Raise The Roost! 8 Places To Celebrate Chinese New Year In London

Abbie Moujaes Abbie Moujaes


People born in the Year of the Rooster are said to be honest, ambitious, attractive but at times prone to impatience and selfishness. Rooster or not, make sure you insist on celebrating Chinese New Year this Saturday and impatiently enforce one of the following festive activities…


1. Tea Workshops

At the 1930s Shanghai inspired Mei Leaf Tea Bar in Camden, you can not only try a healthy and life-affirming tea cocktail such as the Dew Drop Junkie (bright floral Jasmine tea muddled with crushed mint leaves and elderflower, £3.70)… but get into the spirit of the motherland of the cuppa’ and enjoy a tea workshop or tea tasting session. And buy a tea face mask. 


2. Dumpling Classes

Chinese New Year is a chance to not only eat so many dumplings that you pretty much become one, but to learn to make them too. Release your inner Kung Fu Panda and head to Mamalan for a small and intimate dumpling making class, £35 a head. Plus try Mamalan’s special Chinese New Year Red Rooster Dumpling (only available from 27th Jan to 2nd Feb, £6.5, chicken, spring onions and red currant).


3. Fortune Cookies

Chinese new year
[Rick Harris via flickr]
More rewarding than the usual pile of foil-wrapped fortune cookies, at Royal China Restaurants across London, each table will be given a special red envelope with the potential for prizes within. What’s more guests have the chance to experience one of the most powerful traditions of CNY, a live ‘Lion Dance’ thought to bring good luck.


4. The Year of the… Cocktail

Chinese new year
[Fu Manchu]
Clapham’s Fu Manchu has created a special cocktail specifically for CNY. Called ‘The Year Of The Rooster’, it incorporates a fiery chilli infused vodka as a nod to the weaving Chinese dragons in the New Year parades. Rooster red, it will help to wash down the multiple beef & radish dumplings, lemongrass & coconut dim sum and sweet potato & caramelised onion bao buns. Yum.


5. The Silk Road

A photo posted by Desi Kadyova (@thecuriousdesi) on


The Magical Lantern Festival has come to Chiswick House and Gardens for its second year. With life-sized and oversized lantern scenes representing the significant route of trade which gives this year’s festival its name, ‘The Silk Road’, this is an extremely prosperous way to spend your Chinese New Year.

And it’s not only a magnificent 75 minute lantern trail but rides, VR games, an ice bar, ice rink and international food from churros to jerk chicken and, of course, sticky dumplings. Open Thursday to Sunday each week until 26th Feb, tickets up to £20.


6. The Parade

chinese new year
[කේදාර KhE 龙 via flickr]
Always free and always fabulous, see acrobatics, dragon dances, Chinese lions, martial arts, traditional sounds and a stunning light show in the Chinese New Year Parade skipping from Charing Cross to Shaftesbury Avenue on 29th Jan. Events kick off in Trafalgar Square from 11am, special performances on West End stages go on from 12 till 5pm and in Chinatown from 12 to 6pm you can sample lots of festive treats.


7. Lazy Susan

chinese new year
[Mandarin Kitchen]
Lap up all the food on offer on your Lazy Susan at the delicious and traditional Mandarin Kitchen in Queensway. Specialising in asian seafood it serves up clams, squids, scallops and sea-bass to name but a few. Mmm Shark’s Fin Soup (£9.9) and Pork Knuckle Slices (£7.9).


8. Boat Party

chinese new year
Take your CNY celebration to another level – onto the deck of a floating Chinese restaurant. Fengshang can be found just next to Regent’s Park and becomes particularly magical at night when its red lantern lights reflect in Regent’s Canal. There’s all the favourites on the menu plus a whole section dedicated to stir fried lobster.

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