Thanksgiving is a cherished American holiday, when families from sea to shining sea gather to celebrate and give thanks over a bountiful meal.For the travel-minded, Thanksgiving weekend also provides the perfect opportunity to get out of town, where manic Black Friday disasters are but a faint memory.
See the 11 best locations to celebrate Thanksgiving abroad >
Fortunately, travelling outside the United States doesn’t mean those who love a traditional meal need go without. While not necessarily acknowledging the cultural importance of the holiday, an increasing number of restaurants abroad are preparing special menus and dinners to accommodate those who crave them.
Chef Laurent Manrique, of the New York restaurant Millesime, will be spending the holiday in Paris, where he has been invited by chef Flora Mikula to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal at her hotel restaurant Auberge Flora. The pair will offer a special menu, including roasted turkey and a scallop and cheddar fondue appetizer. “I am excited to bring to Paris a taste of Thanksgiving and allow those visiting Americans or adventurous diners to celebrate with us abroad,” says Manrique.
Though most restaurants participating in the trend stick primarily to the culinary framework of turkey, stuffing and pie, there are those who fuse the American foundations of the dishes with local techniques and spice. For the third consecutive year, Marrakech’s La Maison Arabe, where Americans make up 40 per cent of the clientele, won’t just be serving a Thanksgiving meal at its Trois Saveurs dining room — its cooking-class program will teach guests how to make it (complete with a turkey cooked in a tagine). Even Etihad Airways will offer Thanksgiving-inspired options in addition to regular in-flight menus on the big day. We’ll say thank you to that.
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This story was originally published by Departures.
Trade in Thanksgiving football for a visit to the Amazon. Luxury river-cruise outfit Aqua Expeditions will arrange an unforgettable South American outing aboard one of its tricked-out water vessels before wining and dining guests with a Peruvian-inspired Thanksgiving meal.
Spend the day photographing some of the area's unique wildlife or meeting with fishermen of the Ucayali River and then sit down to a dinner of baked turkey stuffed with breadfruit, a starfruit chutney and cocona side dish and sweet humitas for dessert.
Three-night itinerary (including meals and tours), from $2,700
Chef Flora Mikula is starting a new trend at the restaurant in the Auberge Flora hotel by inviting some of her favourite culinary masters to cook a meal in its kitchen.
The first of these partnerships will take place on Thanksgiving Day, when Laurent Manrique, chef at the Carlton Hotel's Millesime restaurant in New York, will be on hand to serve guests and locals alike a time-honored American culinary experience. Mikula and Manrique's menu will feature turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce as well as less traditional fare like a celery-and-pear soup.
Rooms, from $178; dinner, from $60
44 Bd. Richard Lenoir
For those in the air on the holiday who still crave a traditional meal, Etihad Airways -- which will offer a Thanksgiving-themed menu aboard all of its flights on November 22 -- has it covered.
In addition to Etihad's regular meal program, those in business or first class can enjoy a traditional turkey platter entrée, complete with a chestnut soup starter and pumpkin pie to close.
A jaunt to the private island of Kamalame Cay is always about secluded, beachside luxury -- and guests there at Thanksgiving can expect a meal starring the fruits and culinary traditions of the region.
Dishes like fresh Andros stone crabs in a light yellow curry and wasabi mayo or a Jamaican-bread-and-roast-pumpkin pudding with dates and homemade vanilla ice cream drizzled with rum sauce may not be the normal turkey accompaniments, but they are certainly delicious. To make it even more adventurous, Kamalame Cay has just introduced half-day boat excursions to teach spearfishing.
Rooms (including dinner), from $800
Staniard Creek, Andros
For some, the most exciting part of Thanksgiving isn't eating the meal but actually making it.
The cooking school at Marrakech's La Maison Arabe will be administering lessons on how to put together a Thanksgiving meal using quintessential Moroccan techniques and flavours. On November 22, two classes of 10 will get the lowdown on making pumpkin salad and a turkey tagine. If you're after something less hands-on, Trois Saveurs, one of the property's dining rooms, will serve Moroccan pumpkin soup and turkey stuffed with couscous and almonds.
Cooking class, from $70
1 Derb Assehbé, Bab Doukkala
Restaurant 750 at lovely Montpelier Plantation & Beach has hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the past 11 years.
The Relais & Châteaux property, a former sugar plantation situated at the bottom of Nevis Peak, a retired volcano, serves delicacies like local organic turkey, pumpkin pie made from native pumpkins and traditional stuffing. November is particularly pleasing here, when regular guests return for a while and the whole island throws open its doors. Winter at Montpelier brings cooking classes and after-dinner movies shown at Indigo, the recently renovated pool bar.
Rooms, from $445
One-90's executive chef Giovanni Speciale has been offering Thanksgiving service to its patrons for a few years now.
And with a menu that features mouthwatering plates of sweet-corn-and-king-crab croquettes, braised beef cheek, oven-roasted turkey and pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream, it is no surprise that this hotel restaurant is such a hit on the third Thursday of November. This year One-90 is rolling out a second menu, for vegetarians, with options like chestnut soup with brioche breadcrumbs and crispy chestnuts, plus a main course of roasted vegetable timbale.
Rooms, from $380; dinner, from $70
190 Orchard Blvd., Singapore
As a getaway destination, Balcones del Atlantico's simple luxury on the Dominican Republic's Samaná Peninsula could be the ideal spot for a late-fall escape.
Porto, the resort's open-air eatery, is an unorthodox Thanksgiving dinner option that focuses more on surf than turf. Most of the meal's ingredients come from the markets in the nearby fishing village Las Terrenas, including local seafood, tropical fruits and produce. Served family-style, the menu features mahimahi ceviche, homemade hickory-smoked roasted whole chicken, steamed lobster with passion-fruit hollandaise sauce, whole roasted red snapper and a special pumpkin mousse.
Rooms, from $275
Ctra. Las Terrenas, el Limon s/n
Cape Town hosts South Africa's biggest beer festival from November 23 to 25, which makes the capital city a distinctly delightful Thanksgiving port of call.
But before you head out to partake, chow down at Reuben's at One & Only Cape Town for a Thanksgiving meal with South African flair. The set menu offers three options for each course, including dishes like tomato soup with an oxtail-and-Parmesan beignet or the caramelized-onion-and-Parmesan tart. For the main event, each offering features unexpected twists that elevate a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For instance, Reuben's turkey entrée is poached in thyme and served with confit thigh and a compote of cranberry and Granny Smith apple, pumpkin dauphinoise and café au lait.
Rooms, from $615
Dock Rd., Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
This brand-new property opened in Siena in July with a slew of quaint countryside offerings, like mushroom foraging, pottery courses with local artists and vineyard harvesting on its sprawling 4,200-acre estate.
Inside the restored 12th-century castle resides elegantly rendered boutique accommodations and Ristorante Tosca, its classic Italian dining venue featuring fresh local fare served under stunning Murano glass chandeliers. (The views of rolling Tuscan hills stretch as far as the eye can see.) The restaurant developed a special holiday menu that starts with a cranberry cocktail followed by pumpkin soup, Roquefort cheese tart and a roasted turkey stuffed with chestnuts and prunes.
Rooms, from $800; dinner (excluding drinks), from $100
Località Querceto, 53031 Casole d'Elsa
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