Yes it’s that time of year again, lights are being turned on by Z list celebrities in towns up and down the country, Amazon has announced their busiest ever Black Friday and the John Lewis advert has sent Twitter into meltdown – Christmas is almost here. And since ’tis the season to eat and drink too much and meet up with friends you don’t see the rest of the year, what better time to indulge in dinner out in London? We’ve rounded up the best Christmas menus, and this year it’s all about goose…
For glorious goose…
Christmas goose menu: £50 pp
“You feel the money’s been well-spent” at Adam Byatt’s fine-dining “oasis” in Clapham – “a superb all-rounder”, where staff are “friendly without being overbearing”, the room is “lovely and airy”, the cuisine “consistently brilliant” and where “the Chef ’s Cellar wines are particularly well chosen”. In October 2015 it relaunched after a three-month closure, with an open kitchen, new outside dining area, and a new ‘casual dining’ option on the first floor called ‘Upstairs’, with small plates and communal tables.
Trinity’s three course Christmas feast is available 2-23 December, for groups of four or more. On the menu: Pumpkin soup with gingerbread; and whole goose with cranberry stuffing, roast roots and goose fat potatoes. The more informal restaurant ‘Upstairs’ offers a banquet for Kings, a sharing feast starting at £30 offering a variety of options for three courses. On the menu: Gin smoked salmon or Cornish mussels; spit roast Ark Farm chickens; and Macaroons or a cheese selection.
Christmas goose to share: £95
Until 30 December
“Up high, overlooking London is breathtaking”, at this “slick and graceful” 33rd-floor perch; but while fans find the Chinese cuisine “astonishingly good” for a room with a such an “exceptional” view, others find it “unspectacular” especially given the “crazy prices”.
The whole roast goose feeds up to five guests and you’ll need to order in advance. It’s marinated in Chinese spices for 12 hours and served with butterfly buns, accompanied by roast goose gravy, black pepper sauce and home-made plum sauce. Sounds quacking delicious.
Christmas set lunch: 2 courses £25, 3 courses £30
Angela Hartnett’s “superbly buzzy and attractive” Shoreditch two-year-old – complete with large open kitchen – continues to draw enthusiastic praise for its “relaxed” vibe and “unpretentious and delicious” (if sometimes “variable”) cooking. Top Tip – superior quick bites in the front bar.
On the Christmas menu: Cured salmon, dill, fennel and rye toast; roast goose with all the trimmings or roast leg of lamb, tuscan bean stew and green sauce; and gingerbread, butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Christmas goose menu: £30 pp
Brompton Food Market duo Luke Mackay and David Turcan took the helm at this South Ken neighbourhood gastropub September 2015. This Christmas they’ve got a mix of traditional and less so dishes starting at £30 for three courses. Indulge in Blue Vinney rarebit; roast goose with all the trimmings; venison and bacon suet pudding; and stone bass with clams and purple sprouting broccoli.
What’s good for the goose…
Thinking about ordering your own goose for Christmas at home? Rhug Estate’s organic geese are available to pre-order with UK-wide delivery. The organic, field-to-fork farm in Denbighshire, Wales, is owned and run by Lord Newborough.
Christmas orders are being taken now. Rhug Estate’s premium turkeys (weighing from 4kg to 9kg) range from £65.25 -£137.75, and geese (weighing between 4kg to 7kg) are priced from £74.25 – £107.25. Orders can be placed by calling the dedicated Christmas sales team at Rhug on 01490 413 000 Ext. 1 or online via www.rhug.co.uk. Alternatively, pick your bird from the counter at Harrods: www.harrods.com as well as organic retailer, As Nature Intended: www.asnatureintended.uk.com
*Free home delivery on orders over £100. £15 delivery charge for orders less than £100.
Ding dong, venison on high…
Venison Christmas menu: £35 pp
From the folks behind street food and pop-up sensation The Wild Game Co, a standalone restaurant serving Highlands produce in Fitzrovia. This December Mac & Wild will be celebrating Christmas with a whole month of yuletide treats. The venison Chateaubriand menu is £35 pp, while the much-lauded Venimoo Burger menu is £25 pp. Round off your meal with sticky toffee pudding.
