It's getting cold, very cold. Which means we're getting grumpy, very grumpy. And one of the few ways we're capable of cheering ourselves up during these dour months of the year (thanks seasonal affective disorder!) is with lots and lots of good food and drink. We're talking feasts here, baby: plate after plate after plate of hearty dishes that fill us with a feeling of physical and emotional comfort. Seeing as it is well and truly winter, we're also more than happy to spend the next couple of weeks storing up our energy and accumulating some extra warmth for our inevitable mid-winter hibernation. Let's just say that endless trips to the pigs in blanket platter and an extended cruise aboard the gravy boat are very much on the cards on some of these decadent London Christmas menus.
Aside from being an excuse to eat far too much food, we do also recognise that spending time with your family and friends is another important part of the festive season. We do; however, also recognise that having to deal with the mess of a kitchen that's covered in beef gravy and broken baubles is a pain in the arse that no-one needs in their life. So, instead of cooking your festive dinner at home – and to save you from tears – this year, we'd recommend going out for a big blowout meal instead. You bring the inconvenience of an awkward family conversations about why you haven't settled down and found yourself a life partner yet and the London Christmas menu of your choosing will provide you with a convenient and efficient way to eat some of the city's best food.
From icons like St. JOHN to rowdier newcomers like Casa do Frango and atypical festive feasts from the likes of SUSHISAMBA, London is full of restaurants offering great festive menus at a range of prices. From the affordable to the "parents are definitely paying for this one", this guide to the best London Christmas menus of 2019 should hopefully be of use. Or, at the very least, give you something to salivate over while your turkey's in the oven.
28 of the tastiest Christmas menus in London 2019
18 November - 24 December 2019; various locations
For a first-class Christmas feast, you should really get yourself down to Dishoom. Any Dishoom in the city will do, just make sure to wear your elastane jeans for the occasion because you're going to eat large, my friend. Mammoth 'thaals' of food will be placed on the table so that you and the rest of the Cratchit clan can feast to your hearts' content. The non-veg side of the menu includes a whole turkey leg prepared in traditional raan style, cooked low and slow over an entire day until it's the most fall-apart fowl you've ever consumed. That huge hind leg comes served with Bombay-style potatoes, masala winter greens, spiced cranberry chutney, and – honestly, mate – you'll struggle to find a better treatment of that bird in London. The vegetarian offering of chole puri is a chickpea-chocked dream that's as far from a meat-free afterthought as possible. The opportunity to get as many sides as you like with a chai egg nog in-hand? Well, that's just impossible to pass up.
2. Duck & Waffle
November 15 - 1 January; 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Duck & Waffle is offering an immersive dining experience complete with snow-covered trees, glistening icicles and a spate of other wintery trimmings. Executive chef Elliott Grover has crafted a menu of festive specials that incorporate traditional and seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, truffle and cranberry, all reinterpreted in a way your dad never even would have thought about attempting in your home kitchen. Celeriac and russet apple soup with roasted walnuts? Smoked Aberdeen Angus beef carpaccio with winter truffle? Bit different, but delicious. The Suffolk bronze roast turkey with cornbread stuffing, maple baked sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce? Well, that's about as classic as it gets when it comes to a London Christmas menu. There's also a wellington nut roast with maple baked sweet potatoes for the vegetarians out there and a S'mores in a skillet for the sweet toothed.
From 2 December; 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Brigadiers' Festive Feast looks set to be one of the best ways to get your fill of a festive dinner that's actually seasoned properly. No offence to your family's cooking, of course. It's just that, y'know, Brigadiers do it better. Small plates of masala chicken skins, roasted pumpkin bharta thepla, masala bubble and squeak vada pao, and Afghani venison skewers are excellent ways to share the love with your family and friends while mains of turkey tikka masala pot pie or South Indian pork cheek and prawn biryani shine bright next to a hefty bread basket. The vegetarian side of the menu – stacked with wild mushroom and truffle tawa pilau and wood-roasted Chettinad aubergine – doesn't feel like an add-on, either. Fear not: you won't find a dry-as-the-desert nut roast on the agenda at Brigadiers.
