Feeling festive during a pandemic is no easy feat. It involves time and serious dedication. We’re talking back-to-back viewings of Home Alone, blasting Mariah Carey so loud you get a noise complaint, and consuming enough mince pies to ensure that your bloodstream is 90% muscovado sugar at all times. This guide will help with that. It’s packed full of mince pies by some of London’s best restaurants, bottled mulled wine to heat at home, and huge festive hampers you can send nationwide to those elderly relatives you might not be able to see this year. Put down that stuffing recipe, and order from one of these restaurants instead.
YOUR CHRISTMAS ORDERS
For: DIY mince pies.
The mince pie is the festive season’s cutest mascot. What’s that? You think Rudolph is cuter? Let’s see how you feel when you’re #hangry and have Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer stuck in your head for the 86th time. But rather than cracking open a box of Aldi’s best, go big with your mince pies and order a DIY kit from grown-up British restaurant, Lyle’s. Delivery nationwide.
The Sun Tavern
For: Chocolate orange negronis.
Fa la la, this year has been a clusterfuck, la la la la. When faced by an unprecedented 21st century crisis and shopping for an uncle we’re 90% sure is called Brian, we like to turn to booze. If it happens to be festive booze, even better. Get yourself a batched bottle of chocolate orange negroni, buttered brandy, or a Christmas Old Fashioned as part of The Sun Tavern’s Christmas Quarantini cocktail kit. Or just buy one for your uncle. Two birds, one stone.
For: A no-fuss turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Experts in laziness like ourselves, know that no nap is superior to the post-Christmas dinner nap. So just imagine the snooze you could have after tucking into a turkey dinner by Andrew Edmonds, one of London’s best cosy date night spots. For £95 you get a classic turkey roast featuring duck fat roast potatoes, seasonal gravy, honey roast parsnips, and all the other Christmas classics. It’s designed to feed two, but we don’t see why you can’t double up if you’re looking for a fuss-free family dinner.
For: A luxury Christmas pudding.
We’re about as close to being royalty as Mr Blobby is to being a sex icon. But let us dream for a second, because if we had HRH titles, we would spend Christmas demanding foot rubs from our butler and diving face first into The Wolseley’s £995 festive hamper of dreams. But if, like us, you don’t have a grand knocking about, they also have more affordable treats available, including a luxury Christmas pudding and salted caramel florentines.
For: A big old turkey and everything else you need.
Do you really want to have a stare off with a stranger in Tesco over a turkey? As festive as that sounds, probably not. Enter the Gladwin Brothers and their Christmas essentials box. If you’re wondering who the Gladwin Brothers are, they’re the chef team behind restaurants like The Shed and Sussex. They’ve got you covered with all the fresh produce you could possibly need. Think turkey, gammon, parsnips, nice pies, carrots, and countless other lovely things that’ll easily feed the whole family.
Christmas is about many things. Appreciating your loved ones, kindness, generosity, and most importantly, cheese. If, like us, you enjoy spending the Christmas period eating Camembert for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every hour in between then you’re going to want to get involved in Provisions’ cheese boards. As well as your essential cheese needs, they’ve also got festive hampers involving charcuterie, wine, and yet more cheese.
For: Mince pies.
Ottolenghi is a man of many talents. Namely causing countless people to ask themselves what exactly nigella seeds are. But it turns out that he’s also making some of London’s most popular mince pies. They’re available to buy from the Ottolenghi online shop and fun fact, the fruits and spices filling is softened in brandy and rum from August onwards. Just like our livers. Heads up, there are plenty of festive hampers, Christmas cakes, and panettone available too.
For (drumroll please...): Pigs in blankets bucatini.
We love pigs in blankets. And we really love pasta. So you can imagine our excitement when we heard that The Little Pasta Company had combined the two. In case you need a visual prompt, picture the moment Tom Cruise used Oprah’s sofa as a trampoline. That was us. Having a similar reaction? You can order their pigs in blankets bucatini meal kit throughout December, with panettone available for dessert.
For: Treacle cured smoked gammon and a stellar dessert option.
If you would have asked us last year, we would have told you that we would do some very bad things to get our hands on an entire loaf of Smokestak’s sticky toffee pudding. But now, rather than swiftly making our way onto Santa’s naughty list, we can just order it instead. This Shoreditch barbecue specialist spot is delivering huge portions of their signature dessert, as well a treacle cured smoked gammon that we would love to see at the table on Christmas Day. Outside of meats and dessert, they’re also doing batched spiced ginger old fashioneds.
For: Wine that will impress.
