Songkran, the Thai New Year, falls as it does every year on April 13, this year a Thursday, and lasts until the 15.
While once it flew somewhat under the radar, Songkran is slowly making its mark on the capital’s annual calendar. While Londoners may struggle to start the day making an offering to Buddhist monks, there’s a few chances to get stuck into the celebrations. Here’s where to go.
1.The Battersea Barge
With water a central part of Songkran, what better way could there be to get involved than with a trip down the Thames? Floating restaurant The Battersea Barge has been taken over by Sebby Holmes (founder and head chef of critically-acclaimed Farang) and Thai lager Singha. Unsurprisingly, beer will be flowing and Holmes will lay on three courses of authentic Thai cuisine. For anyone feeling creative, there’ll also be the chance to get stuck into some crafty bits and pieces.
Info: April 12, 13, The Battersea Barge, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5BP, eventbrite.co.uk
2. Mango Tree
Belgravia’s Mango Tree is laying on a special menu combining both contemporary Thai food, like Pla goong, a spicy Thai spicy with steam prawns, with traditional favourites, including an authentic Thai fish curry with coconut milk, lime leaves, fish balls and noodles. Besides the food, there’ll be drummers to welcome in guests, and DJs to keep everyone in high spirits late into the evening.
Info: April 15, Mango Tree, 46 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7EQ, mangotree.org.uk
3. Nipa Thai
Nipa Thai, inside the upscale Lancaster London off Hyde Park, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. They’ll be going all out with a “Taste of Thailand” menu, which will feature a Songkran water blessing and a performance from Thai dancers. Just be sure to get there early, for a Thai cocktail to kick things off, and if you’re into posting pictures of your evening, be sure to hashtag #NipaAnniversary – there’s a chance to win a night’s stay in the hotel, or another supper at Nipa.
Info: April 14 – 16, Nipa Thai, Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY, niparestaurant.co.uk
4. Head to one of the capital’s best Thai restaurants
Thai food is better than ever in London. Our top picks for a celebratory meal, besides the above, include the Begging Bowl, som saa, Kiln, Farang, Tepa Thai, Smoking Goat and Rosa’s Thai Cafe (on another day, Rosa’s offshoot Lao Café is well worth trying for Laotian cooking, which is similar but a little different).