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Six alternative places for a Christmas meal in Bristol

Spiegeltent Xmas party
Paul Box

Ladies and gentlemen, we've entered the era of the Christmas meal out. If you've yet to tuck into your first Christmas dinner of the year, it's bound to happen very soon.

Most likely, you'll sitting down to eat with your office colleagues at the boss's favourite restaurant or pub. And there's nothing wrong with that – after all, you've heard that Sue from accounts has got a wild streak once she's downed a few glasses of Chablis and seeing her dance on the table is a great way to get into the festive spirit.

But what if you could have your Christmas meal somewhere a little more out of the ordinary? Here are six suggestions that may have still have a table for this year, or give you some great inspiration for 2016: 

On the SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain


Albeit limited to two days, the SS Great Britain is laying on a Christmas feast this December that'll be ideal for history and maritime lovers alike. Held in the rather grand First Class Dining Saloon, the lunch promises a unique dining experience, where you'll be surrounded by the height of seafaring luxury.

Alongside the meal attendees will also be treated to a tour of the ship, the Dry Dock and the Dockyard Museum.

SS Great Britain Christmas Lunch. December 11-12. Find more about the event here.

Inside a 1920s ballroom 

Bristol Spiegeltent


The Spiegeltent is located just off Canon's Way at Bristol's Harbourside, with the's party season inside this opulent travelling ballroom beginning on Thursday December 3.

An evening here includes craft beer and fine wines, alongside a three-course dinner boasting duck liver parfait, dauphinoise potatoes, sourdough crostini and much more.

Diners will also be treated to a bespoke cabaret show, a fun photo booth and all of the madness Bristolians have come to associate with the annual extravaganza.

Christmas Parties at the Spiegeltent. December 3-18. Find more about booking a meal at the Spiegeltent here.

At a Victorian Lido

Bristol Lido and Spa


Anyone who’s dined at Clifton Lido will know the swimming pool and spa also has an awesome kitchen serving highly rated food throughout the year.

For Christmas, the Lido boasts a menu featuring crispy fried queen scallops, langoustines, wild bass and roast plaice, using a selection of local and specialty produce. And you can top it all off with a session in the jacuzzi!

Christmas Dining at Lido. November 30-December 24. Find out more about booking a meal at the Clifton Lido here.

In the Beer Emporium cellar

The Beer Emporium


With a dining and drinking area in the cellar, the Beer Emporium on King Street makes a great choice for a festive party if a great selection of drinking options are a priority.

True, it has a Christmas menu serving traditional Norfolk bronze roast turkey breast, salmon en croute and a camembert-cauliflower bake, but the prospect of 24 draught lines and nearly 400 different bottles to choose from means even the fussiest beer aficionado will be well catered for.

The Christmas Menu at the Beer Emporium. Held throughout December 2015. Learn more about booking a table at the Beer Emporium here.

At the zoo

Bristol Zoo GardensBob Pitchford


Consider yourself a party animal? Then where better to enjoy a meal than at the zoo? Bristol Zoo Gardens makes this a reality, with a series of Christmas parties arranged throughout December. 

Offering space for up to 120 guests, the Clifton Pavilion will host a glittery, glamorous Christmas lunch or evening meal. A canapé reception will welcome attendees in, while squash and lentil pudding, salmon and the classic turkey take pride of place on the menu. 

Parties at Bristol Zoo. Held throughout December. Learn more about Christmas events at Bristol Zoo here.

Inside Brunel's Old Station

Brunel's Old Station


If you fancy the circus mayhem of the Spiegeltent but want the whole place for yourself, Brunel’s Old Station presents the perfect alternative.

Fire eaters top the bill at this party destination, while hosts the Hype Agency has even laid on dodgems for 2015. If you’re looking for a colourful, non-stop party to compliment evening drinks and dinner for a large party of people – there’s no doubt Brunel’s Old Station is the destination you’ve been searching for.

Exclusive Bristol Parties at Brunel’s Old Station November–December 2015. Learn more about Christmas 2015 events here.

Not fussed about the food? Take a look at these ideas for an alternative office party in Bristol