Enjoy These Festive Treats While Holiday Shopping Around Boston

With calendars turned to December, it is officially time to start getting into the festive spirit. What better way to do this than by stopping into some of the city's best restaurants for some special holiday spirit? From hot cocktails to holiday midday meals, here are a few of our favorites that should make it onto anyone's list for delicious and festive treats.

Bar Boulud
For those who are hosting this holiday season, head to Bar Boulud to learn the tricks of the pastry trade. On Sunday December 6 and Sunday December 12, pastry chef extraordinaire Robert Differ takes guests on a step by step journey of what goes into the traditional French dessert, Bûche de Noël. Let your mind feast on the information as you sip a hot cocoa or glass of champagne, which both come complimentary with your class purchase.

Beat Brasserie
You know you'll likely end up in Harvard Square at some point this holiday season. Time it so that you happen to swing by Beat Brasserie on the 12 of December. It just so happens that Santa Clause will be paying a visit for brunch from 10 am to 3 p.m. Indulge in short rib eggs benedict, wild flower honey and lemon pancakes or a healthier Greek kale salad bowl prepared by Chef Ignacio Lopez. You can do all of this to the live holiday tunes of Alex Lee Clark while getting in a good word or two (and a photo op!) with the man that makes it all happen.

Boston Harbor Hotel and Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Boston during the holiday season would not be complete without all the festivities happening at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Work up an appetite by skating around the Rotunda Rink, sign on for skating lessons on Saturdays in December, January and February. Make a reservation at the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille for their special Frost Tea. Until December 25, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., warm up alongside chef Daniel Bruce's seasonal and inspired treats and sweets with hot cocoa and delectable hot cocktails.

Harpoon Brewery
What holiday roundup would be complete without a fundraiser? On December 11, Harpoon Brewery teams up with the Harp Boston for a holiday charity event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester. From 8 to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy a sneak preview of their soon-to-be-released barrel aged beer. Other festive brews and their famous pretzels will also be in circulation. A toy drive and giveaways make the evening complete, guests are encourage to bring one unwrapped toy to donate to the organization. 

MET Back Bay
Over on Newbury street, the team at MET Back Bay has a few special events up their holiday sleeves. On December 20, from 3 to 5 p.m., join them for a Storybook Christmas. Bring in the kids and you can all enjoy Victorian carolers and a visit from Santa Clause as you indulge in warming hot chocolates and cinnamon and sugar bisnuts a.k.a. a biscuit and donut hybrid. At 4:30, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas will be read by the fireside.

In addition, Met Back Bay is bringing its annual hot chocolate tasting back for all to enjoy. At all Met Bar locations, guests can indulge in a decadent hot chocolate experience featuring local Somerville chocolate company, Taza Chocolate.  Flavors include: a classic hot chocolate  with Taza Vanilla Chocolate, whipped cream and mini toasted marshmallows, a Mexican hot chocolate  with Taza Cinnamon Chocolate, whipped cream, a cinnamon stick and grated Taza Guajillo Chili Chocolate, a fan favorite salted almond hot chocolate, with Taza Salted Almond Chocolate, whipped cream and an almond biscotti and of course, a peppermint hot chocolate, with Taza cacao puro chocolate, peppermint, whipped cream & candy cane. Importantly, all hot chocolates can be spiked for consenting adults. This tasting will be available until spring of 2016, but don't wait!

Royal Sonesta – ArtBar
It's never too early to start teaching the kids to bake, and when the teacher is the talented pastry chef, Christina Allen-Flores from the Royal Sonesta, you may just learn something as well! On the 12 and 19 of December, from 10 a.m. until noon, guests are invited to learn how to bake cupcakes for the holidays in the ArtBar private dining room. Get creative and bring an appetite for something sweet!

135 years after its opening, Boston's famed Locke-Ober restaurant has been resurrected as Yvonne's. Still in its former location and with many of its classic, Victorian touches, Yvonne's brings new and old together in the most appealing way. Starting December 4, the restaurant will honor its past with its holiday lunches. Guests can choose from a menu of classic dishes like onion coup au gratin with beef short rib and gruyere toast, steak tartare to begin. Large 'feasts' are the most exciting moments with a two-pound. baked lobster Savannah for two people, herb roasted Australian lamb rack  or filet of sole. Lunch at Yvonne's could very well become the next big holiday tradition in Boston...just as it used to be at Locke-Ober.