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. It might seem like unfamiliar territory, venturing out of the house on the 25th of December, 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 eco-warrior Wendy.
Imagine 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 the 25th December.
Hotels restaurants open on Christmas Day in London
For those who like to watch the Queen’s speech in suitably regal surroundings, these are for you
Madera at Treehouse London
What’s on Offer: Three courses and a glass of fizz
Why: Combining Insta-worthy interiors with top-class Mexican food, Madera makes the perfect Christmas dinner destination with a difference. The seasonal menu has been given a special twist to showcase the kitchen’s signature style in a festive light. Guests will have the choice of mains like short rib “entomatado” which comes with avocado and toasted brioche and the seafood “arroz a la tumbada'' accompanied with spicy habanero aioli. Desserts include tempting combinations like chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache, dulce de leche and candied Kumquat. There’s a full kids’ menu too, so that the whole family can all enjoy something deliciously different. The Christmas Day menu includes a glass of English fizz to kick things off in a suitably celebratory style.
Our menu pick: The braised short ribs
Where: 14-15 Langham Place, London, W1B 2QS
Book now: Madera at Treehouse London
Whitcomb's at The Londoner
What’s on offer: Five courses for £175, including a glass of Champagne
Why: Christmas lunch (sorry, dejeuner de Noel) at Whitcomb's at The Londoner hotel features five courses of exquisite French fare. Even the amuse bouche has us drooling already: burrata with hazelnuts, harissa and sorrel. Everything else on the menu is all suitably luxurious, from turbot steak with caviar to rum caramel beignets with cinnamon-spiced dulce de leche.
Our menu pick: Pan-seared turbot steak with Oscietra caviar, braised fennel, sea bean and beurre blanc
Where: 38 Leicester Square, Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX
Book now: Whitcomb's at The Londoner
Sea Containers, South Bank
What’s on offer: Three courses for £115, including a glass of Champagne
Why: With views overlooking the River Thames, Christmas Day in London doesn't get much more central than at South Bank's Sea Containers hotel. There are meat, fish and vegetarian options on the menu, plus oysters with pickles to kick things off.
Our menu pick: Dry-Aged Sirloin, charred cauliflower, mushrooms, scotch bonnet
Where: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
Book now: Sea Containers
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What’s on offer: Six courses for £380, including wine pairing
Why: Because whatever the time of year Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester always promises a sophisticated feast that will appeal to even the most discerning of diners. Make your way through six refined courses, starting with cauliflower velouté, hand-dived sea scallop and gold caviar, making your way to Scottish langoustine with Jerusalem artichoke and red shiso and finishing with Yule log 'our way'.
Our menu pick: Fillet of turbot, pumpkin condiment and sunflower seeds
Where: Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Book now: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
What’s on offer: Three courses for £295
Why: The white tablecloth restaurant set inside The Goring hotel is a grand affair, with floor-to-ceiling curtains, well-spaced tables and a cream and gold colour palette. Expect classic dishes and flavours with a refined spin.
Our menu pick: Wild halibut, Jerusalem artichokes, hazelnut, apple and black truffle
Where: 15 Beeston Place, London, SW1W 0JW
Book now: The Goring
What’s on offer: Five courses for £125
Why: The heated rooftop terrace at Angler is the perfect place for a celebratory glass of bubbles before your meal, while the predominantly fish-focused Christmas menu is bound to go down a treat.
Our menu pick: Dorset crab, green apple, avacado and wasabi
Where: 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Book now: Angler
Dinner by Heston, Knightsbridge
What’s on offer: Five courses for £295
Why: Christmas Day is undoubtably a day where a little bit of magic doesn't go amiss, and when it comes to food, there aren't many things more magical than a Heston Blumenthal menu. Dinner by Heston, located in the Mandarin Oriental, offers a Christmas Day menu combining some of the restaurant's signature dishes with the odd Christmas special.
Our menu pick: Grilled langoustine, spelt, smoked sea broth, pickled dulse & lovage
Where: 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
Book now: Dinner by Heston
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
What’s on offer: Six courses for £325
Why: Here you'll eat like a King and be served like a Queen – the service at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught is just as exceptional as the Michelin-starred food. Expect six courses of intricate, well-executed and boundlessly tasteful fare.
Our menu pick: Foie Gras, black truffle, chestnut, pumpkin, Buddha hand
Where: Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
Book now: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall
What's on offer: Five courses for £225 with a glass of Champagne
Why: For no-expense spared, old-school extravagance at The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London is sure to tick all the boxes
Our menu pick: Game terrine en croute, truffle and celeriac salad
Where: 10a Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5AE
Book now: The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London
Restaurants with a view open on Christmas Day in London
For those who just have to Instagram their Christmas feast
Duck & Waffle, City
What’s on offer: Four courses for £120, including a welcome cocktail
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 cheese souffle with truffle to start, roast turkey with all the trimmings for main course and Christmas pudding with brandy custard for pudding.
Our menu pick: Lobster cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, horseradish, and Exmoor caviar
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Book now: Duck & Waffle
Galvin at Windows, Mayfair
What’s on offer: £199 for 4 courses and a glass of champagne
Why: If you love looking out at green spaces, Galvin at Windows is conveniently sandwiched between Hyde Park and Green Park for leafy outlooks in both directions. It's Christmas day lunch offering is French-inspired affair, including dishes such as foie gras with poached quince, scallop coquille St. Jacques, fillet of beef rossini and a selection of seasonal cheeses to finish.
