18 Brilliant Restaurants For A Big Christmas Meal

The best restaurants for a Christmas get-together with friends, family and colleagues.

18 Brilliant Restaurants For A Big Christmas Meal guide image

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

It’s nearly that time of the year. Christmas is coming. Also arriving soon: the heavy duty strategic planning with your partner to ensure the least possible amount of time spent with either family, the unique look of disappointment and disgust from your Secret Santa recipient at work, and the screams from your sibling because you had ‘one job to do’, and that was to bring the parsnips. Which you forgot.

But before all that fun, you may have the task of arranging an end-of-year Christmas meal for a bunch of people that you either work with or whom you call ‘friends’. If you book any of the spots below, it should keep you in the spirit of things before those spirits are broken by the train ride home on the 24th of December.

The Spots

London Shell Co imageoverride image

London Shell Co

Price: £65

Minimum reservation: 2 (or 4 on The Grand Duchess)

London’s finest dining experience for canal enthusiasts has Christmas options on both its moving and static boats. The Prince Regent (moving) has a five-course set menu with nibbles featuring prawn tempura, scallop with celeriac, and Cornish cod. Alternatively, The Prince Regent (not moving) has a set menu for groups of four or more featuring oysters, smoked eel, and a custard tart with boozy prunes.

Price: £50 - £90pp

Minimum reservation: 8 people

There are a whole range of options going on at Pizarro on Bermondsey Street. The popular tapas spot has three tasting menus, including a bolshy £90 option that includes a whole Segovian suckling pig. That’s by no means the only thing on the menu either. There’s jamón ibérico, croquetas, red prawns, and lots more.

Price: £35 - £50pp

Minimum reservation: 8 - 16 people

The central London brasserie has a few very good options for very big groups. First up there’s the 16-person set menu at £35 or £42 a head, that has a whole load of options for any kind of diet, from five-spice aubergine to 40-day-aged rib-eye. Alternatively you can go for the £50 menu for groups of 8 people where everything is made to share and there’s even roast turkey with apple and raisin stuffing and pigs in blankets.

photo credit: Rob Greig

St. John review image

St. John



open table
££££+44 20 7251 0848

Price: £49 - £60pp

Minimum reservation: 8 people

St. John is sacred ground for offal enthusiasts the world over, so it’s fair to say that they know a thing or two about meat. At Christmas they’re doing five different menus that, according to their website, are all ‘structured around one central beast or fish’. The beasts, or meats as we call them, include game, beef, and goose. Or, if you’re feeling all Lord of the Flies, a whole suckling pig that starts at £410 for 14 people.

Price: £35 - £60

Minimum reservation: Up to 8 people

When we last came to this Italian bar and kitchen in Fitzrovia we had a Venetian duck ragu that inspired us to add ‘stop eating mediocre pasta’ to our five-year life plan. So it’s possible that the festive Italian feast here may inspire you to write a book, or apply for the Apprentice 2022 or... something. With a three-course lunch or five-course dinner you can expect to get seriously stuffed with things like arancino, sweet potato tortelli, and a pistachio crusted shoulder of venison. And don’t miss the cinnamon bombolone.

Price: £48pp

Minimum reservation: 8 people

Although every day feels like Christmas at Gloria - the chintzy Shoreditch trattoria that looks like the inside of a glittery pizza bauble - they’ve also got a Christmas-specific group menu as well. Everything is made for sharing, from burrata and focaccia starters, to their gran carbonara mixed in a pecorino wheel. There are a couple of Christmas specials as well, including a Christmas tree pizza that, we assume, will have edible baubles and hopefully a sparkler as well.

Price: £38 - £42pp

Minimum reservation: 6 people

Without doubt one of London’s finest gastropubs, the Canton Arms is the kind of place we’d like to spend the entirety of December. It’s boozy, full of molten Breville-style toasties and has a fireplace that absolutely insists on ‘one more quick drink’. For Christmas they’ve got a couple of feasting menus available, with a choice of warming classics like pie, dauphinoise and a totally unnecessary but also necessary cheese board.

Price: £60 - £88pp

Minimum reservation: 2 people

We’ll use any excuse to go and celebrate at Brigadiers, so you should probably make Christmas lunch yours. This upmarket Indian barbeque spot in the City has everything from a whisky vending machine, to a pool room you can abscond to if you happen to hate your colleagues, as well as slick booths, and several private dining areas. There’s also a whole lot of festive options to suit your needs. Be it one of their festive feasts or one of their beast feasts.

Price: £200pp on Christmas Day

Minimum reservation: 2 people

A certified fancy pub, this refurbished Chelsea gastropub has “OTT Christmas lunch” written all over it. And its six-course champagne-fuelled menu on the 25th lives up to that. With a fireplace, grand curtains, and a menu of British classics like prawn cocktail, beef wellington, and a supposedly one person trifle, this is a great place to bring a group when you want to spend a whole afternoon here.

