Sorry to break it to you but it’s time to face the truth… it’s nearly Christmas. Even though you’ve not started buying presents for your nearest and dearest or heard Slade on the radio that doesn’t mean that you should put off planning your office Christmas party. With venues booking up fast celebrating with friends or colleagues simply won’t be feasible unless you get your skates on. So The Handbook’s put together some suggestions to get you started.
Marylebone Christmas dining
Hunter 486 is the restaurant set within boutique hotel The Arch London in Marylebone and will be on hand with a festive menu with classics like Roast Norfolk turkey with chestnut stuffing and all the sides, or you could mix it up with an afternoon tea at The Arch Londonwith a traditional selection of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Also available for parties, the Martini Library or Whitehall Room are perfect for either drinks and canapes or private lunches and dinners.
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Marble Arch (0.3 miles)
They may be new but Palatino is definitley not sitting this one out. The Roman food specialist will be taking bookings for Christmas with a set menu for groups of 6 or more (the largest table sits 20 and comes at no extra cost) and includes 3 or 4 courses of Stevie Parle’s famous restaurant and as you’d expect it isn’t your standard Sunday roast but a rich series of dishes with nods to Christmas (sprouts and roast potatoes are represented) but with an unmistakable Italian flair.
Where: 71 Central Street, London EC1V 8AB, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Old Street (0.3 miles)
With space for up to 200 guests, Villandry Great Portland Street has four Christmas menus to choose from, with dishes including roast Norfolk bronze turkey with trimmings; roast spiced pumpkin soup with chestnut mushroom and seeds and clementine and gingerbread trifle. Or go for the canapé menu which includes: tuna tartare, sesame honey beef rolls with oriental cabbage and bean shoots; mini cheese and chive souffles and salted caramel tarts. There are also three drinks packages to choose from Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh – depending on just how festive you want to feel.
Where: Villandry, Great Portland Street, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Great Portland Street (0.3 miles)
Relax into the deep green leather sofas at Smith & Wollensky for Christmas dinner with friends or colleagues while eating from the Christmas menu which, as you’d expect from this top-end US import is heavy on fillet steak and prime sirloin. The three course meal is designed for sharing, with family style sides including duck-fat roasted potatoes. The space is also perfect for larger parties, available for exclusive hire or private dining.
Where: The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, Covent Garden Riverside, London WC2N 6HT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles)
Christmas on Trafalgar Square
If you’re loathe to look at another turkey then Bronte might be the place for you. They’ve promised “not even one turkey dinner”. What they do have is a range of options for groups starting at four and all the way to full scale all-out hire. The iconic setting, just off Trafalgar Square, is perfectly set for any Christmas dinner with something for everyone (except turkey lovers), from tofu to steaks.
STK Xmas at ME
Christmas is a time to meat up, which is exacly why you should be heading down to STK, the chopshop set within the ME London Hotel on The Strand. With menu options to suit different budgets, their set menu includes plenty of meaty classics, plus traditional christmas desserts. We’ve already got our eyes on the STK chocolate and praline mousse, davquoise biscuit, marshmallow and hazelmut holiday cake to share, not least because it’s serverd with chocolate sauce, brandy egg custard and caramel sauce!
Where: ME London, 336-337 The Strand, London WC2R 1HA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Temple (0.3 miles)
Trapeze into the holidays
Cancel the panto tickets, if you want entertainment this Christmas then you’re going to want to book a party for Circus, the cabaret venue, restaurant and cocktail. Designed for entertaining, the action overhead will be as impressive as the food on the plate, with set menus designed for sharing. Or hire the restaurant exclusively to kick the festive season off in style.
Where: 27-29 Endell Street, Westminster, London, WC2H 9BA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)
Glamour at Sofitel
Sofitel, on St James’, is magnificent both inside and out and would make an impressive venue for any Christmas event. Wow clients or thank employees with an event large or small in one of the hotel’s various entertainment spaces. The festive menu includes classics like turkey and beef fillet, or the reception package involves a wide selection of canapes and bowl food. All accompanied by an impressive selection of wines and champagnes.
Where: Sofitel London St James, Waterloo Place, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.3 miles)
Dinner and Dancing
Villandry St James can host a dinner and dance for up to 100 guests or a standing reception for 350 guests. Of course you’re going to need fuel for dancing and to eat you’ll find the likes of honey spiced duck confit with braised red cabbage, Brussel sprouts and cranberry jus; smoked trout with petit herb salad and chocolate and cherry Eton Mess.
Where: 12 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.3 miles)
5* hotel dining
With the dark wood panelling, Art Deco carpet and antique decorations of The Lotos Room at The Beaumont, you’ll feel like one of the glamorous black and white photo portraits that line the walls, such is the luxury feel of the place. This year, the 5* hotel’s Christmas menu is deceptively simple, but in true Beaumont style, elegant and tasteful. Start off with scallops ‘Beaumont’: roast scallops gratin with spinach, bacon and a parsley butter, followed by the roast Norfolk bronze turkey, traditionally garnished and served with an apricot & chestnut stuffing. Finishing the meal is a steamed Christmas pudding served with vanilla custard or brandy butter.