4. The Palomar
Until 31 December; 34 Rupert Street, W1D 6DN
If you're up for sharing this Christmas (and, let's be honest, that's what the season is all about), The Palomar is a must. The rip and dip section of kubaneh bread, m'sabacha, beet labneh and tantalising larger plates of glazed octopus, sea bass and josperised aubergine are up-front on acid and spice – satisfying all the flavours you'd ever want from an elongated sit-down meal. It's not exactly shy of innovation, either; Turkish coffee being used to dress up the pork belly and crisps playing a part in the Jerusalem chicken dish. For just £45 per person, this London Christmas menu is excellent value for money and will leave you with plenty in the kitty to splash out on Jo Malone candles for that friend you don't know quite well enough.
5. Holborn Dining Room
19 November - 24 December; 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
When it comes to the perfect setting for a festive celebration, you can't find a much better location than Holborn Dining Room. It's chic, yet homely, and executive chef Calum Franklin has created a selection of British-inspired menus (one priced at £70 per person and the other at £90) to suit any occasion. It's the little twists on the classics that make HDR so appealing. Cauliflower soup with roast chestnuts and gin-cured salmon with pickled cucumber both reminds you of the ghosts of festive meals past while simultaneously blowing them out of the damn water. The roast Suffolk bronze turkey is unlike anything you've had before – a moist and gamey example of the bird that'll erase all your previous experiences of stringy turkey breast. As for the more expensive menu? Well, who doesn't want to start off their festive party with a lobster thermidor tart?! Neal's yard cheeses and mince pies for dessert are just the cherry on top.
From 1 December; various locations
Forget about overcooked turkey, claggy bread sauce and sulphuric brussels sprouts, this Christmas you should be chowing on aloo chaat and tandoori chicken. Both of Gunpowder's London restaurants are offering three enticing London Christmas menus priced at £45, £60, and £70. Whether you're chasing the high of whole beef rib in Kerala pepper sauce, a whole duck leg with Andhra-style sambal, or a 28 day dry-aged Côte de Boeuf, a meal at Gunpowder will have you fat and happy this festive season.
7. Casa do Frango
25 November - 22 December; 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU
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Portuguese chicken expert Casa do Frango is accepting festive bookings for groups of 8 to 60 people. So, if you've got 59 good mates knocking about that want to get their gobs on some great chicken, we've got just the place for you. Sharing plates of potato sourdough bread, grilled chorizo and charred cauliflower are exactly the kind of things we wish we could serve at our own festive dinner parties while the main attraction of the frango piri-piri chicken underlines how turkey doesn't always have to be the bird that stars this time of the year. Combine all that with some African rice on the side and a fresh pastel de nata traditional for dessert and you've got all the makings of an excellent festive meal.
8. Quality Chop House
1 December - 31 December; 88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
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Throughout the whole of December, at lunchtime and in the evening, Quality Chop House will be offering a 'Seasonal Set Menu' for £49 a head and a 'QCH Classics Christmas Menu' for £69 a head. The "seasonal" variant offers a selection of, well, seasonal dishes, aka snacks and starters (smoked cod roe, crumbled rye sourdough, pastrami cured salmon) and a main course of your choice (Fosse Meadows Bronze turkey, Galloway beef, Blackface lamb) for the whole party to share. All of that comes served with side bowls of seasonal vegetables and a wonderful dessert of Christmas pudding ice cream with brandy custard. The slightly more expensive "classics" menu has some additional knockout plates like mince croquette, game terrine, Mangalitza pork and Dexter beef available. Worth the money? Absolutely.
9. The Gun
12 November - February; 54 Brushfield Street, E1 6AG
This November, The Gun in Spitalfields will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring a big ass gingerbread chalet installation (with edible bricks) and seasonal food and drink menus. The new selection of tipples will include a smoky 'Two Smoking Barrels' made with Absolut Vodka, Lot 40 rye whisky, Belsazar Red vermouth, honey-infused orange peel and cinnamon as well as a fiery 'Spiced Route Revolver' which combines Havana Especial, rum, spiced syrup, star anise and... cinnamon. Yeah, a couple of drinks here is a cinnamon challenge we can actually get behind. As for the food, expect proper winter warmers like braised beef short rib with creamy mashed potato or deep-fried brie with cranberry dip and watercress garnish. Sample the above with a glass of mulled wine and you can pat yourself on the back for a meal well done and a London Christmas menu that won't leave you struggling for funds for the office secret santa.
