While New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even Lima, Peru have some of the most incredible displays of Chinese culture outside of Asia, London has established itself as one of the leading destinations in which to celebrate the Chinese New Year. ChinaDaily named London’s Chinatown number one on its list for Top 10 Chinatowns in which to celebrate the holiday. This year, the city will be getting ready to finish officially welcoming in 2013 on Sunday February 10th, with a host of activities, performances, firework displays and other events.
Every year London’s Trafalgar Square welcomes hundreds of world-renowned performers including the Chen Brothers Flying Lion Dance as well as others from varying Chinese provinces. Most of the activities are free to attend, which allows single Londoners and families alike to enjoy the parade of paper dragons as well as the beat of drums and a sky colored with paper lanterns and flittering artwork. However, 2013 is the year of the snake according to the Chinese zodiac. So if 2013 is your year (of if you happen to have been born in one of the snake years) get ready to use your intelligence, gracefulness, and aptitude for the finer things in life.
Channel the Year of The Snake and do something extravagant, such as an overnight stay at one of Britain’s iconic hotels, The Dorchester. Considered to have some of the most authentic Cantonese food outside of China, China Tang at The Dorchester is a great place to ring in the New Year like they do in the East. In honor of the holiday, the menu at China Tang will include contemporary and classic dishes such as Peking duck, Eight Treasures Winter Melon Soup, Roast Pigeon, or Cantonese Prawns served with Chilli Soya Sauce. Sunday morning diners can order off a special “Year of the Snake” prix fixe menu which will include Snake Soup with Fish Maw.
Photo Courtesy of The Dorchester
After perhaps, a dinner of whole lobster with noodles or braised beef in oyster sauce, head over to the China Tang Bar, frequented by a host of London celebrities. Soak in the 1930’s art deco and collection of chinoiserie while having a cocktail or enjoying some live jazz music. The Dorchester is located on Park Lane in Mayfair, London and offers a comfortably classic approach to traditional English refinement with suites overlooking Hyde Park and the landscaping of the hotel.