Where: The Beaumont Brown Hart Gardens Mayfair London W1K 6TF
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.2 miles)
From bookings of 2 to 60, your Christmas experience will be taken care of at Ritorno on the perennially fashionable King’s Road in Chelsea. While you may not leave the comfort of London your taste buds will be taken on a journey around Italy as everything on the menu is made with the freshest Italian produce. Menu options include chickpeas farinata made with green chicory, porcini mushroom, aged parmesan sauce and black truffle, and guinea fowl breast, crushed potatoes and roasted pumpkin.
Where: 442 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LQ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Sloane Square (1.2 miles)
Christmas at Camden
From Cape Town to Camden, Shaka Zulu, is offering guests a Christmas experience in a way you’ve never known before with entertainment from dancers to contortionist. The set menu includes a traditional roast but why not immerse yourself in the South African experience by trying the chicken and crocodile terrine with piccalilli and baby basil cress or Chermoula roasted kingfish with sugar snaps and creamy wild garlic velouté?
Where: Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Kentish Town West (0.3 miles)
Yule Not Want To Miss This
If it’s a good Scottish Christmas you’re after then look no further than Boisdale; choose the private dining Jacobite Room with tartan flooring and red walls for an immersive experience. There are several tiers of menu options depending on party size but sample dishes include Dunkeld Scottish oak smoked salmon with horseradish cream, capers and red onions, and Scottish wood pigeon ‘Wellington’ with cep, spinach, Jerusalem artichoke and prune jus.
Where: 15 Eccleston Street, London, SW1W 9LX, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Victoria (0.2 miles)
Imagine dining at Gillrays, tucking into a festive feast, whilst overlooking the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye and then it begins snowing. While we can’t promise that it will snow this Christmas, we can promise that the impressive skyline views will definitely be there. The aforementioned feast includes options like slow-roasted Norfolk turkey or herb crusted halibut fillet for your main course and a delicious selection of desserts will be on offer including Christmas Pudding, a Lemon Posset and Hot Chocolate Fondant.
Where: Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar, Westminster Bridge Road, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Waterloo (0.3 miles)
Public Or Private?
Take your nearest and dearest to Tuttons for a special 3-course lunch or dinner with options like confit duck leg with butternut squash, potatoes, braised shallots and peppercorn sauce and mulled pear and almond tart. For more of an exclusive experience there are two stunning private dining rooms, the perfect setting for a Christmas feast. Guests are welcomed with a glass of Prosecco, followed by a delicious three course festive menu and personal waiting staff to make the evening a memorable one.
Where: 11/12 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
Best Of British
Across the 4 venues Tom’s Kitchen will be offering a selection of Christmas menus suitable for general and private dining. Always using the freshest, British produce the menus have tempting options like curried parsnip soup with fermented parsnip, pickled raisins and curry oil, and baked chestnut and sage gnocchi made with salt baked swede, blue cheese crust and mushroom dressing.
Richmond’s quintessential riverside hotel is offering three choices for each of the three courses on Christmas Day. Whet your appetite with the likes of native lobster and Dorset crab, before mains like the roast turkey with pork and sage stuffing, smoked potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Or, if you fancy something you haven’t had every Christmas for the past 20 years, there’s a fish dish and a beef option too. After desserts (featuring the Christmas pudding trifle with cinnamon custard, hazelnut madeleines and vanilla ice-cream), tea, coffee and mince pies will be served – best you arrive hungry!
Where: 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Richmond (0.6 miles)
The Ivory Vaults is never one to shy away from the spotlight, and this Christmas will be no exception. The legendary production team is hosting The Medieval Banquet for the whole festive period – you’ll be invited to enter the dark side and embark on a medieval journey, along with a five-course banquet fit for a nobleman, before dancing the night away. Five courses include a honey roast parsnip soup, a sunblush tomato and goats cheese tart, and a turkey (what else?) with all the trimmings. (Vegetarians, don’t panic – you can still get in on the fun, with a creamy wild mushroom ravioli). A spiced plums and almond tart will satisfy your sweet tooth, all topped off with mince pies and lashings of wine and ale.
Where: Ivory Vaults Ivory House St Katharine Docks London, E1W 1BP
Nearest station: Tower Hill (0.4 miles)
Tucked a few blocks behind the crowds of Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street is Mews of Mayfair, a refined British brasserie that’s the perfect escape. This Christmas they’re putting on three courses, with three choices for each – who *mew* Christmas would come with such tough decisions?! Expect Christmas classics like roast turkey and Christmas pudding (with a mulled wine sorbet we wish we could have all year round), as well as some more eclectic options thrown into the mix, such as guinea fowl and rabbit terrine, beetroot orzo pasta and dark chocolate tart with orange jelly and white chocolate ganache.
The Grade I-listed building of 116 Pall Mall makes for a seriously grand party space, where not only can you hire a host of different rooms across five floors, you can also hire out the entire building at weekends, if one space is just not enough. Surrounding the imposing staircase and 10 ft chandelier, the rooms can host a range of Christmas party packages this year, offering everything from drinks, canapés and bowl food in the original vaulted wine cellar, to opulent banquets in all the splendour of the function rooms.
Where: 116 Pall Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5ED, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Charing Cross (0.3 miles)