10. Coq d'Argent
6 November 2019 - 29 February 2020; 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ
Coq d'Argent is going all out this winter by launching two Lodge d'Argent chalets on its rooftop, bringing a sense of chic Courchevel to London's centre. Think wooden interiors and white furniture bedecked with faux-fur blankets and some ski-themed décor. Yeah. In terms of food and beverage you can try a host of Hennessy-infused cocktails and some Apres-inspired dishes like dry-cured alpine ham; diots sausages and red wine sauce; or raclette cheese with new potatoes and dry cured ham gratin. For mains, a charcuterie platter or a classic tartiflette should provide you with enough energy to take on the harshest backcountry of the Northern line at rush hour. Because overeating is exactly what London Christmas menus are all about.
11. Sticky Mango
33 Coin Street, SE1 9NR; 33 Coin Street, SE1 9NR
South East Asian cuisine might sound like a rather vague blanket term to apply to the food coming out of the pass at any restaurant, but the fact that Sticky Mango does a damn fine job at Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Vietnamese dishes makes it difficult to describe its offering in any other way. Plus, that's what it says on their website. When it comes to festive tomfoolery, the 3-course lunch here is only £24.95 and comes stacked with the likes of Thai chicken coconut soup, roasted sambal cod, and a pandan macaron. If you're feeling a bit more generous with your wallet this winter, then the £35 tasting menu or the £45 gourmet tasting menu might be more up your street. Truffle egg fried rice? Don't mind if we do.
12. La Goccia
12 November - 5 January; 1 Floral Court, WC2E 9FB
Covent Garden's La Goccia is getting into the spirit of things this year with a £55 festive set-menu. Starting with a selection of seasonal cicchetti (designed to go with the restaurant's cocktail list), the menu will also include dishes like risotto with wild mushrooms, truffle and 36-month aged Parm and a choice of either hake, Haye Farm chicken or Haye Farm shoulder of lamb as a main. Along with some pretty nifty sides (think Tuscan creamed borlotti beans and roasted brussells sprouts with prosciutto), this menu looks set to be a real people pleaser. Clementine meringue tart with mascarpone ice cream for dessert? Now, that's what we call good tidings.
13. Café Spice Namasté
16 Prescot Street, E1 8AZ
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Café Spice Namasté is offering three London Christmas menus this festive period; that's three different plans of attack you can construct to make the most of what Cyrus Todiwala's Indian restaurant has got up its sleeves. The 'Table D'hote' lunch menu includes a badal jaam – sliced grilled aubergine lightly spiced, topped with a tomato sauce, and drizzled with spiced yoghurt. The 'Classic Christmas' menu, a tasty turkey tikka served with a brussel sprouts thoran. Even the 'Vegetarian Christmas' menu sounds to die for with a coconut-heavy okra and potato Goan curry. If you're the sort of diner that's afraid of commitment, Café Spice Namasté will even tailor a menu to suit your specific requirements or budget. Which is exactly the sort of giving spirit that Christmas is all about.
14. Monsieur le Duck
From 1 December; 27 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RN
As London's only duck-specific restaurant, Monsieur le Duck figured it was only right that its London Christmas menu (or 'menu de noël') features the UK's only duck wellington. Launching December 1, this Clerkenwell Road resto's festive menu will boast an array of Christmas-themed roast dinners, including that aforementioned wellington and a whole crown of roast duck. Other plates include rabbit and duck terrine; pan fried scallops with crispy duck skin; and triple-cooked duck fat roasties. What else do you need to know?! It all sounds ducking fantastic.
From 18 November; 88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH
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Christmas celebrations at Luca start from 18 November onwards, giving you plenty of time to enjoy an afternoon or evening of Italian eating and drinking. Head chef Robert Chambers will be drawing on his Italian heritage and years of experience to create myriad winter dishes full of seasonal flavours, celebrating Italian winter delicacies like white Alba truffle, rich ragù, cavolo nero and panettone. Nothing says winter like a hearty portion of braised short rib or rigatoni with pork sausage ragù, and nothing says winter drinking like a festive bellini made with spiced fruit and prosecco or a winter negroni using sacred Christmas pudding gin.
