London restaurants open on Christmas Day
Don't fancy stuffing that turkey? Then leave it to the professionals
Looking for a traditional Christmas meal, but without all the faff? Or perhaps turkey isn’t your thing, but you’d still like to dine out on 25 December? Tania Ballantine rounds up the best places to eat on Christmas Day 2012.
Restaurants open on Christmas Day in central London
Don’t expect to see Père Noël here, but between the warm tones of the dining room and the warmth of the ultra-professional staff, this subterranean spot would be a cosy and classy place to dine on Christmas Day. Kick off with the likes of cheese-stuffed mini pumpkins (a recipe courtesy of executive chef Daniel Boulud’s ‘maman’), ahead of tournedos Rossini (using fillet of beef) or a glazed turkey leg, which might sound simple, but is likely to be anything but. Chestnut meringue with a mini chocolate ‘baba’ to finish? Yes please, and joyeux noël to you all.
Read Bar Boulud review
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
- Christmas meal: £70
With its unstuffy, elegant setting and polished staff (the kind that quietly bring you a newspaper if you’re sitting alone), the restaurant at the Haymarket Hotel would make for a refined yet relaxed Christmas Day. At £95, the menu is at the top end (though by no means the most expensive in town – get your driver to take you to the Berkeley or the Corinthia for those). But for this you kick off with Champagne and canapés, ahead of a luxurious line-up that includes smoked salmon on blinis with caviar; beef Wellington with a truffle sauce (or roast turkey with smoked bacon); and saffron poached pears with vanilla mascarpone. Luxury on a plate.
Read Brumus review
- Haymarket Hotel, 1 Suffolk Place, SW1Y 4BP
- Christmas meal: £95 per head
On off-peak nights or when Parliament is in recess, this politicians’ favourite can seem starched and soulless. But come Christmas, when the large Grade-II listed building plays to packed houses (and the special menu includes a cheeky aperitif) it comes alive, with an ambience that does justice to the consistently excellent food. This year, the range of dishes includes several with classic yuletide ingredients at their core, from Kerala-style lobster soup to warmly spiced goose breast, or Christmas pudding made with garam masala. If you prefer to forget it’s Christmas, veer towards the house specialities, such as the Pyrenean milk-fed lamb shoulder with a saffron sauce. Divine.
Read Cinnamon Club review
- Old Westminster Library, (30-32 Great Smith Street), SW1P 3BU
- Christmas meal: £75
We’ve long considered this Marylebone stalwart one of the jewels in D&D’s crown, with great cooking and service to match. On Christmas Day, they’re offering an £80, nine-course tasting extravaganza. In keeping with the spirit of a family Christmas at home, there are no dish options (though they’ll stop short of telling you that ‘you’ll get what you’re given, dear’), and the final ‘course’ is a satsuma (yes, really). Though we’re not sure if there are many grannies that also serve grilled lobster with a sauce béarnaise ahead of Norfolk Black turkey served two ways (stuffed, and in a cream sauce). If there are, please can we go to their houses for crimbo?
Read Orrery review
- 55 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5RB
- Christmas meal: £80