Festive fun in London this December

Pied à Terre W1

£75 pp

If you’re planning a special Christmas dinner outing, then you can’t go far wrong with David Moore’s enduring foodie temple in Fitzrovia. With its awesome wine list and discreet service, it’s just the place for a relaxed festive meal. This year their three course set menu features a Partridge main and a Pear dessert – lords a leaping not included.

Chestnut veloute, parmesan and sage gnocchi, crispy shallots; Roasted partridge, red cabbage, cranberry, bread sauce; Poached pear Red wine poached pear, almonds, roquefort ice cream.

Ginza Onodera SW1

£65 pp

Try a twist on the Japanese tradition of eating KFC for Christmas with Ginza Onodera’s Karagee Fried Chicken. Every year, 3.6 million Japanese families indulge in a finger lickin’ good Christmas dinner, courtesy of the Colonel (yes, really).

If you would like to sample a significantly more high end offering, however, head to St James’s Ginza Onodera (previously Matsuri) where chef Ryosuke Kishi has created Karagee Fried Chicken: chicken thigh pieces marinated in soy, sake and ginger, battered, deep fried and served with ito tougarashi.

The Festive Menu includes a selection of starters to share, a choice of authentic mains and dessert.

Darbaar EC2

Sharing dish £12pp

Throughout December, Abdul Yaseen’s superior City Indian is offering a special festive sharing dish to provide an alternative to the classic Christmas turkey dinner – Hyderabadi Roasted Poussin Biryani. The sharing dish will only be available for groups of four or more.

Christmas 4-course dinner: £85pp
If you don’t fancy cooking on Christmas Day, but do fancy some subtle spicing, then head to Darbaar for: Goan spiced goose breast served with roasted vegetables and roast gravy, finishing with Abdul’s delicious Fruit and nut pudding with spiced custard.

Dishoom (branches across London)

£40 pp

For a Bombay take on the festive season book the feasting menu at one of Dishoom’s outposts (yes, you can book for Xmas parties). The main event is the Turkey Raan – a whole turkey leg prepared in the traditional Indian raan style, cooked slowly over a day, infused with spices until meltingly tender, served with Bombay-style potatoes, masala winter greens and spiced cranberry chutney. Dishoom opened their newest site in Kensington this week, just in time for Christmas.

Smokestak E1

Whole brisket: £150 (serves 10-20 people)

For those in the mood for major amounts of meat cooked over hot coals then Smokestak is the place to be this Christmas. Founder David Carter has added a whole beef brisket to the menu of his Shoreditch restaurant, alongside a series of festive feasting menus for groups. According to our reporters “the beef brisket is the thing of dreams!” so this is exciting news.

Smoked for 12-15 hours over kiln-dried English oak, and accompanied by pickled cucumbers, chillis and mustard barbecue, the whole brisket serves between 10-20 people and is also be available to takeaway.

Festive sharing menus: £35/45 pp

Alongside the whole beef brisket, Smokestak has introduced two festive menus – the feasting and sharing – available from 27 November, priced at £35 and £45 pp respectively. Dishes include: ‘Thick-cut pork ribs with pickled cucumber’ and ‘30-day aged beef rib’ will be served alongside ‘Jacket potato with smoked rarebit’ and ‘Charred greens with tahini, pomegranate and dry-roasted nuts’. Drinks on arrival will include: Red beet Negroni, orange peel + bitters’ and ‘Warm spiced Malbec, clove, star anise.

Four Hundred Rabbits SE15 & SE19

This December try one of two special sourdough pizzas with fun and festive toppings at Four Hundred Rabbits in Crystal Palace and Nunhead. There’s confit duck, shredded Brussel sprouts, pomegranate seeds, San Marzano DOP tomatoes and Fior di Latte mozzarella or kale, toasted pumpkin seeds, cranberry sauce, chestnut crème fraîche and smoked cave-aged cheddar, plus a drizzle of orange and clove oil.

The two December specials will be served at both venues throughout the month to eat in or take away, and in half-sizes for children too. There’s also a Christmas set menu for groups of six or more priced at £20-25 pp which includes a Prosecco Spritz or draught beer, homemade pickles and garlic bread, pizza, and Gelupo gelato.