The bad news: hot dog and bubbly heaven, Bubbledogs is one of the many restaurants that has been forced to close this year. The good news: Their website, Bubbleshop, is still very much up and running. We like their Christmas party packs as a no-brainer option that will have everyone nodding and saying ‘I like this pinot, I like it a lot’. If you’re just looking for a nice bottle to bring along for your host, you’ll find plenty of options on their website - all handpicked by their owner, an award-winning sommelier. Echo Falls who?
For: Gingerbread Doughnut Men.
This year we have decided to replace kissing under the mistletoe - physical contact, big no no - with mainlining gingerbread doughnuts. Join us in this baked goods mission by ordering a six pack from Doughnut Time. If adorable biscoff-filled doughnuts dipped in a ginger caramel glaze aren’t your thing, then there’s also a classic festive selection, Terry’s chocolate orange doughnuts, and DIY kits for the little ones.
For: Festive seafood platters.
Everyone keeps saying that Christmas will be different this year. Well, make hay whilst the, erm, snow falls and take this strange Christmas as an opportunity to switch up your standard festive dinner for something different. More specifically, something fishy. Seafood specialists The Wright Brothers are doing luxury festive hampers that range from a smoked salmon and oysters situation to a whole cooked lobster. But we’ve got our eyes on the festive platter of fruits de mer.
For: A seriously good-looking beef banquet for two.
For full disclosure, we want to let you know that this picture is making us dribble. A lot. Classic Soho restaurant, 10 Greek Street, is doing a two-person banquet for £110 that includes a ribeye of beef, short rib pie, potato and truffle gratin, treacle pudding, and lots of other festive treats. If you and your partner / flatmate / dog, have made the decision to stay away from family this year - or can’t due to shielding - we’d say this banquet box is the way to go. It’s the perfect festive dinner for two.
For: A Middle Eastern festive feast.
Somewhere out there, a frozen Yorkshire pudding just started weeping at the news that Bubala is doing a Christmas dinner. This seriously excellent Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant has created a ‘Christmas Twist’ feast that includes beetroot carpaccio, carrots smothered in black seed honey, and their take on a festive trifle. It’s £85 for a dinner for two, and is completely vegetarian. Did we mention the pomegranate and shiitake gravy?
For: A tasteful and tasty Italian festive feast.
The words ‘apple ketchup’ make us feel alive. As does ‘pear and date chutney’, ‘salumi selection’, and ‘goose, cranberry, and pistachio sausage’. All of the above come as part of Manteca’s Italian Christmas kit. Complete with amaretti and a Christmas pudding, it’s perfect for a mini Christmas with your flatmates, or as excellent additions to your big turkey dinner.
Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
For: Absolutely everything you’ll need over the festive season.
Bentley’s is one of those old school restaurants you hit up for a round of oysters and some excellent scallops. But throughout December you can also hit up their online shop for a festive hamper that has everything you’ll need for Christmas. Some of the hamper highlights include mince pies, champagne, mini pancakes for breakfast, oysters, smoked salmon, a Christmas pudding, jams, caviar, and a signed Richard Corrigan cookbook. Merry Christmas to stomachs everywhere.
For: Panettone and essential festive supplies, Italian style.
We’re pretty sure the only festive thing you can’t order from Lina Stores’ online shop, is Will Ferrell to dress up as your very own elf. They’ve got boozy hampers, pasta hampers, chocolate hampers, cheese hampers. Okay, we’re going to stop saying ‘hampers’ now and just tell you that we’re planning on ordering their panettone for everyone we know and love. Especially as they’re delivering nationwide and prices start at a very reasonable £10.
For: A very merry burger.
Mac and Wild makes one of the best burgers in London. That’s just a fact. And for the first time ever you can enjoy their Christmas burger from the comfort of your own home (read as: on your sofa wearing trackies). This DIY kit comes with everything you need, including pork stuffing, venison, melted brie, red cabbage, and shredded sprout tops. Our festive senses are tingling. Heads up, they’re also doing a venison chateaubriand meal kit.
For: A très bougie hamper.
What do you call an elf that forgot his Oyster card? We have no idea. But we do know that the luxury hamper from excellent British restaurant Kitty Fisher’s will be much better than any terrible cracker jokes. Not only do you get a luxury candle - hello, everyone loves candles - but hot chocolate, chutney, whipped cod’s roe, a cocktail mix, cheese, some casual potted goose, and mince pie fudge. We’ve never met any mince pie fudge before but we have a feeling we’d get along.
For: A festive mince pie alternative.
They’re out there right now, hiding in plain sight. You might not recognise them straight away, but trust us, they exist. No, we’re not talking about Gareth Gates’ fans. We’re talking about mince pie haters. Sadly some people just can’t get on board with this sweet little festive treat, so instead we offer them Kolamba’s love cake. A sweet and spicy number complete with nuts, it’s a traditional celebratory cake in Sri Lanka and an excellent festive addition whether you’re pro-mince pie or not.