Does the idea of roasting a turkey fill you with dread? Would your Christmas pudding have a soggier bottom than even Prue Leith could handle? Then you need to take serious action this winter. Instead of planning your own Christmas dinner in London on Christmas Day, let someone else take the reigns and book yourself into a nice restaurant!
It might seem like unfamiliar territory, venturing out of the house on Christmas Day, but the benefits are endless. Forget about that frantic struggle on Christmas Eve when you attempt to tidy the house from top to bottom before the onslaught of relatives invade in their masses with their muddy shoes, and shrieking overexcited kids. No need to trawl the supermarkets in a desperate attempt to find gluten-free stuffing for Auntie Carol, and vegan gravy granules for Wendy. christmas dinner in london on christmas day
Imagine instead, waking up on Christmas morning without the stress of fitting the turkey in the oven, laying the table, peeling the potatoes and creating a Christmas playlist that isn’t going to drive you all mad. Imagine lying in bed safe in the knowledge that every little detail has been taken care of and all you have to do is turn up on time at your chosen restaurant. No multi-tasking madness as you try to take the coats from your guests whilst balancing a tray of drinks and basting the bird.
And, it only gets better; when your stomach is full and your eyes are heavy you can simply walk away from the washing up, run from the rubbish and leave behind all the leftovers. This year why not spare the family of endless turkey sandwiches and bubble and squeak as you curse at the lack of space in the fridge. Save yourself and your loved ones by ditching the DIY dinner and booking one of these great restaurants for a completely carefree Christmas. Here’s our pick of the best places to eat in London on Christmas Day.
The best Christmas dinner at hotels in London
Fancy trading in Christmas Day slaving away in your kitchen for a festive feast in a plush hotel, where you're waited on hand and foot? These hotel restaurants are for you.
The Ritz, St James’s
What: Yes, forgive us the obvious notion of having Christmas dinner at The Ritz, but if it’s within your power to go, you really should. You might think that London’s most famous hotel can’t possibly live up to the reputation, but it does and then some, from that spellbinding dining room to the outstanding cookery and peerless service.
Where: The Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Book now: The Ritz
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: Another legendary London restaurant that truly earns its reputation, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is about as special a restaurant as you could end up in on Christmas Day (alongside the aforementioned Ritz). Any conversation about the world’s best chefs surely includes Ducasse, who holds 21 Michelin stars worldwide.
Where: The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Book now: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
RAILS Restaurant and Little Bar, King’s Cross
What: With the Eurostar just around the corner, RAILS pays homage to grand central station restaurants of yesterday, marrying classy seasonal British cooking with Parisian style. The dining room is magnificent with its high ceilings and pendant chandeliers, and classic British cooking matches the setting - expect all your favourite festive treats come Christmas Day.
Where: Great Northern Hotel, N1C 4TB
Book now: RAILS Restaurant and Little Bar
Sycamore Vino Cucina, Covent Garden
Why: There's no holding back on Sycamore Vino Cucina's Christmas Day menu, which includes oak smoked salmon with caviar creme fraiche, a beef Wellington with creamed spinach, and pit-roasted cauliflower with truffle cream sauce. Even if you decide to stick with the traditional turkey, this handsome bird is taken to the next level with a Tropea onion and fig stuffing, as well as duck fat roasties and mulled wine gravy. One thing is for sure, you won't leave hungry. Alternatively, Sycamore Vino Cucina also offers a festive afternoon tea for those who want a lighter bite.
Where: 66 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5BX
Book now: Sycamore Vino Cucina
The Lanesborough Grill, Belgravia
What: First thing's first, who can say no to Christmas Day lunch in this jaw-dropping dining room? The cooking is nothing to sniff at either - Shay Cooper’s modern British menus are elegant and refined, but packed full of dishes you just want to eat. For Christmas Day, enjoy potato gnocchi with truffle butter, rib of beef with caramelised cep cream, and apple and quince crumble with rum raisin.
Where: The Lanesborough, SW1X 7TA
Book now: The Lanesborough Grill
The best restaurants with a view open on Christmas Day in London
Delicious Christmas dinner and great views, for those who just have to Instagram their Christmas feast.
What: If gorgeous views are what you’re after this Christmas, you won’t find much better than JOIA - the London outpost of two Michelin-starred Portuguese chef Henrique Sa Pessoa. Sitting pretty at the top of art’otel Battersea, JOIA’s Christmas Day menu goes big on traditional Portuguese Christmas flavours, and there’s even a full vegan Christmas menu available too. Start in the stunning art deco bar first, then head upstairs into the main restaurant for a Christmas to remember.
Where: 1 Electric Boulevard, SW11 8BJ
Book now: JOIA
The Broadcaster, White City
Why: The Broadcaster is not only offering two different set menus this Christmas Day, but its rooftop bar is the perfect place for after Christmas dinner drinks, and some gorgeous Christmas Day selfies, if you're that way inclined. All of our favourite Christmas dinner classics, plus a stunning skyline view - what's not to love?
Where: 89 Wood Lane, W12 7FX
Book now: The Broadcaster
Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street
Why: Duck & Waffle offers panoramic views of the city skyline and top-notch service to boot, perfect for an extravagant Christmas do. The food offering is classic and familiar - think Cullen Skink to start, roast turkey with all the trimmings for main course, and Christmas pudding waffle with brandy butter and rum ice cream for pudding.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Book now: Duck & Waffle
The best informal restaurants open on Christmas Day in London
You want a proper Christmas Day dinner, but you struggle to get out of your onesie? These laid-back restaurants are for you.
