Widely considered to be a magnet for culinary excellence, London offers a remarkable choice of restaurants, with something for everyone. Plenty of restaurants are serving traditional Christmas menus, but some have a few culinary surprises at this time of year, too. Here is our shortlist of places offering the magic of the festive season everywhere from Marylebone and Mayfair, to Regent’s Park and Bayswater.
1. Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone, London W1
Created by Executive Chef Nuno Mendes and Head Chef Richard Foster, the Firehouse’s festive feasting menu is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. Warm up with an Aperitif of Champagne, Charcuterie and Oysters, plus pre-meal snacks of Venison Rolls and Crab Donuts. Steak Tartare, along with Wiltshire Black Truffle and Champagne Risotto are offered as starters, while mains include Whole Glazed Duck, Slow-cooked Salmon, Aged Rib of Beef and Wild Sea Bass. Complete your celebrations with Bourbon Pecan Pie and Dark Chocolate Tart.
The Christmas menu is available throughout December, but limited to groups of eight to 12 people.
• For sale, at £5,250,000 Leasehold, this stunning two-bedroom apartment has a 1,000 sq ft private garden and is just moments away from Chiltern Firehouse.
2. Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair, London W1
Simon Rogan's elegant eatery offers elaborate tasting menus in an art deco setting seven days a week. So why should Christmas be any different? Expect a seven-course meal with tasty dishes such as Salmon Smoked over Juniper, Caviar, Apple and Kohlrabi, as well as Cornish Lobster, with Golden Beetroot, Mustard and Sea Herbs. Traditionalists will love the Norfolk Bronze Turkey, with Carrots, Chestnut and Sage, while everyone will want to save room for the famed Claridge’s Christmas Pudding. Separated from the main restaurant space, Fera also provides a private, maple-paneled dining room, which will comfortably seat up to 12 guests.
• For rent, at £850 per week, this bright two-bedroom apartment is in the heart of Mayfair, just a short walk from Fera at Claridge’s.
3. Hereford Road, Bayswater, London W2
Typically, Tom Pemberton’s friendly neighbourhood restaurant offers a seasonal menu with a tasty twist or two. Starters include Duck Hearts with Green Beans and Tarragon, as well as Steamed Mussels in Cider and Thyme. Mains combine Roast Goose Breast, Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Chestnuts, plus Grilled Venison, Red Cabbage and Swede. To finish, there’s a wide selection of irresistibles, such as Brown Bread Ice Cream and Sticky Date Pudding. The wine list is commendable, with a number of quality options available by the glass and small carafe. Please note the Christmas menu is available for groups of seven or more.
• For rent, at £515 per week, this top-floor one-bedroom apartment has a private terrace and is just moments from Hereford Road restaurant.
4. Mac & Wild, Fitzrovia, London W1
Celebrating the richness and diversity of Scotland all year round, Mac & Wild seems the ideal destination for informal festive feasting. With a menu brimming with seasonal favourites, starter options include Santa’s Scotch Egg and Game Terrine, while main events consist of a Christmas Burger and Home Style Turkey, with all the trimmings. Puds provide a dilemma, as you’ll need to choose between Dundee Cake and Whisky Sticky Toffee Pudding. There’s a Cheese Trolley, too, plus mince pies and a drinks list that includes 120 whiskies and a selection of Scottish cocktails. Please note the Christmas menu must be pre-booked.
• For rent, at £715 per week, this bright two-bedroom apartment is in a purpose-built block, just a short walk from Mac & Wild.
5. Orrery, Marylebone, London W1
Orrery is an elegant, award-winning French restaurant, located on the first floor of a converted stable block. It offers fabulous views over St Marylebone Church gardens and the staff pride themselves on attention to detail. It’s also open on Christmas day! With tables available from 12pm to 2.30pm, a special seven-course menu is being offered. Standout dishes are Salmon Gravadlax, Truffle and Potato Ravioli and Poached Lobster. For dessert, there’s Sweet Gorgonzola with Apple Chutney, plus Bourbon Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Pineapple and Passion Fruit. As you’d expect, the wine list is half French.
