Planning an entire Christmas feast for the immediate family and 20 close relatives sounds fun in theory, but about halfway through the prep we’re usually wishing we could ditch the idea and head to our favorite restaurant. If you’re planning on having someone else do the work this holiday, try one of these five upscale restaurants for the best cuisine without any of the effort. Scattered around London, these eateries include everything from traditional English dishes with turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies to more exotic fare like sweet potato chocolate cake and Beijing duck.
Photo Credit: Dean Street Townhouse
Dean Street Townhouse
Housed in a Georgian-style hotel in London’s Soho area, Dean Street Townhouse serves up traditional British fare with all the comfort and coziness of home. Here guests can enjoy meals in the main dining room or book a private room for up to 12 people. Christmas dinner will consist of dishes like Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut soup; roast rib of Hereford beef with Yorkshire pudding; Christmas pudding and brandy butter; and Mince pies and truffles. Dinner starts at £95 (approx. USD $103) and reservations must be made in advance.
Photo Credit: York & Albany
York & Albany
Located just opposite of Regent Park, York & Albany is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, which all but guarantees dinner will be a culinary delight. The restaurant is popular with families and ladies who lunch for its flavorful dishes and casual atmosphere. The Christmas menu consists of both traditional and modern fare including Cornish crab salad, brown shrimps, caper and pomegranate vinaigrette; Norfolk Bronze turkey breast, stuffing, chipolata roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce; and duck, ham hock and foie gras terrine with milled pear chutney and hazelnut brioche. Dinner starts at £100 (approx. USD $109) and reservations must be made in advance.
Photo Credit: Blueprint Café
While sitting in a warm, cozy dining room sounds like a wonderful setting for Christmas dinner, we can’t deny that having a front-row view of the London cityscape may be even better. Located in the Design Museum on the south banks of the Thames, Blueprint Café offers diners a one-of-a-kind view with their meal. Christmas dinner will consist of a three-course menu with dishes like roast pumpkin and ginger soup; celeriac and parmesan gnocchi with toasted hazelnuts, crispy sage and périgord truffle; and spiced poached pears in red wine with cinnamon crème anglaise. Dinner starts at £80 (approx. USD $88) or £95 for a window table (approx. USD $104) and reservations must be made in advance.
Photo Credit: Duck & Waffle
Duck & Waffle
Forty stories up on London’s East side, Duck & Waffle is known for their views as they’re one of the highest restaurants in the UK. Here, award-winning Executive Chef Daniel Doherty serves up European fare with local, seasonal and sustainable British ingredients. A five-course dinner will be served on Christmas that will include dishes like parmesan and truffle crispy polenta; smoked haddock mulligatawny with soft hen’s egg and curry leaves; slow braised ox cheek with vegetables, pearl barley, marjoram and truffles; Colston Basset stilton with homemade oatcakes and grapes, and a “surprise” selection of dessert and mince pies. Dinner starts at £85 (approx. USD $93) and reservations are recommended.
Photo Credit: Min Jiang
For less traditional cuisine dine at Min Jiang this Christmas. This Chinese restaurant offers views of the neighboring Kensington Gardens, from its place on the tenth floor of the Royal Garden Hotel. On Christmas evening its spectacular views may even offer a glimpse of the fireworks over the Thames. Their seven-course Christmas dinner will include Asian fusion dishes like soup with dried scallops and crab meat; pan-fried black cod with xo sauce; stir-fried garlic sprouts, hon-shimeji mushrooms and bamboo shoots with crispy enoki mushrooms; and sweet potato chocolate cake with pandan ice cream and mango carpaccio. Dinner starts at £90 (approx. USD $98), but an additional course of their famous Beijing duck can be added for £58 (approx. USD $63). Reservations must be made in advance.