Please sign in to post.

Christmas Dinner in London

My husband and I will be in London over the holidays (Dec. 23-30). We haven't booked lodgings yet. We were considering renting a flat, particularly to make it easier to cook meals during the shut-down holidays, but it seems that we might find hotels (with breakfast!) to be the same price or cheaper. However, if we booked a hotel, we'd be without a kitchen to cook (well, re-heat, ha) our own holiday meals.
So my question would be: If we stayed at a hotel and had to eat out on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, where could we eat? In other forum threads, I've seen some people mention pricey-but-good hotel-based Christmas dinners. This sounds like a potentially fun experience, though the price might spook us back into a flat, ha. Where/how would I go about finding (and reserving) something like this? Any other suggestions? Specific recommendations would be much appreciated.

Posted by
5701 posts

Could start research here; http://www.londoneats.com/news/christmasdinner.asp By the way not every cafe or restaurant is closed on Christmas Day. London is a melting pot. Not all London residents celebrate the birth of Christ. Some ethnic restaurants are open and serving meals. I believe Sofras, The Cinnamon Club, and Strada restaurants will open. Some pubs will also be serving Christmas dinners, complete with poppers. The biggest factor to where you will dine is how to get there as public transport is non existent.

Posted by
26061 posts

You have a chicken and egg problem. Can't tell you where to go because you don't know where you will be. You will want places to eat a short walk away because you will be relying on your feet to get you around. The only thing that shuts down tighter than the shops is the transport. There is none and if you by a miracle find a taxi it will cost you a fortune.

Posted by
26061 posts

You have a chicken and egg problem. Can't tell you where to go because you don't know where you will be. You will want places to eat a short walk away because you will be relying on your feet to get you around. The only thing that shuts down tighter than the shops is the transport. There is none and if you by a miracle find a taxi it will cost you a fortune.

Posted by
4536 posts

This might be one occasion where buying a hotel package with a dinner included for Xmas Day would work out the easiest. Plucking a figure from mid air, a typical 'traditional' Christmas Dinner on Xmas Day could be £50 a head, although that might be four courses, including a drink etc. I daresay you could pay a lot more, but be lucky to pay a lot less.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks for the replies! Yes, I understand the chicken-egg nature of my question and I appreciate your insight. We're willing to walk ... but something near sounds wise. That website is very helpful and I'm excited to go over it this weekend! I recognize that there are many ethnic restaurants that will be open, but I have heard they will be (understandably) pricey that day as well, correct? We figure that if we're paying much more than normal for the meal that it might be fun for it to be more traditional, because when else will we get that experience? As far as hotels that we might stay at (for a week, so not terribly pricey I hope) that might offer a Christmas meal, can anyone make a suggestion, or know of a resource that would make it easier than contacting each hotel individually? I also didn't realize that pubs might be an option and that sounds excellent also.
Thanks so much.

Posted by
1829 posts

Most pubs open on Christmas day will only serve prebooked meals and they usually close afterwards for the day. Other pubs may only open for the morning and will be drinks only. It was a tradition (maybe is still in some parts) for the menfolk to go the pub late morning leaving the women of the family to prepare Christmas Dinner (lunch) and look after the over excited kids!

Posted by
5701 posts

6-7 years ago stayed in the Bayswater neighborhood at the Vancouver Studio Apartments. Had Christmas dinner at the Black Lion pub on Bayswater Road. If memory serves we went in on Christmas eve for a drink and made a booking for Xmas Day. Traditional dinner. 3 or 4 courses. It was fine and on the way back to the apartments we walked it off in Hyde Park. Believe the pub is now under the Taylor Walker banner but bet if you looked online you would find info about their Christmas dinner offerings.

Posted by
26 posts

We are now considering booking a room at the Morgan Guest House B&B in the Belgravia/greater Victoria area. It would not have a kitchen or anything. Does anyone know of restaurants in that area that would be good for a "traditonal" Christmas dinner?
Thanks!

Posted by
8293 posts

Tonya, can you e-mail the Morgan Guest House to see what their advice would be? They are bound to know what's what in their neighbourhood.

Posted by
26 posts

I found a very handy list on another forum: A poster there has composed a Google Doc of restaurants that are/should be open for Christmas 2013, including the more affordable pub lunches.
Posting in case it helps someone else in a similar situation!

Posted by
26 posts

We have decided to stay in a hotel near Gloucester Road station (just east of South Kensington area). I have emailed our hotel to see what restaurants they might recommend nearby. In the meantime, these are the Christmas lunches that I have found within walking distance.

Drayton Arms (£55); The Queens Arms (£65); Devonshire Arms (£55); Builder's Arms (£50); Glouchester Arms (£50); Stanhope Arms (£55); La Brasserie (£65); Scoff & Banter (£60).

I certainly wouldn't mind paying less, if anyone has advice on where that might exist, but recognize this seems to be a fairly common price point for Christmas day. Are any of these establishments more desirable (ambiance, quality) than the other? The websites, at least, make them all look fine to me. Are any other places nearby a better choice?

Thanks!