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Christmas dinner menu London 2018: Best restaurants for a festive feast in the capital

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 22/12/2018 Ailis Brennan

As the Christmas countdown continues, there are increasingly fewer days on which you can eat your bodyweight in pigs-in-blankets without raising too many eyebrows.

We reckon there’s just enough time to fit in another Christmas dinner. From traditional turkey roasts to twists on Christmas classics via globetrotting festivities, there are more restaurants in London offering festive feasts than you can shake a candy cane at.

If you're planning a foodie knees up with friends or an office party to be proud of this holiday season, check out our pick of some of the best festive menus in the capital, with prices listed per person.

Cora Pearl

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Cora Pearl, the little sister restaurant of Kitty Fisher’s, charmed London on its arrival to the capital this year and is hosting patrons for a feast this Christmas. Start the show with Devils On Horseback and a bite of the restaurant’s much lauded ham and cheese toastie, before indulging in a veal fillet with sides including celeriac with hazelnuts and smoked creme fraiche, and sprouts with chestnuts and bacon. Be sure to leave room for the delectable dessert offering: a mulled trifle (above) and some mince pie doughnuts will end the meal with a festive frisson.

30 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA, corapearl.co.uk

Aquavit

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Dreaming of a white Christmas? You’re more likely to find it in Scandinavia than you are in London, sadly. No matter, because Michelin-starred Aquavit is offering a taste of a Nordic Christmas with its festive set lunch menu. Choose from the likes of gravlax tartare with kohlrabi, pork chop with red cabbage and Swedish Kroppkakor dumplings with mushrooms and lingonberries, with a Fika trolley available for dessert. The price of this meal is an even sweeter treat: get two courses for £32 or three for £35.

St James's Market, 1 Carlton Street, SW1Y 4QQ, aquavitrestaurants.com

St John

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Meaty feasts don’t get more rambunctious than at St John. Go the whole hog at Fergus Henderson’s legendary nose-to-tail restaurants, where both the Shoreditch and Smithfields locations will be serving up whole suckling pigs to large groups (starting at £390 to feed 12-14 and ending at £450 to feed 22). Alternatively, individuals can plump for individual menus themed around Goose, Beef, Game or Fish for between £52 and £58 a head.

E1, EC1, stjohnrestaurant.com

The London Shell Co.

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Swap “Bah humbug!” for “Ahoy there!” at floating restaurant London Shell Co, where Christmas is setting sail on the Regent’s Canal. Dine on board the Prince Regent barge, with festive menus available at both lunch and dinner, and for both static and cruising experiences. Choose between two menus – £35 for three courses, £50 for five – which feature the likes of Lampton & Jackson smoked salmon with house pickles, sole stuffed with spider crab and a traditional turkey crown with stuffing, roast potatoes and brussels sprouts.

The Prince Regent, Sheldon Square, W2 6PY, londonshellco.com

Kricket

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Kricket is celebrating its first Christmas with new site in White City, and festivities are in swing across all its locations. For just £35 you can get a three course taste of some south Asian Kricket classics, along with some festive twists. Crunch on samphire pakoras, before indulging in a goose vindaloo served with brussels sprouts and chestnut thoran. Finish it all up with a sticky date pudding drenched in fragrant ceylon and rose syrup, topped with jaggery walnuts and served with milk ice cream.

W1, SW9, W12, kricket.co.uk

Claw

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Celebrate Christmas and make it snappy at Claw, where the sustainable fish-focused restaurant will be putting seafood at the centre of its festive spread. Pre-booked parties of four or more can tuck into a roasted platter of freshly caught day-boat fish and seafood, served alongside sharing plates and sides including Colchester oysters and truffle and raclette cauliflower cheese. The menu costs £45 per head, and also includes a welcome punch and a chocolate eggnog dessert.

21 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5QA, claw.co.uk

Adam Handling’s Frog Restaurants

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Adam Handling will have you hopping with Christmas glee at his two London restaurants, both of which are serving up indulgent Christmas menus. Among the main events at Covent Garden’s Frog by Adam Handling are turkey with all the trimmings and a lamb wellington with haggis and artichoke, where the Christmas menu costs £45 for two courses and £50 for three. Over at The Frog Hoxton, choices on their gorgeous festive menu (two courses £35, three for £40) include smoked ham with beer, brown cheese and English mustard, or a vegan option of roast cauliflower satay.

WC2, N1, adamhandling.co.uk

Cafe Murano

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For Christmas like mamma used to make it, head to Angela Hartnett’s Cafe Murano in St James for a homely Italian spread. The whole table chooses how many courses it would like – three courses for £53, four for £58, or five for £63 – and then dishes are served to share around the table like a big family meal. Options on the menu include bruschetta with roasted figs and goats curd, octopus with a potato and cannellini bean stew, pumpkin tortelli with sage and amaretti and braised beef cheek with polenta and roast carrots. Dessert options include warm panne tone with brandy cream.

