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? The Time Out Food Editors round up the best places to eat on Christmas Day 2013. Do you have suggestions for restaurants to eat on Christmas Day? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
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 roasted chestnut and celeriac soup with black truffle, or maybe smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and blinis is more tempting? For the main course, there’s turkey, venison, monkfish or – lucky vegetarians – agnolotti pasta with nine-herb and beetroot stuffing, cobnut gremolata and birch sap reduction. There’s no Xmas pud, but who cares when the likes of bûche au chocolat (chocolate sponge, chestnut mousse and hazelnut/black sesame ice-cream) is available instead. Joyeux noël to you all.
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
- Christmas meal: £75
On off-peak nights or when Parliament is in recess, this smart pan-Indian restaurant, a politicians’ favourite, can seem starched and soulless. But come Christmas, when the large Grade-II listed Victorian edifice 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 chargrilled Scottish salmon with masala to South Indian-style goose breast stir-fry, and garam masala Christmas pudding with nutmeg custard. If you prefer to forget it’s Christmas, veer towards the house specialities, such as the Pyrenean milk-fed lamb shoulder with saffron sauce. Divine.
- Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, (30-32 Great Smith Street), SW1P 3BU
- Christmas meal: £85
This Soho all-dayer (with bedrooms upstairs), is always pretty buzzy, but its modishly updated Georgian rooms are particularly suited for twinkly festive gatherings. At £95, it’s at the pricier end of Christmas Day meals, but this includes an introductory glass of champagne, and coffee, mince pies and truffles to finish. In between there’s a delicious-sounding spread of classic British dishes – from potted ham and wild rabbit with piccalilli, to tipsy sherry trifle, via roast rib of Hereford beef with yorkshire pudding. We applaud the cheese course too: Cropwell Bishop stilton with eccles cake,and other British cheeses. Turkey and Christmas pud are on offer for traditionalists.
- 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 3SE
- Christmas meal: £95
Part of the Thomas Cubitt Group (like the Orange Public House & Hotel), the Grazing Goat is a similarly upmarket gastropub with rustically styled interiors. Located in posh Portman Village, a short walk from Marble Arch, it’s providing a slap-up meal for Christmas Day, starting with a glass of champers on arrival and concluding with a properly seasonal array of desserts: Xmas pud, chocolate chesnut cake, pear poached in mulled wine, or British cheeses. In between, indulge in the delights of white bean and truffle soup or chicken liver and foie gras parfait, followed by free-range Bronze turkey with all the extras you’d expect or pan-fried halibut. Vegetarians are catered for too, of course.
- 6 New Quebec Street, W1H 7RQ
It’s hard to say which is more attractive at this gastropub-hotel overlooking a pretty square a short walk from the King’s Road: the airy series of rooms or the impeccably groomed regulars. In keeping with its posh-pub manners, Christmas Day here kicks off with a menu that, though built on traditional ingredients, shows serious intent: from potted Gressingham duck with Earl Grey jelly and orange and prune chutney to free-range Bronze turkey with cranberry and chestnut stuffing and cider jus, or 35-day dry-aged Castle of Mey beef fillet served with smoked potato and Scottish girolles. Vegetarian options are no less ambitious: there’s roasted cauliflower soup with pickled wild mushrooms and truffle, ahead of wellington of butternut squash, spinach and Fivemiletown goat’s cheese. And to finish? The likes of steamed Christmas pud, chocolate and chestnut brownie or a selection of British cheeses.
- 37 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
- Christmas meal: £80