Chinese New Year is set to bring colorful celebrations to London next month, with the largest festivities outside Asia. Welcoming the Year of the Snake for 2013 on February 10, there will be special events held in the West End, as well as bars and restaurants marking the occasion with traditional Chinese cuisine. Live cultural performances, a parade from the West End to Trafalgar Square, and special guests are all on the bill for what promises to be a day to remember.
There will be food stalls lining Chinatown, which will see a lion dance snaking through the crowds, stopping at restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year. A stunning fireworks display will mark the end of the day's celebrations. After the fun on the streets of London, book into one of the capital’s many Chinese restaurants, which will be celebrating the New Year in style.
Photo Courtesy of Visit London
Inside Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel, Min Jiang will be offering diners a set menu created by Chef Lee Che Liang, between February 9-10, for £88 per person. Feast on traditional delights such as the restaurant's signature Beijing Duck, as well as steamed whole Dover sole with ham, and “treasure bags” containing wind-dried oyster and pork.
Photo Courtesy of Royal Garden Hotel
Further east, the Docklands’ Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant is hosting an exclusive New Year party on its top deck on February 10. A special menu has been compiled to tantalize the taste buds whilst being entertained by the resident magician. The highlight of the evening will be a performance by the Lion Dance Troupe to bring good fortune and celebrate the New Year.
Photo Courtesy of Lotus Chinese Floating Restaurant
In Chinatown, cocktail and dim sum restaurant Opium Parlour will be hosting an evening of traditional entertainment as well as special foods. There are a host of treats in store for guests: complimentary astrology readings and face-painting, while late evening promises to “take a darker twist” with extraordinary illusion and mind-magic by Deceptionist and the charms of a snake show. Sip seasonal cocktails and chow down on dim sum prepared especially for the New Year celebrations. The staff will be dressing up for the occasion, and diners are invited to do the same. The celebrations take place from Thursday 7–Sunday 10 February. Tickets cost £10.
Photo Courtesy of Opium Parlour
There will be a special lion dance for diners at Holborn’s Shanghai Blues being performed on Monday, February 11, at 7 pm. There's also a set menu on offer for £68 per person, featuring dishes such as steamed Shanghai "Xiao Long Bao" and wok-braised lobster with ginger and spring onions.