Our menu pick: Fillet of beef Rossini, liver, truffle, and Madeira
Where: 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE
Book now: Galvin at Windows
Mercer Roof Terrace, The City
What’s on offer: Three courses for £69
Why: With views of London’s spectacular skyline, from St. Paul’s to The Shard, the Mercer Roof Terrace at Vintry & Mercer hotel offers a three-course Christmas day menu in a 1930s-style restaurant. Once you've dined, head over to the DND speakeasy bar for a cocktail to round off the day.
Our menu pick: Pan roasted cod, crab sauce, Cornish crab salad, sea vegetables & basil oil
Where: Vintry & Mercer Hotel, 19 – 20 Garlick Hill, London, EC4V 2AU
Informal restaurants open on Christmas Day in London
These low-key joints are perfect for those who struggle to get out of their onesies on Christmas Day
What’s on offer: Three courses for £150
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.
Our menu pick: Wild seabass, salsify puree and leeks, with Champagne and caviar sauce
Where: 350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU
Book now: Bluebird
Riding House Café, Fitzrovia
What’s on offer: Three courses for £90, including a welcome cocktail
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 hand-dived scallops with dashi stock and wakame, truffled portobello & sweet potato Wellington with porcini cream and chocolate bruleé torte with poached cherries. There are also sourdough rolls with black tahini butter and a festive cheeseboard for the table. Book in for a bright and rustic café vibe.
Our menu pick: Beetroot, pomegranate, walnuts, tarragon labneh
Where: 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, London, London, W1W 7PQ
Book now: Riding House Café
The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
What’s on offer: Six courses for £200
Why: This much-loved pub on the King’s Road is serving a six-course Christmas Day menu, including a glass of bubbles on arrival and Christmas crackers to boot. The offering sounds pretty epic (there’s dessert AND pre-dessert) including dishes such as smoked salmon with rye bread crisps and gherkin ketchup, turbot with brown butter, shrimps and capers and spiced rice pudding. It’s a slight level-up on a humble pub, boasting grand interiors and chandeliers, but it's still got all the nostalgic cosiness you want from a friendly boozer.
Our menu pick: Terrine of duck, prune jam, toasted sourdough
Where: 298 King’s Road, London, SW3 5UG
Book now: The Cadogan Arms
The Flask, Highgate
What’s on offer: Three courses for £90, plus canapes
Why: For those who need a roaring fire and pigs in blankets to make it feel like Christmas, The Flask offers a nostalgic feast with all the trimmings and more. Start with a selection of canapes before tucking into turkey with chestnut and apricot stuffing, followed by profiteroles, praline crème pâtissière and chocolate sauce. We're drooling already.
Our menu pick: Chicken liver parfait, fig & onion chutney, toasted brioche, brandy jelly
Where: 77 Highgate West Hill, Highgate, London, N6 6BU
Book now: The Flask
The Ship, Battersea
What’s on offer: Three courses & a glass of Champagne for £99
Why: With its roaring fire, wooden floors and cosy decor, The Ship promises a home from home Christmas Day experience. The menu offers plenty of choice, too, so there's bound to be something for everyone.
Our menu pick: Hampshire venison Wellington, Jerusalem artichoke purée, roast chicory, and chestnut crumble
Where: 41 Jew's Row, SW18 1TB
Book now: The Ship
International restaurants open on Christmas Day in London
For those who like their Christmas dinner with a twist these globally inspired spots are sure to hit the spot
What’s on offer: Tasting menu for £132
Why: Michelin starred Indian restaurant Benares is opening up its doors on Christmas day for the first time in 18 years. Its festive food offering is served in the form of a tasting menu featuring everything from street food snacks to show-stopping mains. Expect a Scottish scallop tartlet, tawa masala wild halibut and clam moilee and turkey biryani sealed and topped with a layer of buttery shortcrust pastry. Curried turkey pie? We're sold.
Our menu pick: Mutton momos with winter vegetables
Where: 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS
Book now: Benares
Cinnamon Club, Westminster
What’s on offer: Four courses and a seasonal aperitif for £125
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.
Our menu pick: Garam masala Christmas pudding, cinnamon custard
Where: 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
Book now: Cinnamon Club
Nobu London & Nobu Berkeley Street, Mayfair
What’s on offer: £150 for an omakase multi-course menu, including a welcome drink
Why: For an extravagant Japanese Christmas feast, Nobu Old Park Lane is just the place to be. You can also expect bespoke Christmas crackers which, if you're lucky, might contain a Nobu gift card.
Our menu pick: Black Cod Miso
Where: COMO Metropolitan London, 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB; 15 Berkeley Street, W1J 8DY
Book now: Nobu Old Park Lane
La Dame de Pic, The City
What’s on offer: Five courses for £160
Why: Christmas is all about indulgence, right? Well, there are few better places to let loose than at La Dame de Pic in the City, headed up by Anne-Sophie Pic, where you can dine on Michelin starred French food paired with fine wines. Overlooking the Tower of London, this fine dining restaurant offers exquisite food in contemporary surrounds.
Our menu pick: Matcha pasta parcels with banon, watercress sauce flavoured with Bergamot and ginger, white truffle
Where: 10 Trinity Square, London, EC3N 4AJ
Book now: La Dame de Pic in the City
Fancy staying at home for Christmas Day but want to take the hassle out of cooking? Check out our favourite Christmas dinner delivery boxes