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
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What’s on offer: Six courses for £360, 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.
Our menu pick: Fillet of turbot, pumpkin condiment and sunflower seeds
Where: Park Lane, W1K 1QA
What’s on offer: Five courses for £100
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
Dinner by Heston, Knightsbridge
What’s on offer: Three courses for £95
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: Smoked walnut mousse, gingerbread ice cream, salted caramel and mulled wine poached pear
Where: 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
The Gilbert Scott, King’s Cross
What’s on offer: Five courses for £135
Why: The architectural splendour of The Gilbert Scott dining room will have the whole family swooning!
Our menu pick: Turkey leg stuffed with apricot, pistachio and sage
Where: St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, NW1 2AR
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
What’s on offer: Six courses for £295
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.
Our menu pick: Foie Gras, black truffle, chestnut, pumpkin, Buddha hand
Where: Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
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 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
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
Why: Duck & Waffle offers panoramic views of the city skyline and top-notch service to boot, perfect for an extravagant Christmas do.
Our menu pick: Lobster cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, horseradish, and Exmoor caviar
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
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.
Our menu pick: Fillet of beef Rossini, liver, truffle, and Madeira
Where: 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE
Skylon, South Bank
What’s on offer: Four courses for £165
Why: For a glamorous setting and some pretty ‘extra’ Christmas decorations Skylon is just the ticket. There's also a separate vegan Christmas Day menu available here.
Our menu pick:Chocolate Ganache with pistachio, white chocolate crémeux, chocolate soil, and a raspberry sorbet
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
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 £120
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’.
Our menu pick: Wild seabass, salsify puree and leeks, with Champagne and caviar sauce
Where: 350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU
The Narrow, Docklands
What’s on offer: Four courses for £120
Why: Simple, well-executed food and an affordable but interesting wine list – The Narrow is everything you would expect from a Gordon Ramsey gastropub.
Our menu pick: Sticky toffee pudding, banana split ice cream
Where: 44 Narrow Street, E14 8DP
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.
Our menu pick: Hampshire venison Wellington, Jerusalem artichoke purée, roast chicory, and chestnut crumble
Where: 41 Jew's Row, SW18 1TB
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
Cinnamon Club, Westminster
What’s on offer: Four courses and a seasonal aperitif for £125
Why: If you don’t want to stray too far from the classics the Cinnamon Club is offering a menu that comprises familiar festive ingredients but with an Indian twist.
Our menu pick: Garam masala Christmas pudding, cinnamon custard
Where: 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
Min Jiang, Kensington
What’s on offer: A la carte menu, mains courses begin at £22
Why: With crowd-pleasing Chinese dishes that all the family will love, Min Jiang certainly promises a Christmas meal to remember.
Our menu pick: Whole wood-fired Beijing duck
Where: 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8 4PT
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
Fancy staying at home for Christmas Day but want to take the hassle out of cooking? Check out our favourite Christmas dinner delivery boxes