November-January; 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Never the kind of place to do things by the book, SUSHISAMBA is making the most of this festive season by transforming its restaurant into an Amazon-inspired rainforest "full of spirit and surprise". Right. Dubbed the SAMBAZONIA, SUSHISAMBA's eating area is set to be an immersive dining experience decked to the halls with bright colours and bright music. What we're most excited about, however, is the food. Pork belly with gyoza crisp and miso cured tuna both star on this Latin-influenced menu that's as far from a traditional festive menu as you can get. And not exactly the first, second, or even the third thing that springs to mind when we think "London Christmas menu", but we appreciate that boldness.
17. St. JOHN
1-24 December; 26 St John Street, EC1M 4AY
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The wonderful folk at St. John have got on a Christmas Feasting Menu fit for a flâneur. There are five menus in total (game, fish, goose, beef, pig), all structured around a central beast, with food served in a feasting style on sharing platters. All you've got to do is select one menu for your whole group to share and wait for the flavour fireworks to begin. The menus have been designed to create a balanced feast, though should you feel the need to swap starters or desserts with a different menu, that's totally possible (with all apart from the goose). If you do fancy the suckling pig, you should also make sure to let them know as soon as possible. Vegetarians are catered for separately.
18. Wright Brothers
18 November - 31 December; various locations
Seafood specialist Wright Brothers has crafted its four festive menus with different tastes and dining styles in mind. The seasonal menus are set to showcase the best seafood sourced from WB's Brixham and Billingsgate teams, including a luxury fish pie and epic shellfish platter. Seafood dishes such as roast fillet of Peterhead cod are obviously very much the Wright Brothers specialty, but meat-lovers won't be left disappointed by the cranberry stuffed Norfolk Bronze turkey, either.
19. Maggie Jones
1-30 December; 6 Old Court Place, W8 4PL
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Spending your time tucking into a christmas lunch at Maggie Jones is a rather nice way to spend an afternoon. A really rather nice way to spend an afternoon. Three courses will set you back £37.50 and you can choose from a selection of great plates including traditional roast turkey, a creamed fish pie, roast rump of lamb with rosemary and garlic, grilled calf's liver, and more. You'll finish up with bread and butter pudding or mince pies and custard for a proper British feast. This is the one to bring the fuddy duddy but fussy family members; even they'll be hard-pressed to find a fault with Maggie Jones.
20. The Grand Duchess
From 1 December; Sheldon Square, W2 6DL
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Positioned at the bow of the London Shell Co.'s Grand Duchess is The Captain's Table: a secluded banqueting table made for parties of up to 10 guests. The table is yours for the whole of lunch or dinner and is built with bon vivants like yourself in mind. The Captain's Christmas menu running during the winter is an amalgamation of all that's wonderful about the ocean. Or, rather, all that's wonderful about what's edible in the ocean. Lambton & Jackson smoked salmon and smoked mackerel pâté with soda bread start off the meal, followed by big hitters like dressed Devon crab, ham hock and octopus terrine, whole plaice, and your usual suspects of pigs in blankets and duck fat roast potatoes. Dark chocolate and orange tart with mince pie ice cream end it all on a sugar high. Bon appetit and bon voyage.
21. The Petersham
12 November - 5 January; 2 Floral Street, WC2E 9FB
The Petersham has got some festive merriment available for all with its range of London Christmas menus priced at £60, £90 and £120. Canapés are an obvious way to kickstart any great dinner and the smoked mackerel and beef tartare at The Petersham are an obviously delicious way to do just that. Dishes such as mozzarella di bufala with roasted delica pumpkin chilli, roasted Haye Farm pork with celeriac and apple potatoes, and a perfectly grilled fillet of Cornish hake with addictive pink fir potatoes round off a strong-as-hell selection of eats. Saffron risotto with asparagus and Tuscan pecorino is just one of the examples of what you can find on the restaurant's more expensive menu.
30 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7PH
Inspired by Umut Özkanca's Istanbul heritage, Rüya is a restaurant that offers a taste of Anatolian cooking taking inspiration from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In other words, it's a London Christmas menu with a great tan. With chef patron Colin Clague at the helm, Christmas diners will experience an array of Anatolian classics each with a unique twist. Think Turkish cured salmon (uh huh), borek (uh huh), lamb shank clay pot (uh huh), and an embarrassment of other rich and delicious-sounding dishes.
