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. 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.
2. Bob Bob Ricard
The ideal choice for smaller child-free parties — or pairs — that envisage Christmas 2019 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).
3. Kerridge's Bar & Grill
Tom Kerridge’s first London restaurant will serve up six courses for £250 per person, following the unapologetic-luxe formula that has won it accolades to date. Expect Cornish crab vol-au-vent, rotisserie turkey, and ‘Kerridge’s Christmas Pudding,’ whatever that may entail.
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4. Simpson's in the Strand
Looking for the epitome of traditional English festivities? Book in at the refurbished Simpson’s where Christmas Day dining entails three courses, each with a trio of options including, for starter, a foie gras roulade or pork and Exmoor smoked salmon. Traditionalist carnivores will delight at picks from roast Norfolk bronze turkey with all the trimmings, or roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding for the main course. A festive, boozy, mulled and poached pear Eton Mess will suffice for afters. (One starter, one dish from the trolley and one dessert is £205 per person.)
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5. 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 with Tom Kerridge on the starters, while Norfolk Bronze turkey — good words to read next to each other — would make a fitting centrepiece. £145 per person for three courses and some champagne on arrival.
6. 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).
Francesco Mazzei’s Islington trattoria is dishing up an Italian Christmas featuring antipasti, bucatini and aubergine timballo pasta, and roast breast of turkey served with pumpkin, lentils, cotechino and candied fruit. With strong children’s and vegetarian menus, it’s a fine choice for any family that fancies getting nostalgic for Italian holidays past.
8. Duck & Waffle
The top of the Heron Tower makes the perfect hideaway for those who’d rather ditch the family, erase all thoughts of poultry and linger over a festive-lite lunch of beef carpaccio or lobster cocktail, turbot of Bronze turkey, stilton and Christmas pudding soufflé, spiced ice cream and hot brandy sauce.
9. Red Rooster Shoreditch
NY don Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish-Ethiopian heritage as parlayed through Red Rooster’s southern-style cooking ensures a Christmas menu like no other. If Sammy’s chicken and waffle or devilled eggs with chicken skin aioli preceding a Christmas ham or prime rib sounds like a Christmas to get on board with, it’s time to book. Unlike 99 percent of London restaurants, it’s a safe bet the music will be cracking, too.
10. La Dame de Pic London
London EC3N 4AJ, UK
Anne-Sophie Pic’s glam Four Seasons site is serving up a swish six-course tasting menu. It includes capon, marinated in genmaicha and tonka bean tea, served with pumpkin parcels, chestnut, and yuzu as the main course. A pasta course before that features Pic’s signature dish of Berlingots: Gruyère and Vacherin cheese, with wild mushrooms, woodruff, barley, and roasted hazelnut consommé. (£168 pp to be taken by the entire table.)
There’s no law that dictates Christmas Day dining be done in salubrious surrounds. 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.
12. 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.