Penelope's, Covent Garden
What: Penelope’s offers something a bit different from your standard turkey and sprouts - the electric cooking here blends Israeli and Spanish flavours to great effect. Notorious for its raucous party atmosphere and live DJ performances, Christmas at Penelope’s is bound to be a riot.
Where: Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, WC2B 5HA
Book now: Penelope's
Why: Chelsea dwellers are sure to rub shoulders with someone they know at Bluebird. This King’s Road institution is still very much ‘the place to be and be seen’ and Christmas Day is no different. As well as starters, mains and dessert, there's an amuse bouche of chestnut, truffle and smoked mozzarella to whet the appetite, while coffee and mince pies round off the meal nicely.
Where: 350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU
Book now: Bluebird
Riding House, Fitzrovia
Why: Sure, you could go for turkey with all the trimmings at Riding House Café in Fitzrovia, but these guys have really pushed the boat out with their alternative festive options. Some standout dishes include smoked barbary duck, beetroot-cured gravadlax, truffled portobello and sweet potato Wellington, and sticky toffee brioche donuts. Throw in a cheeseboard for the table and you've got yourselves a merry feast.
Where: 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ
Book now: Riding House
Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
What: One of two immaculate JKS-run pubs in London, The Cadogan Arms blends beautiful dark timber pub interiors with some of the best pub food in London. The Christmas Day menu includes, of course, a classic roast turkey, but also a beef Wellington and a lovely turbot with Champagne and caviar sauce.
Where: 298 King’s Road, SW3 5UG
Book now: Cadogan Arms
Tyburn Kitchen, Paddington
What: Modern, adaptable and eco-friendly, Tyburn Kitchen ticks so many boxes, and it’s a great option for those looking for an easy-going, relaxed place to spend Christmas Day. The Christmas Day menu has a bit of everything, from tender braised beef short-rib with sauteed sprouts, to spiced courgette and cauliflower biryani, and nutmeg creme brulee tarts to finish.
Where: 225 Edgware Road, W2 1JU
Book now: Tyburn Kitchen
The best international restaurants open on Christmas Day in London
For those who like their Christmas dinner with a twist, these globally-inspired restaurants are sure to hit the spot.
The Midland Grand Dining Room, King's Cross
Why: Without doubt one of London's most beautiful dining rooms, The Midland Grand backs up the gothic splendour with first-rate cooking courtesy of Allegra chef Patrick Powell. The Christmas Day menu looks absolutely outrageous too - there are oysters, duck liver pate en croute, and liver parfait with truffle and Madeira jelly to share for the table, before princeley main courses of turbot, caviar and Champagne, beef Wellington with all the trimmings and a prune and Armagnac souffle to finish.
Where: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR
Book now: The Midland Grand Dining Room
Magenta, King's Cross
What: Certainly one of London’s most visually striking restaurants, neon-pink Magenta is open on Christmas Day for anyone who’s in the mood for some festive fine dining. Contemporary Italian cooking is on the menu here, with a Christmas tasting menu that includes charcoal sourdough with extra virgin olive oil, pumpkin and gorgonzola tortelli with coffee and amaretti, and venison loin with quince puree and cime di rapa stew. There’s an a la carte available too, and wine pairings for the tasting menu if you really want to push the boat out.
Where: 23 Euston Road, NW1 2SD
Book now: Magenta
What: This majestic Indian inside a Grade-II listed Edwardian red brick fire station in Westminster certainly makes a striking and attractive choice for Christmas day. The menu blends Indian flavours with some classic festive cooking, including dishes like turbot with crispy samphire, BRussels sprouts and chestnuts, and roast turkey with all the trimmings and masala gravy.
Where: 4 Greycoat Place, SW1P 1SB
Book now: Yaatra
Nobu London, Shoreditch, Green Park and Marylebone
What: Synonymous with luxury dining all over the world, Nobu is a great choice if you want the stress taken out of Christmas day. All three Nobu locations in London have the same modern, angular beauty, with a tried-and-tested delicious menu that stands the test of time. Approaching 30 years since the group first opened, Nobu remains just as good as it ever has been.
Where: 10-50 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH; COMO Metropolitan London, W1K 1LB; 22 Portman Square, W1H 7BG
Book now: Nobu Shoreditch; Nobu at COMO Metropolitan London; Nobu Portman Square
La Terrazza, Kensington
Why: This elegant West London Italian is open over the Christmas period, and serves four courses of elevated, authentic Italian fare courtesy of Pugliese head chef Raffaele Lauriola. Dishes like duck liver mousse and orange jam, and home-made ravioli with artichoke with vegetable consommé and Black and white chocolate Christmas yule log with berries coulis. That said, you can still have a roast turkey and classic trimmings if you like.
Where: 160 Cromwell Road, SW5 0TL
Book now: La Terrazza
Cinnamon Club, Westminster
Why: For a not-so-traditional Christmas lunch, the Cinnamon Club puts an Indian-inspired spin on some festive favourites. There's green-spiced tandoori partridge and clove-flavoured goose breast from the savoury courses, while its Christmas pudding is spiked with garam masala and served with nutmeg custard.
Where: 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
Book now: Cinnamon Club
Fancy staying at home for Christmas Day but want to take the hassle out of cooking? Check out our favourite Christmas dinner delivery boxes