Chinese New Year Luxury London Restaurant Guide

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Chinese New Year Luxury London Restaurant Guide

If you're planning to celebrate the Lunar new year here in London you're in luck! There are some really special Chinese menus. Limited edition cocktails and live performances to enjoy at some of the most high end dining establishments across London. 

Chinese New Year
Delicious dim sum at Mama Chen's 

Read on for my 2023 guide to the best Chinese Lunar events taking place in London. 

Chinese New Year 

As the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches, it is time to celebrate the dawn of 2023. On January 22nd, 2023, the Chinese New Year will usher in the Rabbit. It is sure to be a special occasion.

Filled with colorful parades and vibrant festivities that honor this beloved symbol of fertility and longevity. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore everything there is to know about the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year of the rabbit. From its origin story to celebration customs and more. 

Read on to learn all about this exciting holiday and how you can join in with friends and family!

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar and "Spring Festival" in modern Mainland China, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. 

Lunar New Year

It is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. The origin is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions.

Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.

Modern celebrations often involve public parades, fireworks, dragon dances, feasting, and holidays. Family reunions are commonly held during this time. 

The Spring Festival officially begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day. 

Chinese New Year's Eve, a day where people gather with their families and prepare for the time ahead, is known as Chúxī. It literally means "Year-pass Eve".

The different animals of the Chinese zodiac

There are twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, each representing a different year. The animal for each is determined by a cycle of twelve years, with each animal having its own special meaning. 

The animals of the Chinese zodiac are:

Rat: Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be intelligent, charming, and hardworking.

Ox: Those born at this time of the Ox are said to be honest, reliable, and patient.

Tiger: Those born in the Year of the Tiger are said to be brave, confident, and competitive.

Rabbit: Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be gentle, kind, and quick-witted.

Dragon: Those born under the Dragon cycle are said to be energetic, fearless, and passionate.

Snake: Those born in the Year of the Snake are said to be wise, calm, and introspective.

Horse: Those born in the phase of the Horse are said to be optimistic, independent, and good communicators.

Goat: Those born in the era of the Goat are said to be creative, gentle souls who enjoy peaceful surroundings. 

The meaning of the Year of the Rabbit

In Chinese culture, the Year of the Rabbit is associated with good fortune, luck, and abundance. The Rabbit is a symbol of peace, love, and compassion. 

In the Chinese zodiac, the Rabbit is considered to be an auspicious sign. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be intelligent, kind-hearted, and hardworking.

Rabbits are also a popular motif in Chinese art and literature. Rabbits are often depicted in paintings and sculptures as lucky symbols of good fortune. 

In addition, the image of a white rabbit is often used in Chinese decorations.

The meaning of the Year of the Rabbit can be interpreted in many ways. However, most people believe that it represents hope, new beginnings, and good luck.

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in London 

My own 2023 Chinese New year celebrations began with a visit to Mama Chen's and I was impressed by each dish! Mama Chen's is a casual restaurant that has recently taken up residency on the ground floor of the Gantry Hotel in Stratford

2023 year of the rabbit

I really enjoyed their vegan and vegetarian dim sum dumplings beneath red hanging lanterns up for the Lunar New Year. Along with some of the most perfect noodles and homemade chilli sauces. 

Mama Chen's also sell DIY dim sum kits which you can cook at home. Or join one of their dimsum masterclasses. 

Read on for my essential guide of the best upscale Lunar New Year events in London you won't want to miss!

Hakkasan Mayfair - 10th January - 7th February 

Michelin starred Hakkasan in Mayfair are offering an exclusive Chinese New Year menu accompanied by a cocktail called Tùzi (Chinese for rabbit) Tail in collaboration with Hennessy X.O.

Guests will also be invited to write a wish for 2023 on a red ribbon and hang it on the handcrafted bespoke wishing trees in the restaurant.

Diners booked for the 26th of January can enjoy a traditional lion dance at 6pm.