Price: £35pp

Minimum reservation: 8 people

If what you’re after is a casual, central London meal that includes a 10/10 roast chicken, onion squash, and a chocolate mousse dessert, then the set menu at Sidechick is for you. A Christmas meal at this Marylebone spot’s private dining area will keep anyone who’s a fan of chicken happy. Bring your colleagues, family, friends, favourite barista, or even your ex’s cousin. Basically, bring whoever, just as long as they’re down for a good time and appreciate a banging aioli.

Price: £40pp

Minimum reservation: N/A

If you’re going to have to listen to your entire family moan about their two-hour trip to London to see you for a Christmas lunch, then you’re going to want, at the very least, some decent turkey. Luckily, this old-school Kensington haunt really knows their meat. It’s the kind of mildly eccentric restaurant that’ll have even your angriest uncle smiling by the time he finishes his cheese and leek tart starter. Their £40 three-course menu will give you plenty of classically British options, from a fish pie and their grilled chicken breast with creamed tarragon sauce, to a stupidly tasty apple crumble. We’d recommend the roast rump of lamb with rosemary and garlic to really get you in the holiday spirit, by which we mean, to keep your mouth both busy, and very happy, whilst your mum starts her annual game of ‘guess why our child is single’. Perfect.

Price: £55, £75, £95pp

Minimum reservation: 6 people

Luca is one of our favourite Italian restaurants in London, and they also happen to have a private terrace and two excellent private rooms, one of which is where they make their pasta fresh daily. And during the festive period, you can book one of these spaces where you’ll be served their Italian menus starting at £85pp that you must make it your duty to get your company to sign off on. This place is a great option if you want to show your group you know what’s cool.

Price: £35pp

Minimum reservation: None

Ciao Bella is a perma-party restaurant for much of London and it’s where you go when you value good times more than anything else. This Italian institution knows how to celebrate every day of the week, piano-player and all, and unsurprisingly it’s no different at Christmas. Their festive menu includes 80s family buffet classics like salmon with a side of crayfish, as well as duck breast cooked in a red berry sauce. If that doesn’t abrasively shout IT’S CHRISTMAS to you, then there are fresh pasta and turkey options as well.

Price: £70 - £90pp

Minimum reservation: 10 people

Holborn Dining Room is one for the Christmas traditionalists, the sorts who shake their head and frown intensely when sprouts are mentioned any time prior to December. The menu options are pricey, but this place is perfect for a big corporate Christmas knees-up where gravy’s spilt and red wine is quaffed.

Price: £45, £60, or £70pp

Minimum reservation: N/A

If you’re sick at the thought of your eighteenth slab of beef and gravy for lunch in December, then the Indian sharing plates at Gunpowder in Tower Bridge will come as a very welcome relief. There are three different festive menus on offer, from a casual £45 option, to the full-blown £70 feast that includes some of our favourite dishes like the Gunpowder aloo chat and the soft shell crab, alongside a 28-day dry aged côte de boeuf with Kerala pepper sauce. If you choose to forego buying that cousin a scarf she’ll never wear and spend an extra twenty-five quid on going all in at Gunpowder, we definitely wouldn’t judge you.

Price: £35 - £42pp

Minimum reservation: N/A

Last time you were at a pub with your colleagues, that nice guy in accounting got served the wrong pale ale, revealed just how many swear words he knows in German, and was never seen again. Don’t worry, The Camberwell Arms is not that kind of pub - it’s comfortable, warm, and the food is downright tasty. If you’re rolling with the whole office, it’s worth noting that you can book out the whole upstairs for 45 people, and they even provide your Christmas crackers and personalised menus. Looking thoughtful has never been easier.

Price: £35 - £45pp

Minimum reservation: 8 people

Chicken specialists Casa Do Frango aren’t making any exceptions for the Christmas period with their Portuguese feast menu that includes half a chicken per person. Although not ideal for vegetarians, both their London Bridge and Shoreditch locations are a fine deal if you’re a human dustbin like ourselves. Alongside the half chicken there’s a welcome drink, small plates and sides to share, dessert, and half a bottle of wine per person.

Price: £49 - £69pp

Minimum reservation: 2 people

You, your grandmother, and every person that has a secret crush on Colin Firth knows that the Christmas season is all about the period drama. And really, Quality Chop House in Clerkenwell is the period drama of London restaurants. A proper old school British restaurant, their seasonal set menu involves Christmas pudding ice cream with brandy custard and a whole turkey with sprouts and bacon. Basically, we can’t really think of a better place to go when you want to feel a bit Dickens, get cosy, and celebrate with cranberry and game terrine.

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