WC2, SW1, cafemurano.co.uk

Simpson’s In The Strand

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You may feel like you’ve had a lot of Christmases – but Simpson’s In The Strand will soon have had 190 of them. The historic restaurant is celebrating the holiday season with as much gusto as ever before, offering a Festive Bill of Fare peppered with traditional classics. Diners can pick their desired number of courses – two for £45, three for £55 and four for £60 – and indulge in the likes of roast Norfolk Bronze turkey carved from the trolley, a pork and bacon pate en croute with crispy Bath chaps, and a Simpson’s Christmas pudding served with brandy custard. With new man Adrian Martin leading the kitchen, the restaurant is on finer form than ever.

100 Strand, WC2R 0EW, simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk

Mac & Wild

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Longing for a winter escape in the Highlands? Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild brings the flavours of the Highlands to central London all year round, and is catering for tastes both classic and quirky this Christmas. Traditional turkey with “tatties” and bone marrow gravy is available across both their set menus, priced at £35, or £50 for more choice and some cheeky extras. Alternatively, tuck into a Christmas Burger that tops a venison patty with Morangie brie, sausage stuffing, red cabbage and shredded sprouts.

W1, EC2, macandwild.com

Dishoom

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According to Dishoom, burping gently during a meal is considered a polite gesture in India. The restaurant will have you giving off a positively genteel impression by the end of its festive menu, which features a total of 16 different dishes. The star of the show is the turkey raan, a slow cooked whole leg of turkey which comes with bombay potatoes, masala winter greens and spiced cranberry chutney. Alongside this, you can also tuck into the likes of keema pau, jackfruit biryani, house black daal and much more for just £40.

Various locations, dishoom.com

Maggie Jones

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Dine like a Princess this Christmas at Maggie Jones, so-named after the alias that Princess Margaret used to use to book there. A three course Christmas lunch menu at the Kensington restaurant will cost you just £35, and includes a selection of traditional roasts, including turkey and a roast belly of pork with apple sauce, as well as mince pies served with Christmas pudding ice cream. What’s more, you get to dine by candlelight in Maggie Jones’s endlessly cosy – and very Dickensian – wood panelled surroundings.

6 Old Court Place, W8 4PL, maggie-jones.co.uk

Monty’s Deli

It’s not just Christmas that rings in festivities this time of year – for some, it’s all about Hanukkah. Monty’s Deli, a Hoxton restaurant specialising in Jewish classics, is throwing a festive feast for those celebrating either holiday, which includes cold cuts, smoked fish and pickles to start, followed by hot smoked turkey with horseradish cream, or slow braised brisket with prunes. Finish up with apple strudel or chocolate malt cake, and you’ll get it all with a glass of cava or mulled cider for just £30.

227-229 Hoxton Street, N1 5LG, montys-deli.com

Sushisamba

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The Christmas offering at these super slick Japanese-Brazilian fusion restaurants isn’t a full festive menu as such, but a selection of festive treats for carnivores. Sushisamba is ringing in the holidays with the introduction of a limited edition Kobe Christmas menu, presenting a variety of dishes made with the prized and pricey variety of fat-marbled beef. Dishes on the menu range from rib eye tataki with pryolyzed leeks and beetroot gel, and kobe rib croquetas with huancaína, crispy shallots and aji amarillo. Prices start at £8 for a kobe bun, and max out at an eye-watering £1000 for a 1kg steak, enough to feed five people.

WC2, EC2, sushisamba.com

Holborn Dining Room

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Calum Franklin’s flare for flaunting British flavours gets a proper show at Christmas time, when Holborn Dining Room gathers winter warmers into its festive party menus. The Rosewood London brasserie is serving up two menus – £65 for three courses, £85 for more options and pricier ingredients – both including a roasted Norfolk Bronze turkey with all the trimmings. Among the selections you’ll also find a baked lobster thermidor tart, a mandarin cheesecake with burnt meringue, and beetroot and gin cured salmon with pickled cucumber. You'll also be able to pick up a slice of Franklin's festive pie offering a rabbit and bacon pate en croute – and the restaurant's Pie Room will also be available for private hire.

252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN, holborndiningroom.com

Carousel

For the festive season, Marylebone’s restaurant residency hub will be halting its revolving door of chefs to allow co-founder Ollie Templeton take the lead on a Christmas menu. Running for the majority of December, chef Templeton will be serving an open duck ragu and parmesan raviolo, as well as a meat feast of Dexter beef sirloin, beef cheek braised in spiced carrot juice, bone marrow mash and blistered sprout tops with scallop XO. Prices vary, check the website for more details.

71 Blandford Street, W1U 8AB, carousel-london.com

Jidori Covent Garden

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Not all countries celebrate Christmas with a big roast – the Japanese are perfectly happy with a Bargain Bucket of KFC, thank you very much. You think we’re joking, but fried chicken is the festive dish of choice in Japan, with the American fast food company often inundated with orders. Japanese restaurant Jidori Covent Garden is paying homage to the unlikely penchant by putting on Karaage & Karaoke parties, serving up Japanese-style fried chicken to parties who book its karaoke booth for £25 per person, as well as serving up Japanese feasts in the main restaurant for between £30 and £45.