• For sale, at £2,050,000 Share of Freehold, this three-bedroom first floor flat is located in a small purpose-built block, just moments from The Orrery.
6. Pearl Liang, Paddington, London W2
If you like a less-traditional Christmas meal, then Pearl Liang in Paddington sounds like a good plan. One of the capital’s most respected Chinese restaurants, Pearl Liang is serving a five-course festive lunch and dinner until 1 January 2018. Pick of the dishes are Roasted Turkey Sesame Seaweed Roll, Aromatic Crispy Duck, Signature Baked Lobster in Ginger Spring with Noodle, and Thin Cut Sirloin Beef with Sichuan Red Dry Chili. Mochi Ice Cream with Berries is offered for dessert, and the menu must be booked for a minimum of two people. Pearl Liang also provides intimate dining rooms for private parties.
• For rent, at £1,875 per week, this modern four-bedroom apartment has water views and is a short walk from Pearl Liang.
7. The Gilbert Scott, King’s Cross, London NW1
Perhaps providing the ultimate grand dining experience, The Gilbert Scott is a feasting hall of a restaurant. But although it occupies the principal dining space at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, not even the gothic grandeur of this epic Victorian building can detract from Marcus Wareing's remarkable skills as a chef. His six-course Christmas Day menu includes Cauliflower Velouté, Chicken Liver Parfait, Scottish Scallops, Walsgrove Farm Turkey or Roast Aberdeen Sirloin or Wild Sea Bass, Seasonal Cheese, and Dark Chocolate. For private parties, guests may book the chef’s table in the restaurant’s engine room or an elegant private dining room.
• For rent, at £675 per week, this modern two-bedroom mews style flat is just a walk away from The Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
8. Pescatori, Fitzrovia, London W1
For a change, you could go Italian this Christmas by booking a festive treat at this family run restaurant in the heart of Fitzrovia. As the name suggests, Pescatori specialises in fish and seafood, and the atmosphere here is warm and friendly. There are two tempting Christmas menus, plus a vegetarian one. Standout starters include Scottish Smoked Salmon, as well as Sardinian Cold Lobster Tail Salad. Irresistible mains are Roast Bronze Turkey and Poached Fillet of Lemon Sole. There is also a Christmas Pudding, but there’s an Apple Strudel, too.
• For sale, at £1,100,000 Leasehold, this second-floor, two-bedroom apartment would make a perfect pied-à-terre, and is just a short walk from Pescatori.
9. Winter Garden, Regent’s Park, London NW1
Experience the full magic of the festive season with a decadent Christmas day dinner at the Winter Garden restaurant. Long established within Marylebone’s five-star Landmark London hotel, the glamorous Winter Garden provides the perfect setting for any special occasion with family and friends. This Christmas, the four-course menu includes Roasted Butternut Squash Velouté, Oak Smoked and Citrus Cured Scottish Salmon or Poached Scottish Lobster, Bronze Free-Range Turkey or Aubrey Allen’s Dry Aged English Fillet of Beef, Winter Garden Christmas Pudding or Valrhona Chocolate and Mandarin Mousse. To complete your meal, Coffee is served with Mini Mince Pies.
• For sale, at £1,900,000 Leasehold, this five-bedroom apartment is located in a popular red brick mansion block, a short walk from the Winter Garden.
10. The Ledbury, Notting Hill, London W11
Not everyone craves turkey, with or without the trimmings. Or Christmas Pud. Sometimes it’s enough to be treated to the best seasonal menu. Which is why The Ledbury must be on this list. And although you’re unlikely to be exposed to the ‘festive’ word at any time during your visit, you may still enjoy a tasting menu that comprises Chantilly of Oyster, White Beetroot, Warm Bantam’s Egg, Cornish Monkfish, Hen of the Woods, Raveningham Estate Hare, Passionfruit Curd, and Chocolate. Fabulous.
• For sale, at £1,795,000 Freehold, this 3-bed mews house has been renovated to a high standard and is just a hop, skip and a jump from The Ledbury.