Celebrate Chinese New Year in London in 2015
Celebrate Chinese New Year in London with our guide to this year’s best events, eateries, places to stay and activities in the capital.
Chinese New Year is, no doubt, one of the largest celebrations in the lunar calendar; and, outside of Asia, London holds the biggest gatherings.
Each succeeding year is named after 12 animals, starting again once all 12 animals have been observed and 2015 marks the Year of the Sheep - falling on the 19th February. The last Year of the Sheep was in 2003 and before that, in 1991. People born in this year are said to be kind hearted, clever, polite and compassionate. According to this guide, celebrities who were born in the Year of the Sheep include Matt LeBlanc, Chow Yun-Fat, Claire Danes, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts.
So, what’s happening in London to celebrate Chinese New Year?
In a little under a week, thousands of tourists, locals and members of the Chinese community will arrive in London to wish each other “Xin Nian Kuai Le” – Happy New Year in Mandarin.
Below we have a run down the top places to go, stay, eat and drink in our favorite city.
When to go!
The main date is Sunday 22nd February. Get down to Trafalgar Square early to get a good position for watching the variety of performances. Look out for the vibrant and exciting parade that runs from Duncannon Street to Shaftesbury Avenue. Expect floats, vivid colourful displays, dragons and more.
It is advised against attempting to drive on the weekend of the main festivities, and expect public transport such as the tube and buses to also be even busier than usual. We advise leaving plenty of time to make sure you get a prime position for the parade.
Why not stay at a hotel near China Town? That way you’re never far from the action. Be quick though! You might find that a lot places book up well in advance.
Below are our top choices for staying in London for Chinese New Year
The Savoy - why not treat yourself to a stay in one of London most sought after hotels? Just 0.4 miles from the action, this will ensure a weekend to remember
Le Meridien Piccadilly - Not only is this hotel in a prime position, it also boasts a variety of room types; these include family rooms as well as a complimentary buffet breakfast thrown in.
Clink78 might be just over a mile away from Trafalgar Square but a basic twin room comes under £100; if you don’t mind sharing, you can get a dorm for under £30!
The obvious choice is Chinese – but with so much choice, check out our recommendations below to ensure you get the best dim sum for your dollar.
Meal with a view – try Min Juang – Contemporary Chinese cuisine based in the Royal Garden Hotel.
Best on a budget – Baozi Inn - Sample the delights of traditional Chinese street food in this fast service but good quality dinner – FYI – cash only.
Get away from it all something different . . .
To get a true taste of China, why not try something different with the Feng Shang Princess? Enjoy typical Chinese delicacies aboard a traditional Chinese floating restaurant.
Looking for the perfect “people watching” position or just somewhere comfy to rest your legs? There are plenty of options in and around the festivities. Why not try Gordon’s Wine Bar renowned for its fantastic wine selection, it also has a variety of cheeses to complement your drink.
Café in the Crypt is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the festivities and have a little time out just for you. A warm welcome and a lovely selection of coffees and light bites greet you in this wonderful 18th century crypt of St Martin-in-the-fields.
All in all, London is definitely worth a visit during the Chinese New Year Period; with so much to see and do, there really is something for everyone.
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