15 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JZ, jidori.co.uk

Craft

Stevie Parle’s Craft is celebrating British producers in its festive food offering, basing its Christmas menu around great British ingredients. Choose either a short or long tasting menu – £38 for three courses, £55 for six courses – and tuck into the likes of Leicester guinea fowl with poached quince and celeriac, roasted squash with foraged British mushrooms and a selection of cheese from Neal’s Yard dairy in Covent Garden.

Peninsula Square, SE10 0SQ, craft-london.co.uk

Sartoria

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Francesco Mazzei is teaming up with Laurent-Perrier champagne and Ferrero Rocher chocolates to bring some glitz and glimmer to Sartoria’s Christmas. The restaurant’s terrace has been given a festive twinkle, and Mazzei will be serving a selection of seasonal menus, including £90 feasting menu which features a roast loin of venison with smoked garlic mash and blueberry sauce. On the festive a la carte menu, diners can also finish with a dessert of tartufo di pizzo, which combines pistachio and hazelnut ice cream with a Ferrero Rocher praline, all served wrapped up in a gold foil package.

20 Savile Row, W1S 3PR, sartoria-restaurant.co.uk

Indian Accent

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This Mayfair luxe Indian spot opened at the beginning of the year to a five star review from the Standard’s Fay Maschler. The restaurant is still in the party mood with chef Manish Mehrotra putting on five different festive menus, ranging from £55 to £80 per person. Among the delicacies on offer is a chettinad grouse, pumpkin and coconut curry and a lamb seekh kebab with cumin new potatoes and stilton. On Christmas Eve, the restaurant will be putting on a one-day only menu which features turkey tikka meatballs and cumin maple brussels sprouts.

16 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HW, indianaccent.com

The Quality Chop House

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The quality goes beyond the chops at this Clerkenwell restaurant, which will be turning its talents to a great big piece of beef instead this Christmas. The £49 December set menu at The Quality Chop House includes Galloway beef to share among the party, with sides of sprouts and bacon, pommes boulangere, parsnips and pears. Start off by tucking into sharing plates of pastrami cured salmon with fried capers and stilton custard with beetroot ketchup and caramelised walnuts, before ending the meal on a Christmas pudding with brandy custard.

88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA, thequalitychophouse.com

1251

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James Cochran is spending his first Christmas at his new restaurant, 1251, and all of his festive menus will raise a glass of champagne to the occasion. Known for his continent-hopping style, Cochran’s festive feasts – named Land, Sea and Garden and priced between £65-70 – focus firmly on the produce and flavours of the British Isles. Look out for the likes of Berkshire pheasant breast with lardo, quince and bacon jam, and charcoal roasted salsify with chestnuts, pear and cranberries.

107 Upper Street, N1 1QN, 1251.co.uk

La Poule au Pot

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La Poule au Pot aren’t just serving up Christmas dinner – they’re serving “Le Dejeuner de Noel”. This very French Belgravia restaurant will be celebrating the festive season with a host of French classics, from onion tart to beef bourgignon, cassoulet to creme brulee. Enjoy three courses for just £36, with an extra £4 supplement available for the luxurious foie gras hors d’oeuvres option. You come here to feel cosy – drink plenty of wine and tuck in.

231 Ebury Street, SW1W 8UT, pouleaupot.co.uk

Duddell’s

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Do Christmas Cantonese style at this highly acclaimed Hong Kong-hailing London Bridge restaurant, where the bird of the moment is not a goose or a turkey, but a duck. Duddell’s Peking-style offering comes served with eight different types of condiments to kick off the pricier of its two party menus – £98, as opposed to £78 – which also features crispy chicken with red wine and pickled pear, as well as a blood orange mousse with almond sponge and pistachio.

9a St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, duddells.co/london

Roux at Parliament Square

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Michel Roux Jr is taking a classic French approach to Britain’s festive favourites at his eponymous Westminster restaurant. After serving saucisson Lyonnaise and ttoro fish stew, he’ll be roasting a Lancashire Goosnargh duck for his diners’ Christmas feast, serving it with brussels sprouts, marmalade stuffing and roast potatoes. Finishing up the meal will be a spiced pear and mincemeat dartois with brandy creme anglaise – you’ll never look at a mince pie the same way again.

11 Great George Street, Westminster, SW1P 3AD, rouxatparliamentsquare.co.uk

Ella Canta

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Martha Ortiz is arguably Mexico’s most glamorous culinary star, and her Mayfair restaurant is putting on a suitably glitzy show for the festive season. The Christmas menu at Ella Canta is named Into The Gold, with Ortiz inspired by the country’s natural resource and weaving its colour throughout the seven course menu. Start of with a specially designed golden cocktail, before dining on corn and cheese gordita served with pickled radish and burnt avocado, followed by pork belly is served with black bean sauce and glistening crackling.

One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY, ellacanta.co

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