Yes it’s that time of year again, the lights are being turned on by Z list celebrities in towns up and down the country 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…
The traditional route…
£85 per person
Throughout December and on Christmas Day.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a midnight feast you are after, Duck & Waffle (open 24/7) is always an outstandingly atmospheric (if expensive) bet. The holiday menu includes devilled quail eggs with truffle and parmesan, roasted parsnip soup with toffee apples, hazelnuts and parsnip crisps, roast barbary duck with pearl barley and confit leg ragout, pumpkin purée and trompettes; and torrejas maple glazed apples with Christmas pudding ice cream.
£33.50-£36.50 per person
23 November – 23 December
Choose between a three course set menu and a banquet style feast (for six or more) at this Shoreditch yearling. Dishes include celeriac and pear soup, turkey parcel wrapped in Ginger Pig bacon stuffed with cheddar, walnut, cranberry and sage served with calvados sauce and apple and nut strudel with mulled wine cream.
£24-29.50 per person
With its roaring open fireplaces, intimate dining room and cosy terrace, much-loved Brackenbury pub, The Anglesea Arms (consistently in our top 10) is the perfect location for a festive celebration. Dishes include: ‘Ballotine of pheasant (confit leg and stuffing fritter, red cabbage, celeriac purée, glazed chestnuts) and Jerusalem artichoke and Stilton tart, poached duck egg, black cabbage, truffle dressing.
Something a little different…
£150-200 per person
Available throughout December and New Year’s Eve.
Who says the perfect Christmas menu needs to include turkey and bread sauce? Try festively inflected sushi at this vertiginous Japanese/South American fusion spot. On the menu: lobster taquitos, honey orange glazed picanha; robata suckling pig anticuchos; and Santa rolls (butterfish, foie gras,tempura avocado, tempura flake, kanpyo, red currant fruit, tofu powder, aji Amarillo, sweet soy sauce).
£39-69 per person
Located in the rafters of Wright Brothers Soho, ‘The Cage’ (designed to look like a giant lobster cage) accommodates parties of 20-35. If you and your guests fancy a festive feast that’s more crustaceans than cranberries then this is the place for you. The menu begins with oysters, then hot langoustines with chilli aioli or Tom Yum soup before moving on half roasted lobster and garlic butter or chargrilled Wagyu bavette steak. Desserts include Christmas Bombe Alaska.
£40 per person
Or head to this Notting Hill pop-up based on a fictional house share for what the founders are calling the Ultimate Christmas Dinner Party. Designed to look like the inside of someone’s home, the temporary restaurant and bar was set up by a group of five friends who play the role of flatmates-come-party-hosts. As well as Christmas cocktails they will serve up roast turkey with ham hock, and sage stuffing, roast potatoes, honeyed parsnip, sprout and bacon, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. There will also be Christmas pudding crème brûlée and mince pies.
Something for the health conscious among us…
Tuesday 9 December
£40 per person
Head to the Naked Festive Feast for a Christmas supperclub with a healthy twist. Guests will receive a welcome cocktail followed by three course meal, tea and petit fours to finish. There will also be a goodie bag and special Christmas Hamper to be won including gifts from Larsson and Jennings and Tada and Toy jewellery. On the menu: squash and chestnut dumplings, venison rissoles with Jerusalem artichokes, prune jam and Brussel chips and sticky not-toffee Christmas pudding.
Or how about some Christmas cocktails?
24 November – 25 December
Head to any of Drake & Morgan’s bars (The Anthologist, Fable, The Folly, The Refinery) to sip on Christmassy cocktail, Sugar & Spice, which blends spiced rum, Antica Formula sweet vermouth, pomegranate molasses, old-fashioned bitters, sugar and prosecco with an orange twist. Or stop by the restaurant group’s City outpost The Happenstance for a Rudolph’s Revenge – a four-legged combo of venison stock and mandarin blossom Hangar One vodka garnished with juniper berries and orange peel.