival annnnd some hand-drawn cards & edible money as you leave.
Details: 28th January | 258 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG | £48
Unsurprisingly, given that they’re located in the beating heart of Chinatown itself at Gerrard Street, Opium will be celebrating CNY for an entire week. And they’ll be doing so with a special cocktail menu, fortune telling, close-up magic, feng shui, and a red envelope for every guest featuring prizes ranging from a free beer to a £100 bar tab.
Details: Now-29th January | The blue door, 5-16 Gerrard St, W1D 6JE
The Duke’s Head
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn, Flickr
Because dozens of Chinese lanterns floating above the Thames looks really pretty, this Chinese New Year the Duke’s Head in Putney will be lighting dozens of Chinese lanterns and floating them above the Thames.
And there’ll be food & booze too.
Details: 28th January | 8 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JN
Chinese Cricket Club
The Chinese Cricket Club will be serving a feast of Cantonese dim sum and Sichuan speciality dishes from their executive chef Ken Wang. Which is all good. But the real reason you’re going there? They’re going to have a traditional lion dance to kick it all off.
Details: 27th January | Chinese Cricket Club, EC4V 6DB | £35
Chinese Laundry Dumpling Masterclass
If you were expecting to go to a restaurant and have someone else make you dinner on Chinese New Year, then you need to check your restaurant privilege, pal. Yep, you’ll be making dinner, and paying for the privilege. And sure, you’ll come away with a newfound skill set, a bellyful of cocktails, wine, baijiu, dumplings, and a couple of other dishes too.
Details: 24th-26th January | 107 Upper Street, N1 1QN | £45
The Dinner Ladies at The Little Yellow Door
Presenting: a popup within a popup. The people at Notting Hill temporary restaurant The Little Yellow Door will be turning over the space for one night for a very special Chinese New Year in London thanks to the Dinner Ladies, who are keen to lavish you with food, cocktails, and dancing.
Details: 3rd February | Little Yellow Door, 68 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3HT | £35
Just your standard Chinese New Year fare – if by standard you mean a special menu with a red dim sum dish of truffled crab dumplings, a ‘Red Moutai’ cocktail made with the Chinese spirit baijiu, red petits gateaux to finish with, and a traditional lion dance on Friday 27th.
Details: Until 11th February | Yauatcha City, 1 Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
Missed celebrating Chinese New Year in London? Get the goods all year round at Opium…