Plan ahead for Chinese New Year in London
Date Posted: 08/01/15
Chinese New Year is fast approaching, with the festivities due to take place on the weekend of February 19th. Short of being in China for the celebrations, there is no better place to be than London, which boasts the largest festivities outside the country during this very special time of year.
The majority of the details for London's celebrations this year are still under wraps, but you can guarantee there will be something spectacular to see out the Year of the Horse and usher in the Year of the Sheep.
Once again, the fun will centre around Chinatown itself, with an absolute plethora of New Year-themed decorations and special menus ready to go on display - courtesy of the 100-plus bars, cafes and restaurants in the area.
With that in mind, it's worth making sure you make your plans ahead of time, considering how busy the area is likely to be on such an important day of the year. What follows are SuperBreak's top tips on how to beat the crowds.
Get up early for the parade
Chinese New Year is particularly renowned for its exquisite parade - an absolutely tremendous procession that winds its way through central London, comprising traditional acts from China such as drum beating and dragon dancing. However, with 300,000 people expected to celebrate the holiday by rushing to the centre of London, you'll be hard-pushed to get a space where you can see everything unless you're prompt.
If you really love your lie-ins, why not book a hotel in central London so that you can ensure you get a good place, while avoiding the need to get up early at the weekend? That way, you can save your energy for the fantastic festival that takes place in Trafalgar Square every year, and goes late into the night.
This year, the parade takes place on Sunday February 22nd.
Eat out at a Chinese restaurant
One of the best aspects of Chinese culture that London has truly taken to heart is the food. Celebrate Chinese New Year by taking time out with the family and booking into one of the restaurants in Chinatown, where you can sample all kinds of extraordinary dishes, from whole ducks to dumplings to rice balls to pork ribs. It's easy to find excellent value and utterly fantastic food, and by giving the kids a taste of Chinese culture, you'll be inspiring a love of peking duck and prawn noodles for life.
However, it's best to book now if you're hoping to secure a table at one of the nicer restaurants. Chinatown is understandably busy over the weekend and you don't want to be queuing for hours.
A quick note on transportation. With Tube stations around Trafalgar Square likely to be extremely busy, it may be wise to consider walking through central London. That way, you'll get to appreciate the atmosphere more as you approach the celebrations. Remember that major London train stations including Victoria, Euston, Waterloo and Cannon Street are only a 30 minute walk from Trafalgar Square if you don't fancy braving the Underground.
Posted by Hayley Brent
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