Venison or goose Christmas menu: £40 pp
For those who want to ring in the festive season east London style, this pop-up in an old-laundry-turned-creative-hub, backed by Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, is about as hip as you can get without growing a beard and going sock-less (even in winter). Wringer & Mangle took over the space from Scott Hallsworth’s Joe’s Oriental Diner at Hackney’s Old Laundry Building by London Fields in October. Choose a set menu of either haunch of venison, or traditional roast goose with all the trimmings. There will also be some marvellous mince pies and Christmas pudding with brandy custard.
Yuletide treats at various prices
What is this “fun and original” sibling to Notting Hill’s Shed doing in the heart of the King’s Road? Its “innovative” British sharing plates can be a bit “microscopic”, but are “superbly executed” with “farm-fresh” flavours, and the “creative”, “barn-like” decor “works well in the crazy L-shaped space”.
Rabbit is serving up festive small plates of woodcock pate, black truffle and manor farm cheddar fondue and venison cigars, as well as The Mince Pie Jammie Dodger (flavoured with apple brandy and veal suet).
Christmas set menus available for parties of up to 25: £29, £34, £42 pp
“The old-fashioned dining room is a delight”, at this émigrés club near the Science Museum, which also boasts “a wonderful rear terrace, on a garden square”; Jan Woroniecki’s year-old regime doesn’t please all its old regulars, but the “hearty” Polish fare and “exotic house cocktails” were well-rated this year. On the festive menu: Roast haunch of venison with honey roast pear and cherries; roast duck with red cabbage, apple and figs; and buckwheat blinis with smoked salmon and sour cream. You can even opt for a frozen vodka with every course on the £42pp menu for an extra £10.
How about a festive brunch?
Until 6 January 2016
Danish design house Georg Jensen and Mayfair’s 34 have teamed up to celebrate the holiday season and the arrival of the new Georg Jensen Flagship boutique on Mount Street. Not only will the restaurant be decorated by oversized Georg Jensen’s signature Christmas pieces, but each guest who indulges in the Jingle Bells Weekend Brunch from 21 November to 6 January will be gifted with a Georg Jensen Christmas Collectible to hang on their tree. The menu also includes a glass of champagne.
Every weekend and all dates between Boxing Day to New Year’s day, Peyton & Byrne’s Inn the Park will be serving an all-day brunch menu. They’ve even transformed the restaurant into an alpine-inspired chalet, complete with fur blankets and sledges.
Something a bit different?
Christmas menu items: £4.25-8
10 December-16 January 2016
Shake Shack will be serving up a variety of seasonal items at both its Covent Garden and Westfield Stratford sites. There’s the Alpine Bacon Burger (£7.25) – a 100% Aberdeen Angus patty topped with melted Appenzeller cheese sauce and British free range Wiltshire cure smoked bacon; or the Gingerbread Apple Caramel concrete (£5.50/£8) – vanilla frozen custard blended with Bread Ahead Ginger cake and almond cider caramel sauce. Also available from 10 December the custom blend Mulled Red Wine (£5.50) – winter ShackRed served warm and spiced for the season; and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (£4.25) featuring a blend of bittersweet dark chocolates, caramel sauce, sea salt and fresh milk.
“First class” steaks and “cool” styling win fans for these Hawksmoor-lite spin-offs, which now have Stoke Newington, Chiswick and Balham branches as well as the Clerkenwell original; “prices add up quickly” however, results can be “unspectacular”, and – while “edgy” – the decor is a tad “functional”.
Why not have a Japanese Christmas and opt, instead, for the unlikely pairing of fried chicken and champagne. After realising it was impossible to find turkey in Japan, KFC started a ‘Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii!’ (Christmas = Kentucky) ad campaign back in 1974 and changed things forever. At Foxlow you can follow suit (ethically) by enjoying slow-grown, herb-fed, very-free-range Yorkshire Ross chickens.
Menus range from £12.50 pp-£35 pp
It’s hard to outdo Scandinavia when it comes to Christmas. Twinkling night-time markets; fur-filled lodges and a smorgasbord of pickled, cured and smoked fare to feast upon. At KuPP you’ll find a range of Scandi-style menus. There’s the sharing menu, which includes a selection of sharing boards of salmon, trout, pickles and more with a complimentary glass of Glögg (Nordic mulled wine) for £12.50 pp (minimum group of 10). The full festivities offers a two course lunch (£25 pp) or three course dinner (£30 pp) with a complimentary glass of Glögg. Or you can choose a menu of canapés for £35 pp.