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Chinese New Year in London
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chinese New Year in London

Are you ready to embrace the Year of the Tiger? Here are the best things to do in London to make the most of Chinese New Year 2022

Written by
Time Out London editors
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Chinese New Year is almost upon us! Also known as the Lunar New Year, the Spring Festival, Tet and Seollal, it’s the official start of the new lunar calendar, which means a chance to wipe clean the slate and start afresh for a more positive new year.

Sadly, the Year of the Tiger will be ushered in with less fanfare than hoped for. After the mayor confirmed that the new year’s celebrations on Tuesday February 1 will be scaled back once again. It’s the second year in a row that the festival, the biggest of its kind outside of Asia, has been cancelled.

Normally, the main parade starts in Charing Cross Road before dancing through Shaftesbury Avenue and finishing with a lion eye-dotting ceremony and stage performances in Trafalgar Square. Instead, there will be a small-scale lion dance and a night market in Newport Place in Chinatown with video screens showing pre-recorded performances.

The usual spectacle of costumed parades and stage performances might not be going ahead, but don’t fret, just because things are scaled back there’s still plenty to do. From special set-menu dinners at London’s best Chinese restaurants to historic walks and workshopsWe’ll be adding more details of events as they’re announced.

For more insider advice, be sure to read up on the best of Chinese London

RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in London this February.

Chinese New Year 2022 in London

Kick off celebrations at MiMi Mei Fair for a special feasting menu to mark the occasion. Dine under a traditional Chinese wishing tree decked out in beautiful peonies, chrysanthemums and kumquats, which are a symbol of good fortune, wealth and prosperity. From January 24 to February 15, guests can dine on chilli mayo and lemon oysters, wok-baked lobster hakka noodles with beansprouts and more. Afterwards, diners can write their wishes of health, happiness, and success for the coming year and hang them on the tree. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese

Peking duck, special fried rice and unctuous noodles are all delicious, but sometimes Chinese food is best eaten in exquisitely crafted bite-sized packets. London’s best restaurants for dim sum offer traditional buns, dumplings and rolls as well as renegade riffs on the old classics. And not just in Chinatown: you can sample London’s yum cha scene across the city, from a luxe west London hotel to a hip East End joint. All you need are a pair of chopsticks and a pair of elasticated trousers.

  • Restaurants
  • Singaporean
  • Covent Garden
  • price 1 of 4
Is there a better way to ring in the new year than an impressive tear-and-share curry flower bread? We think not. Order one of Old Chang Kee’s special Chinese New Year meal kit deliveried right to your door. The finish at home bundle includes ‘pull-apart’ buns, signature chicken curry for two, a portion of curry sauce, chicken curry puffs with eggs, veggie curry potato puffs and a jar of sambal chilli. There’s also the option to upgrade and add on extras such as Singapore laksa curry, extra sambal and drinks. Order here for nationwide delivery. What’s more, there’s 50% off delivery fees until Feb 28.
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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Fitzrovia

Chopsticks at the ready! Dive right in for Poon’s and Mortimer House two-night Chinese New Year celebration dinners on Wednesday February 9 and Thursday February 10. Take your pick from bone or veggie broth hotpots where diners can plunge a range of delicious ingredients to cook. Each hotpot session includes deep-fried tofu puffs, Chinese greens, prawns, and marinated pork fillet, as well as Poon’s signature sauces to add to the pot. On the second night tuck into a five-course feast of classic Poon’s dishes like pork and bamboo shoot wontons, braised beef flank with Chinese radish, and drunken chicken. Book tickets here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

This is afternoon tea, but not as you know it. Inspired by the year of the tiger, Bun House has shaken up the classic afternoon tea with pillowy soft themed buns, including a cute savoury tiger bun and a calligraphy bun, alongside smaller sweet and savoury snacks and traditional Chinese teas. Sittings for the afternoon tea are available from noon until 5pm. It’s priced at £36 per person for a minimum of two, and vegetarian options are also available. 

Order a Chinese New Year Shanghai Supper takeaway
Photograph: Shanghai Supper

Order a Chinese New Year Shanghai Supper takeaway

Sadly, the pandemic has scuppered supper club supremo Shanghai Supper’s big sit-down dinner plans this year. Instead, it’s gone all out with a six-course Chinese New Year finish-at-home takeaway dinner. It features powerful Shanghainese flavours such as drunken corn-fed chicken thighs, kaofu (braised wheat gluten), dried mushrooms, soy-braised Iberico pork, rice cake with Chinese cabbage, pork and pickled mustard leaves and an eight-treasure red bean-paste glutinous rice dome. If you’re still hungry you can also add on the signature shengjianbao dumplings. All this could be yours for delivery (organise your own courier) or pick up from Jan 27 and Jan 28 from 13 Montagu Place, W1H 2ET for £108. Order here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Victoria

Wear stretchy trousers for chef Andrew Wong’s Chinese New Year five-course banqueting-style evening menu at his two Michelin-starred restaurant A. Wong. This is a special feast like no other and it’ll be based on the Confucian ritual of grouping in fives, featuring dishes like seared black lamb with chilli and peanuts; cherry smoked memories of Peking duck, plum, caviar and smoked wrap; and cod cheek with fermented chilli and scalded Chinese chives. Available from Feb 1.

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