Speaking of Gelupo gelato they’ve got some amazing Christmas flavours on offer this year. Keep it traditional with Christmas Cake flavour; add an Italian accent with Panettone gelato; or how about Salted Caramel and Gingerbread. Yum. It’s never too cold for ice cream.

MEATliquor (branches across London)


Patty purveyors MEATliquor have a couple of tasty sounding burgers on the menu this December. Try the XXXMAS Burger £9.50 (free-range herons farm roast turkey, herons farm old spot sausage patty, crispy bacon, stuffing crumbles, gravy, cranberry sauce) or there’s the Burgducken £12.50 which has been created in collaboration with Tom Kerridge – a five bird roast in a bun, topped with cranberry mayonnaise and Brussel sprout coleslaw. £1 goes to Hospitality Action.

The Frog E1 & The Frog by Adam Handling WC2

£35/£40 pp

Chef Adam Handling has designed not one, but two delectable Christmas menus to bring some festive merriment to his original Shoreditch restaurant and the recently opened Covent Garden outpost.

Eastenders can partake of a £35 set menu which includes: Smoked Ham Hock, piccalilli, Stockholm; Roast Hake, smoked potato, crab and seaweed; and the restaurant’s renowned Mac & Cheese – described as “the best in London” by our reporters. For those wanting to stick to time-honoured customs, the restaurant is also offering roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.

For Westenders the set menu is £40 and incorporates traditional turkey with all the trimmings alongside some of Adam’s signature dishes, including: Cheese & Truffle Doughnuts, Celeriac, Truffle, Apple, Dates, and thatBread and Chicken Butter. Chocolate, Cherry and Almond.

Getting festive al-fresco

Old Spitalfields Market E1

From £25 pp

Do some Christmas shopping and eating in one fell swoop at Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch with a series of late night feasts. On three Friday’s throughout December, the market will stay open longer into the evening serving up unique private feasting menus courtesy of the restaurants at The Kitchens.

The three Christmas Lates events also feature plenty of warming drinks, live entertainment, and an array of special dishes. Food will be served to private tables within the market for an alternative Christmas lunch or dinner throughout December which guests can book now for up to 12 people. Festive dishes and drinks are also available to those simply after a casual bite.

Rok: Venison meatballs with smoked mash and lingonberry sauce
Happy Endings: Hot Chocolate Bauble – a chocolate orb filled with ice cream and topped with spiced hot chocolate
Yum Bun’s: Crispy duck steamed bun with pickles and spiced plum sauce
Lily Vanilli: Infamous cheese and pickle savoury mince pies, Cranberry Mince Pies
Babelle: Seasonally decorated cannelés
Yi Fang: Winter Melong Fruit Tea
Mother Kelly’s: Steaming mugs of mulled cider

Christmas gifts and hampers

The Wolseley W1

Christmas Hamper £350

This year Corbin & King’s Piccadilly powerhouse is offering a range of very luxurious-looking hampers. There’s the Breakfast Hamper (for those who want to enjoy the capital’s best breakfast in the comfort of their own home) £150; the Champagne Afternoon Tea Hamper £225; and the Christmas Hamper £300. The limited edition festive version comes with Pommery Brut Royal NV Champagne; The Wolseley Médoc 2011 by Château La Tour de By; The Wolseley Sancerre 2016 by André Dezat et Fils; tea, coffee and a plethora of biscuits, truffles and preserves, as well as ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’ by A.A. Gill.

Corrigan’s W1

Christmas Hamper box: £120

The bumper box of Corrigan’s Christmas goodies includes plenty of treats from Richard Corrigan’s London restaurants and his Irish estate, Virginia Park Lodge. From Irish cheeses, soda bread and a Corrigan’s pork pie to Virginia Park Lodge Christmas Pudding and Lismore Food Company Shortbread biscuits, there’s something to please everyone.

Cannon & Cannon

Gift boxes from £29.95

They say: “Nothing says I love you like a pack of cured meat” and we agree! This renowned British cured meat specialist (you’ll find them at Borough and Primrose Hill Markets among others) is offering a variety of charcuterie gifts this Christmas; from their whole traditional English cooked hams for the festive season to a new range of carefully selected ‘gift tins’ to go alongside their ever-popular existing boxes.

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