Not that we need an excuse to eat, but if we did then Christmas would be a good one. The time of the year (along with Easter, Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day et al) when no one is going to bat an eyelid if you eat enough for a small country. So if you’re going to eat a lot, you want to eat properly – we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Christmas menus from across the capital this year, so that when you plan your party you get the best.
What: Lavish Winter Wonderland Package
Why: Being a stones throw from Hyde Park, The Arch are offering the ultimate Winter Wonderland package, made all the more special by the fact that Winter Wonderland are celebrating their 10th anniversary. There’ll be bigger and better rides, attractions and events. The hotel’s restaurant, Hunter 486, has a luxurious festive menu, with dishes such as smoked salmon, quail eggs, lemon and caper dressing; roast Norfolk turkey with all the traditional trimmings; to finish. chocolate fondant with burnt orange ice cream. You’ve got your traditional dishes as well as non-traditional – take your pick!
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD
What: A Cracking Christmas Lunch
Why: If you can’t escape to the Alps this Christmas, just head to Bodo’s Schloss! The cosy Alpine cabin will be serving up a Christmas dinner with mulled wine and all the trimmings. But what make this worth the visit is the entertainment; there’ll be retro ski wear, ski simulators, ice luges as well as DJs to really get you into that aprés party mode – that is, if you can move after that dinner!
Where: 2a Kensington High Street, London, W8 4PT
Why: The Ritz is synonymous with glamour and luxury and their Christmas events will certainly live up to this reputation. They’ve got a lot going on, with pre Christmas celebrations, Christmas afternoon teas, and for the lazy amongst us a gala dinner on Christmas day itself. You’ll be greeted with a spectacluar 25ft tree, whilst the entire hotel has been decked out with traditional Christmas decor.
Where: 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR
What: A South African Soiree
Why: Enjoy a three course dinner, accompanied with a glass of bubbly, in a subterranean kingdom complete with tribal decor and African dancers and contortionists. On the menu you’ll dishes like find game and wild boar terrine with piccalilli and baby basil cress; cajun grilled kingfish with baby kale and red pepper salsa. Puddings are supposedly for ‘sharing’, but we wont judge if you have a cheeseboard or the milk tart with cinnamon and klipdrift chantilly all to yourself.
Where: Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH
What: Covent Garden Christmas
Why: Tuttons has both the social butterflies and slightly more introverted characters sorted this Christmas with tempting menus for their main restaurant and private dining booths. Located in Covent Garden where the Christmas action will be live and kicking, diners will be able to choose from dishes like venison, pigeon & game terrine, confit duck leg and mulled pear bakewell tart.
Where: 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ
What: A Festive Buffet
Why: Whether you want to indulge in a little festive dining at lunch or dinner, Bar20 has you covered with a set lunch menu as well as an evening bar menu. During lunch begin with a glass of prosecco before divulging in offerings of parsnip soup, stone bass and a selection of cheese before finishing with tea, coffee and mince pies. The evening menu is a festive buffet with options like festive sliders and glazed pigs in blankets.
Where: Bar20, First Floor, Birleys, Pocket Park, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BY
What: Party Food for all Sizes
Why: Take your party riverside at Rotunda Bar and Restaurant which has been transformed with the subtle elegance of the art deco era with touches of black and gold. Depending on your party size you can choose between canapes, bowl food, a bar platter or a plated menu all of which comprise of Christmas favourites. Dishes include Cashel Blue cheese with roasted chestnut, caramelised pear and watercress salad, thyme butter roasted Goosnargh turkey and egg nog cheesecake.
Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross, London N1 9AG
What: Classic Italian Cooking at Christmas
Why: Head chef Alessandro Bay has created the Piccolo Christmas menu with bold, simple flavours using fresh, regionally sourced ingredients. Each course will be paired with specially selected Italian sparkling wines. Guests can indulge in a hearty “Il Supremo” Italian meat and cheese patter to start followed by roast turkey with all the trimmings for main and a Christmas pudding oozing in brandy sauce to round off the meal.
Where: 19 New Bridge Street, London, EC4 6DB
What: Festive menus in City Bars
Why: Drake & Morgan are the group behind failsafe after-work bars including The Refinery, The Anthologist, The Happenstance and The Folly so, come Christmas expect suits to gradually be replaced by questionable Christmas jumpers. A seasonal feast has been created with a range of additional drinks options including Prosecco on arrival or wine during the meal. A separate private dining menu includes smoked salmon blinis, Norfolk bronze turkey with seasonal veg and Christmas pudding with brandy sauce – although we’d probably plump for the salted caramel chocolate tart with chocolate cream. It’s bulking season after all…
Where: Across London
What: Vegan Christmas
Why: A few years ago being a vegan at Christmas probably wasn’t much fun, whilst the rest of us guzzled brandy butter as if it was water and stuffed ourselves senseless with stilton on everything and turkey. Not anymore however, thanks to the recent food revolution and one restaurant offering a vegan Christmas menu is Rabbit on the Kings Road. Dishes include the likes of wild mushroom ragu with celeriac, sage and Wiltshire truffle; salt baked turnips with red cabbage, chestnuts and cranberry tahini and for pudding there is a pear, apple and Christmas nut crumble. Go on, help a turkey out.
