A London Christmas is a miraculous thing. It covers, even encourages, all manner of sins including the mandatory sloth and gluttony (as well as inciting the avarice that Santa might view somewhat less favourably). Come Christmas Day, the city offers an array of dining options to entice even the most Grinch-like relatives off the sofa, as long as the right booking is made. So whether it’s wanton luxury, a long-savoured escape from roast poultry, or a curry that will fill loved ones’ hearts with festive bliss, it’s all here — just don’t leave it till the last minute.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink on Christmas Day in London
Save on the washing up and maybe knock back some eggnog, too
1. The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell
For anyone that won’t manage to escape home — or other — dining arrangements, but wants a suitably festive haven to escape to post-feasts, or to have a preprandial cocktail at, the Zetter will be open all day and serving up its famed Eggnogg (off menu, so just ask).
2. Holborn Dining Room
Calum Franklin’s legendary pies might not be on the menu, but Holborn Dining Room’s opulent central London setting makes good on the promise of Christmas cheer. A baked lobster thermidor tart competes on the starters, while Norfolk Bronze turkey — good words to read next to each other — would make a fitting centrepiece. £175 per person for three courses and some champagne on arrival.
There’s no law that dictates Christmas Day dining. So if all one desires is to leave the house for a couple hours, without booking ahead, or any additional fuss, head over to cult stalwart Tayyabs for a class curry chosen off a menu that is exactly the same as it is every other day of the year.
4. Bob Bob Ricard
The ideal choice for smaller child-free parties — or pairs — that envisage Christmas as an excuse to guzzle distinctly adult treats, let’s say: caviar, oysters, steak tartare, followed by lobster macaroni cheese and truffle fries, all washed down with gallons of champagne (ordered by pressing a button, obviously).
5. La Dame de Pic London
London EC3N 4AJ, UK
Anne-Sophie Pic’s glam Four Seasons site is serving up a swish five- or seven-course tasting menu. It includes a fragrant chartreuse and lovage chicken, with a black sesame crust; a pasta course that features Pic’s signature dish of Berlingots, here with matcha, Banon cheese, and a watercress sauce; and on the longer menu, a dish devoted to Pic’s father based on sea bass with champagne and caviar.
6. Min Jiang Restaurant
If a slick, modern Chinese banquet is required to refresh the family’s Christmas spirit, nab a table atop the Royal Garden Hotel and gaze out over Hyde Park while sharing a feast that includes dishes like venison puffs and asparagus rolls in barbecue sauce, steamed crab with black truffle and XO sauce fried rice, and stir-fried garlic sprouts, shimeji and enoki mushrooms. Seeing as it’s Christmas, it’s probably worth going all out by pre-ordering a whole or half Beijing (Peking) duck, too.
7. The Pem
Sally Abé’s newest restaurant is serving up a classic three courses in Westminster, for £125 a head. Guests can opt between smoked trout and crab mousse or a glazed ham for a starter, with beef Wellington or a duo of goose (the breast roasted, the legs confit) come mains. A Christmas pudding soufflé sounds a majestic culmination.
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8. The Alexandra
A special case: The Alexandra in Wimbledon offers a free Christmas dinner to anyone spending Christmas Day alone, under whatever circumstances. A place of spirit, refuge, and generosity.