10 Christmas Menus to Book this December
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The festive season is made for eating, drinking, and generally forcing out the merry. Perfectly average people get rowdy, decorations cover every surface and indulgence increases to pornographic levels. But we like it.
It is your (deity of choice)-given right to get lost in this excess, so gather up the people you like, be they friends, colleagues, lovers or family, and share a meal with them. See, that was nice, wasn't it?
Monty’s dolls out Jewish feels all year round, so you can rely on them to rally this time of year. Their Christmas-cum-Hanukkah lunch involves all manner of cold cuts, smoked fish, and bagels - and that's just the start. Next up, smoked turkey, braised brisket, or one of two sexy veg options (mushroom roulade or glazed squash). And to finish, strudel or chocolate malt cake. Then you must waddle off.
Clocks in at £30 for three courses.
Carousel's chefs are letting loose this year with a pretty inventive Xmas menu. Be seduced by starters of Cornish scallop baked in its shell with rich, buttery celeriac purée, or open raviolo of duck ragù. Then dive into grilled sirloin with beef cheek braised in carrot juice and Christmas spices, served with blistered sprouts covered in XO sauce and bone marrow mash. Finish with quince and apple sorbet with white chocolate mousse and then book yourself in for a personal training session in Jan.
Clocks in at £40 for four courses.
Neighbourhood dining at its best, Oldroyd's festive menu pulls out all the stops, with an alluring veggie and vegan menu too. Kick off with milk-poached salsify, thyme and truffle tart; then move onto roast crown of goose with trimmings and finally a boozy sabaglione with earl grey prunes and amaretto biscuit. The vegan menu meanwhile offers potato gnocchi with Jerusalem artichoke puree, trompettes de mort, toasted almonds, Swiss chard, brussels sprouts, chestnuts and carrots, then a spiced pear tatin. V inclusive.
Clocks in at £42 for three courses.
The smartest cats on Greek Street, the menu here is served sharing style (so not ideal for fussy eaters) but man are the choices something. You’ve got whole roast duck, venison and root veg hash and the epic-sounding beef rib with truffle dauphinois, brussels and horseradish. Desserts are just as sultry: think date and stem ginger pudding with Cointreau ice cream - yes please. Comes in at £45pp for three courses.
Clocks in at £45 for three courses.
Llewelyn's is a dreamy little neighbourhood dining spot, for the more affluent neighbours of Herne Hill. Their feasting menu is based around glazed Yorkshire ham or pheasant, bacon, and root vegetable pie. There are festive starters of smoked salmon or chicken liver parfait, and butterscotch custard with gingerbread for dessert. Sounds pretty yum if you ask us. Oh, you did!
Clocks in at £38 for three courses.
Sardine does feasting the French way, which means plenty of buttery flavours and a whole lot of class. Start with snacks like saucisse sèche, tapenade toast and chickpea panisse. As they're French, you can casually add glasses of champagne and truffles willy nilly, then settle in to guinea fowl with wild mushroom and potato gratin, a cod and shellfish number or roast pumpkin with polenta hazelnuts and cheese. And the Bûche de Nöel is a chocolatey treat that beats an Xmas pud any day.
Clocks in at £35 for three or £40 for four courses.
Salon's head chef, Nicholas Balfe, nails seasonal cooking all year round, so if anyone was going to achieve a beautifully simple festive menu, it was him. His five-courses are full of festive but grown up flavours. Get thoroughly stuck in to venison, smoked celeriac, red cabbage and pickled walnut; and, treat upon treats, pear with chestnut praline and brown butter for dessert. If you're really feeling flush, their wine pairing is sure to be carefully thought out and drop dead delicious too.
Clocks in at £36 for five courses.
Clerkenwell's newest gastro-muse, The Coach is offering a pretty sensational menu. Mains are done sharing style, so decide amongst yourselves between seven-hour roast lamb shoulder with white beans; trout with tiger prawns, beurre blanc, roasted parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes; or Porterhouse steak with watercress, Béarnaise sauce and pommes paille. Finish with crumble, clementine cake, chocolate mousse or mince and frangipane tart.
£35 three courses or £50 for fancier stuff.
St John offers an intimidatingly opulent Henri VIII-level of choices. The whole table must get down with either a game, fish, beef, goose or whole suckling pig menu. Each menu comes with its own selection of starters and desserts that are fun enough to read, never mind gobble. Highlights include pheasant and trotter pie; goose liver toast; and quince and hazelnut pavlova. Good luck choosing.
Clocks in at £52-58 for three courses.
Going to Temper is submitting to Neil Rankin's will and this year it's Christmas pizza - yes. Pretty far from your traditional Xmas menu choices here include barbacoa tacos; Detroit-style pizza topped with turkey, sausage, cranberry and cornmeal stuffing; and roast day-boat fish. Sides are seen to with the likes of polenta scraps with gorgonzola hollandaise and desserts are cannolis. It's a real mix up here but potentially the best meal of your life?
Clocks in at £45-55 for three or four courses.