Until 25 December; 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS
Ever been halfway through a disappointing Christmas dinner, three sheets to the wind after one too many glasses of Buck's Fizz, and been hit with the stark realisation that you'd much rather be eating an excellent chicken tikka masala? We certainly have. To help avoid that epiphany this year, head to Kutir to enjoy the Indian restaurant's festive expedition menu. Along with the aforementioned chicken tikka masala you can find salmon mooli, soft shell crab, black cumin-dusted tandoori lamb chops, and a cluster of prime plates in attendance on the menu – all showing off exactly what makes Kutir such a special restaurant. The menu costs £75 and an extra £55 on top can get you an accompanying wine pairing. Eating at Kutir could brighten up even the bleakest mid-winter.
24. The Barbary
Until 31 December; 16 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9DP
The Barbary's festive feasting menu is one of the best ways we can think of to spend £60 in London. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that having it twice would probably be the best way to spend £120, too. From the first spoonful of Jerusalem artichoke soup to the final morsel of clandestinely consumed clementine sorbet, the entirety of this wintery menu at The Barbary is top-notch stuff. A chewy bagel here and a scoop of baba ganoush there are the ideal ways to warm up your appetite for the main event of slow-cooked lamb shoulder in z'hug crust. This ain't your mama's Christmas dinner: it's much, much better. Do bear in mind that this menu is only available for private hire, so gather your squad and make your booking ASAP.
30 November - 21 December; 65 Commercial Street, E1 6BD
A very vegetarian Christmas menu is what they've got going on at Bubala this winter. The menu – which includes a festive-themed welcome cocktail in the form of a Bubalini, Sandball, or Coffee Flip – is predominantly Middle Eastern but still makes nods towards more traditional chrimbo dishes. For example: beetroot carpaccio comes dressed in a horseradish aioli with candied walnuts, bergamot and cumin adding some warming spice to the occasion; roscoff onions are given turnip syrup and whipped feta for company; and labneh is zhuzzed up with clementine salsa and togarashi. Everything is given a slight Saint Nick twist and is made all the more delicious for it. You'll even be able to get your greedy mitts on some sprouts – with kumquats and spicy thai dressing, mind. Remember: Bubala doesn't like to play by the rules.
12 November- January 2020; various locations
Tonkotsu is celebrating Christmas Japanese-style this year with a Kurisumasu spiced duck ramen. Priced at just £14.95, this festive bowl of noodles will be available in all Tonkotsu restaurants until around mid-January. What goes into a Christmas ramen? Christmas-spice glazed crispy duck, pomegranate seeds, bamboo shoots, charred Brussel sprouts and seasoned egg, topped with Tonkotsu's signature homemade noodles, in a rich chicken broth with sea salt base – that's what. We don't believe there ever was such a duck cooked.
27. Terra Terra
From 18 November; 120 Finchley Road, NW3 5JB
Terra Terra is preparing for its first ever London Christmas menu with the launch of a fairly decadent Italian festive feast. The three course menu is designed to be shared, and has been created to celebrate the tradition of bringing people together over food that’s integral to Italian cooking. Spearheaded by chef Massimo Mioli, the Italian led team has reinvented the rustic offerings of their homeland’s festivities and Christmas recipes. Expect a selection of antipasti like crispy arancini served with bolognese and peas and polenta, wild mushrooms and asiago cheese before you get stuck into a main of lamb shoulder. No Italian feast would be complete without a tiramisu and a serving of grappa, either.
28. Romulo Café
15 November - 31 December; 343 Kensington High Street, W8 6NW
It's tempting to stick to a roast with all the familiar trimmings around Christmas, but with a trio of three-course seasonal set-menus on offer at Romulo café and restaurant, it'd be rude not to give Filipino cooking a whirl this winter. Executive chef Jeremy Villanueva's unique take on the British tradition will include hearty main courses like pork belly rolled and stuffed with herbs and spices; roasted chicken stuffed with ground pork, raisins and chorizo; and more atypical dishes such as blue swimmer crab with kabocha pumpkin, coconut cream, ginger and chilli. Those opting for the £40 menu will also enjoy a glass of English sparkling wine in addition to a choice of a menu that includes a Filipino-style Christmas ham with a pineapple glaze. A selection of Filipino Christmas desserts (think a fruit cocktail in rum-flavoured custard with a cinnamon-scented cashew crumble topping) round off a rich and wonderful Christmas feast.