Where to spend Christmas Day south of the Yarra

Save yourself the stress of cooking Christmas lunch by booking into one of these hotels

Photograph: Supplied

Do you hear that faint jingling in the distance? It's the sound of Christmas Day quickly approaching. If you haven't made plans for holiday yet now is the time. Instead of breaking a sweat in the kitchen leave the cooking to someone else and book in to one of Melbourne's finest pubs south of the Yarra. There's something for all appetites and budgets, and all will make sure you get a hearty slab of Christmas pud. 

The Vincent

Truly, the greatest gift we can give anyone at Christmas is the gift of not having to cook. Over at Albert Park the Vincent is hosting a classic three course meal so that no one in your family has to go through the brandy-soaked, tinsel-encrusted chore that is preparing Christmas lunch. For $95 per person you get three courses of Christmas favourites like prawns, glazed ham, roast potatoes and Christmas pudding. Or try the modern Australian takes like ceviche with avocado, chilled gazpacho and mango mousse with gingerbread biscotti. Seatings are available at 11am and 1.30pm plus kids under 12 get two courses for $20.

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The Exchange

No plans for Christmas yet? The Exchange Hotel has a three course Christmas feast planned for $95 per person, with kids under 12 getting two courses for $20. Expect all the yuletide favourites: start with a Mooloolaba prawn cocktail (nothing says Christmas in Australia like a prawn cocktail) before tucking in to either juicy roast pork loin, double smoked ham or a tender crown of turkey. Finish your meal off with a slice of Christmas pud or an orange panna cotta. There’s four Christmas dinner seating times between midday and 1pm and you can see the full Christmas menu on their website.

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Middle Park Hotel

The only thing better than a three course Christmas dinner is a four course Christmas lunch. Eat and be merry at the Middle Park Hotel this Christmas with their four course Christmas menu. Look forward to their delicious stuffed turkey for just $120 per person and kids under 12 for $25. If you can’t wait to eat book yourself in for the 12pm sitting, otherwise those looking for a Christmas Day sleep in can attend the 2pm sitting.

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O'Connell's

O’Connell’s has been kicking around for 140 years, so it’s fair to say the gastropub knows a thing or two about cooking Christmas dinner. Their curated three course lunch (including a glass of sparkling) will cost you $145 per person and $45 per child (for two courses). This is Christmas dinner’s cool older brother with options like salmon and oyster emulsion with apple gel and caviar, dry aged Robbins Island Wagyu rump and lamingtons with coconut ganache, raspberry and sesame jelly and lemon sorbet.

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Newmarket Hotel

For the most wonderful time of the year the Newmarket Hotel is hosting a $135 three course Christmas lunch for adults and a $25 two course lunch for kids. Just like the Newmarket the menu has been given a modern twist with dishes like wood-fired king prawns, tempura cauliflower with hummus, macadamia-crusted turkey breast, wild mushroom risotto and pineapple gratiane. Don’t worry you can get a traditional Christmas pud too. Book your Christmas lunch for either noon or 2.30pm.

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Golden Gate Hotel

Tis’ the season to be jolly so put your feet up and leave the cooking to the experts. The Golden Gate is offering a three course, traditional Christmas lunch for $85 and just $20 for kids under 12. Book a table for your family and friends and share in dishes like prawn cocktail lettuce cups, glazed ham with pickled peaches, roast turkey with cranberry stuffing, herbed roast potatoes and Christmas pudding or Eton Mess for dessert.

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