Horses are so last year. It’s all about the lambs and rams, now that the Chinese Year of the Sheep is approaching. And, as Chinatown gears up for the annual shindig, we’re expecting big crowds, food vendors, lion and dragon dances, costumes, floats and that multi-coloured confetti you’ll be picking from your hair days later. But if you’ve seen it all before, or fancy something a bit different, here are some alternative ways to celebrate:
So, did you make any resolutions for the New Year? Yes, we did too. And now that we feel as useful as our expired pilates membership, it’s happy news that Korean fried chicken joint Wingman is giving us all the chance to bury our heads into a great big bucket of Chinese chicken. With dumplings. And beer. All for free. It’s a no-brainer.
The London Confucius Institute is hosting a series of tea ceremonies in the monolith Stratford superstore, giving you the chance to master the art of the ancient brew. The tea workshops run February 19-22, but if tea isn’t really your cuppa, the Great Eastern Kitchen will also be hosting a Chinese cooking masterclass on New Year’s Day.
Mama Wang’s kitchen has a pop-up residency at Jenius Social and Maida Hill Place, and the six-course menu is mouth-watering. Expect rich, pan-Asian fare, with dishes like lamb and chive dumplings, slow-braised beef shin and upside down clementine cake with ginger ice cream. Mango bellinis and green tea whiskeys are served up alongside the food to get you into the spirits.
As the Year of the Sheep kicks off, culture connoisseurs are invited to spend an evening at the Horniman Museum to celebrate, with a ton of contemporary and traditional culture to explore. A secret gallery of work by Aowen Jin can be illuminated with the help of a UV torch, a Chinese ribbon dance crew will be strutting their stuff, alongside live music and the exhibition regulars. The cocktail bar is open all night, with a Chinese menu in the Horniman Café and street food on the terrace. It’s going to be popular, so book ahead.
By Justin McDonnell