Where: 172 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 4UP
What: Epitome of Christmas
Why: Both Villandry St James and Villandry Great Portland Street are serving up Christmas menus – they’ve got two to choose from, depending on what budget you have, but both have dishes like apple and parsnip soup; ballotine of turkey, stuffed with chestnuts and brown turkey meat, red cabbage and all the trimmings. For pudding you’ll find Grand Marnier panna cottas and Christmas pudding with brandy crème anglaise. Read that over again, can’t you just taste Christmas?
Where: St James and Great Portland Street
What: Spice Up Your Christmas
Why: Mint Leaf Haymarket and Mint Leaf Lounge are offering 3 courses plus a cocktail (or mocktail) this festive season, so when the purse strings get a little tighter there’s still time to have a good meal out. The set menu is available for a maximum of 8 diners so gather your nearest and dearest, or simply those you need to schmooze, and dine on classic Indian dishes like lamb seekh kebab, sag paneer and chicken Jaipuri. Live DJs will set the Christmas mood till late on Wednesday to Saturday evenings but check availability before you book – the Christmas menus are only available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 5.30pm-11pm (at both sites) and also on Sunday 5.30pm-11pm at Mint Leaf Haymarket.
Where: 12 Angel Court, Lothbury, Bank, London, EC2R 7HB
What: Christmas Parties With Style
Why: Celebrate Christmas at some of the most stylish hotels in London. Mondrian, Sanderson and St Martins Lane each have festive packages available to cater for every party, meal and event. Mondrian boasts Winter Wonderland rooms, having transformed its Studios into a space complete with woodland trees and decorative arches, snow globes and twinkly lights. The winter wonderland continues at St Martins Lane and Sanderson, who is decking out its Billiard Room with festive decorations sure to transform even the biggest Scrooge. Food wise, think confit duck and foie gras terrine and roast Norfolk turkey, with a range of tempting canapés including brie with apricot chutney, mini lamb kofta and strawberry cheesecake tartlets. Check specific websites for all the details.
Where: Across London
What: Festive and Foraged
Why: The Shed’s Christmas menu isn’t just your usual pigs in blanket and roast potatoes. Here you’ll find brown crab with lemon dulse to start followed by cures including red grouse with rowan berries, cheddar crumb and wood sorrel. To share there are dishes such as black truffle and Manor farm cheddar fondue with sourdough soldiers. Main courses will involve the likes of grilled Sussex venison with mushroom duxelles, black cabbage, juniper, reindeer moss and Somerset brandy cider jus, whilst for pudding there are mince pie jammy dodgers and Magnum Viennetta parfait.
Where: 122 Palace Gardens Terrace, London, W8 4RT
What: Ask and You Shall Receive
Why: Whether you have 10 guests or 400 (someone’s popular…) then1 Lombard Street is the answer. You can eat in The Botanical Room, 1776, Brasserie, or go all out and hire the whole venue exclusively. Equally it doesn’t matter if you are looking for supper, lunch or a Christmas breakfast (Which quite frankly sounds excellent mince pies for breakfast), and whether you want the traditional turkey with all the trimmings, or something different because where there’s a will, there’s a 1 Lombard Street.
Where: 1 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AA
Darwin & Wallace
What: Christmas Feasting Menu
Why: From 28th November, neighbourhood bar pros Darwin & Wallace are rolling out their Christmas menus. No.32 The Old Town, No.11 Pimlico Road, No.1 Duke Street and No.197 Chiswick Fire Station are all getting in on the action with an indulgent feasting menu. A choice of 4 starters, mains and puddings include the classic Norfolk turkey and more inventive dishes like beer-braised brisket of beef and salmon en croute for those who are turkey-ed out and a naughty but nice sticky toffee date pudding with hot butterscotch sauce and brandy butter cream.
Where: Across London
What: Twist on Tradition
Why: If you want a twist on the traditional Christmas menu, then we suggest heading to Nobu. Start with festive cocktails, pre-dinner canapés (turkey lollipops, yellowtail sashimi, lobster ceviche) before the main event; black cod, tuna tataki, slow roasted turkey breast and white chocolate mousse with pistachio sponge. The set lunch and dinner menus are available for groups of 14 and above so book in a last-minute Christmas lunch and give your team something to talk about. As we said, not traditional, but you’ve done that so many times before. Change things up.
Where: 15 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8DY
What: Traditional Christmas
Why: If there are any restaurants that are bound to get us in the Christmas spirit then it’s the Boisdale restaurants. All three are offering set menus this year as well as a whole host of other Christmas parties, but we’re particularly excited about Boisdale of Bishopsgate which is keeping things traditional with the likes of roast Norfolk bronze turkey with parma ham, chestnut stuffing, goose fat roast potatoes, vegetables and red wine gravy. Pudding includes Christmas pudding with 15 year old Glenfiddich custard, add in some mulled wine before and you’ll have the Christmas cheer in no time.
Where: Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4NR
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