It’s that time of year again to start thinking about festive dinners with family and friends. Here’s our pick of both the traditional and non-traditional Christmas menus at some of our favourite restaurants across Britain. Bringing you the best in quality produce, creative combinations and delicious creations, all with the spattering of Christmas spirit, what more could you ask for.
Dean Street Town House (London)
A Christmas lunch at London’s Dean Street Townhouse is a treat for any family and its Georgian rooms are particularly suited for twinkly festive gatherings. Based in the heart of Soho, the pair of Georgian houses have been home to rich families since the 1700s, including King Charles II’s mistress at one point. It offers a five-course menu with champagne, traditional organic bronze turkey with chestnut stuffing and Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Finish the meal with a choice of either Cropwell Bishop Stilton or Lancashire Cheese, as well as coffee served with mince pies, which also awaits those that still have room.
The Dome (Edinburgh)
This gem is a winter wonderland for all the family. Decorated with numerous Christmas trees and lights, saviour the smell of freshly cut holly, cinnamon sticks and the delicate hew of pine needles. This Edinburgh institution is especially spectacular at Christmas and is one of Edinburgh’s key attractions during the festive season. It’s as traditional as it gets and with a fantastic Turkey and Christmas pudding on the menu it’s a real winner for dinner. This coupled with a spectacular 50ft Noble Spruce Tree, iconic 80ft garlands, poinsettia displays and all the smells and sounds of Christmas, this really is the perfect place to bring in the season with friends and family.
The Cosy Club (Birmingham)
This really is the perfect place to have a cosy Christmas lunch with your chums. To add to the festivities, instead of boring, traditional starters, you can order a range of tapas including hummus with spiced sultanas, popcorn brie and chorizo sausage rolls. Mains choices include pot-roast cherry orchard pork belly and pie lovers will be very happy with the delicious Sussex turkey & smoked bacon pie. The vegetarian option is the winter vegetable & halloumi pie. Last but not least the pud choices are a real highlight, our favourite of all being the baked New York cheesecake with spiced plum compôte.
Fitzbillies, with its beautiful art nouveau shop front, is a Cambridge institution. Its famously sticky chelsea buns have been made and sold on the premises since 1921. No trip to Cambridge is complete without a visit and it’s a place that really comes alive at Christmas time with its shop front transformed into a Christmas wonderland. The food is the best available in Cambridge, prepared from scratch using seasonal ingredients from local suppliers. The Christmas menu on offer is also something to marvel at, they’ve even been known to deep-fry whole turkeys.
If you’re after something a little different for your Christmas dinner, why not skip the turkey and enjoy another favourite British dish – chicken tikka masala. Mughli is part of Manchester’s famous ‘Curry Mile’, famous for its succulent steamed biryanis and tikka sizzlers. Realising that many people like a story with their samosa, they tapped into the trend for high-end street food and its ‘discovery’ in the days of the British Empire. Mughli is the ideal place to get the whole family around the table and diving in to a serious alternative to the traditional turkey.
Holly Bush (London)
For a true homely atmosphere, then the Holly Bush is for you this festive season. Set within the heart of Hampstead Heath in London, diners can indulge in a large selection of traditional dishes, including roast Usk Vale barn reared turkey breast and Christmas pudding. However if you feel like you want to treat your taste buds, why not try the wild boar & pistachio terrine with drunken prunes and Golden Pride sourdough. Or even pan-seared halibut with lemon and parsley crushed potatoes and spinach. If not, just stick to what you’re comfortable with. Holly Bush’s festive menu will definitely get your tummy rumbling and it’s a perfect complement to a Christmas walk around the heath.
The Wheatsheaf, (Gloucestershire)
The Wheatsheaf is a coaching inn where in years gone by horses and coaches would be kept in stables while blindingly drunken parties would be held in the pub. We think it’s a little less raucous these days but at Christmas the team still aim to offer a jovial Christmas atmosphere alongside some seriously good locally sourced, seasonal food. Those eating at the Wheatsheaf this Christmas will be treated to a starter of Portland Pearl oysters and shallots, with main course choices including free-range grass-feed Cotswold goose. Brussels sprouts are served with pancetta and the Christmas pudding has a flambe option. Combine this with a great wine list and an excellent selection of beers and you’ve got yourself a perfect Christmas outing.
Freemason’s Arms (Lancashire)
Nestled in the Ribble Valley, Freemasons at Wiswell combines country pub, shooting lodge, a slice of gentrified refinement and adds a twist of contemporary creativity and flair to create the perfect setting for a memorable gastronomic experience. The Christmas ambiance will soon work its magic and draw you into its relaxed charm. Ranked #1 in the 2016 Good Food Guide’s Top 50 UK pubs. A Christmas dining experience involves meeting in the morning for well-earned drinks and mince pies and then comes the time to enjoy the greatest gift of all – food! Turkey is, of course on the menu but there is also something for the more adventurous in the 5 course extravaganza, including Tempura King Prawns with Kimchee Mayo. They also serve up a wicked sherry trifle.