Hutong - 12th - 31st January 2023

Head to level 33 of the tallest building in London - the Shard. To enjoy a limited edition 'Year of the rabbit' cocktail from the Shanghai bar in Hutong. There's also a five-course ‘Year of the Rabbit’ dinner menu with an optional Chinese wine pairing.

Traditional Chinese festivities take place over the New Year weekend at Hutong. Including a Chinese calligrapher from 7pm-9pm on the 21st of January. Plus a Lion Dance throughout the evening on the 22nd of January.

MiMi Mei Mayfair - January 13th - February 5th 2023 

To bring in the Lunar new year. MiMi Mei in Mayfair are inviting diners to enjoy an exclusive Chinese New Year menu. 
Curated by Executive Chef Peter Ho.

The limited edition three course menu consists of some mouth-watering options. Including, but not limited to a sharing main of Dried Scallop Braised Noodles and more. Whilst Persimmon Sticky Rice Cake is the featuring dessert.

Mama Chen's

Guests at MiMi Mei Mayfair will celebrate beneath a beautiful purple. Floral wishing tree canopy. As a symbol of prosperity for the 2023 year of the rabbit. 

The gorgeous wishing tree is situated upstairs on dining level two in the parlour. A beautiful dining room opposite the library.

The parlour is said to be empress MiMi — 'keeper of the most revered Chinese culinary secrets' favourite room in the whole of the luxury. Three floor, six room surroundings of this Georgian townhouse. 

Ivy asia - 16th - 27th January 2023 

From the 16th - 27th January 2023. Guests can enjoy the unique Lunar new year cocktail menu, along with festive decorations at any one of the three impressive Ivy Asia restaurants in London. 

Hakkasan Hanway Place 

On the 18th of January Hakkasan Hanway Place and Hennessy collaborated to bring guests a one-off, exclusive event. Diners got to enjoy complementary Hennessy drink pairings alongside the year of the rabbit menu. Whilst theatrical artists from the Box club performed a completely unique take on the carnival-like lion dance. 

Park chinois - 19th - 22nd January 2023 

Head to 1930s Shanghai inspired Park chinois in London, from the 19th of January 2023 to celebrate the Lunar New Year in style.

Executive chef Lee has created a special Chinese menu to enjoy along with a carefully curated ‘Year of the Rabbit’ 
Wine List. Featuring a selection of the very best wines that have all been produced in previous years of the Rabbit! 

Not a wine drinker? Why not try one of three bespoke Hennessy X.O Cocktails, created by their team of mixologists for the celebratory season.

On Thursday 19th of January Park Chinois guests will enjoy a lion dance and in house live band at the glamorous Salon De Chine restaurant. 

Downstairs at the playful Club Chinois restaurant a lion dance and immersive performance takes place. 

On both Friday the 20th of January and Chinese New Year's eve a lion performance. Bei Bei drummer and live band will be entertaining diners in Salon De Chine.

Whilst a lion dance. Silk string quartet and in house live band take over Salon De Chine for Chinese New Year day. 

Chinese New year 2023

Noble Palace - 21st - 31st January 2023

Experience the Chinese New Year fine dining menu at stunning brand new restaurant Noble Palace. Between the 21st and 31st of January 2023. 

Guests at Noble Palace will dine beneath 111 stunning Bollicosa lights decorated specifically for the Lunar new year. 

Orchid lounge 

Celebrate at the Pan Pacific Hotels Orchid Lounge. Where Lunar new year afternoon tea in partnership with Diptyque takes place. 

Lunar tea is inspired by the luxury brands Orange Tree and Orange blossom scent - given that oranges symbolise luck. Success and happiness in Chinese cultures.

Guests booked in for a Lunar new year afternoon tea for two with Diptyque candle will receive one Bougie classique Oranger Diptyque candle to take home. 

On this special Lunar menu are Lunar cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails amongst other drinks. Asian savouries. A Chinese New year prosperity box and hand made sweet pastries. 

Guests will be invited to use the red card, 
‘hóngbāo’ to write their hopes and 
dreams for the year ahead and then 
hang it on the in lounge wishing tree.

The Lunar new year menu is also available outside traditional afternoon tea hours between 6-8pm every Monday. 

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