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’. Or both. If you book any of the spots below, it should keep you in the spirit of things before they are broken on that train ride home on the 24th of December.
Luca is one of our favorite Italian restaurants in London, and they also happen to have two excellent private rooms, one of which is where they make their pasta fresh daily. From the end of November onwards, they’re doing a £55 five course menu, a £75 six course menu, and a £130 seven course white Alba truffle menu that your company will most likely not sign off on. This place is relatively new, and is a great option if you want to show your group you know what’s cool.
With a proper gastropub downstairs and a modern dining room upstairs, The Marksman has a split personality that works well for a holiday dinner. Start with a nice meal upstairs, and then just grab some drinks at the ground level, which is significantly better than having to trod around in the cold to some nearby pub. They’re offering three very different menus this year - there’s a £45 option based around the slow-roasted pork shoulder, a £55 based around a steak and oyster pudding, and £65 option based around roast goose with liver toast.
A Thai restaurant may not be the first place to come to mind, but we’d encourage you to consider Som Saa for something a bit different this year. Especially if the last few years you’ve been subjected to a sad and dry roast at the pub just a few steps away from your office. They’re offering two menus, at £35 per person and £45 per person. Both menus feature things like massaman curry of cornish duck leg, whole deep fried seabass, and an assortment of salads and grill items.
As the one of the first to make tail to nose eating trendy, St. John’s know a thing or two about meat, and at Christmas they’re doing five different meats, roasted whole. You can have game at £47 per person, beef at £48 per person, fish at £57 per person, goose at £58 per person, or the whole suckling pig starting at £380 for 17 people. You get to enjoy your meal in their simple whitewashed dining room, or in their simple whitewashed private room.
Anchor and Hope is London gastropub royalty, and one of the spots we aggressively steer people to when they find themselves lost and hungry somewhere around the South Bank. This year they’re serving a Christmas lunch - a good call if you work in the area. The standard set menu is £40 per person, and there’s also a vegetarian option. If there are more than six of you, do the £66 per person goose roast.
If you want to feel like you’re in the Scottish Highlands, while also feeling like you’re at a trendy restaurant in Fitzrovia, go to Mac & Wild. They’re known for using plenty of venison and haggis, and to that end, the £35 Christmas set menu has an option called the Christmas Burger’, which is a venison patty with pork stuffing and melted brie. They do have a traditional turkey roast as an option too, which, no offence to the turkey, doesn’t sound as fun.
Quality Chop House is known for its no-bullshit modern British menu of things that you’ll really want to eat. For Christmas time, there’s a £49 or £69 menu, and a private room that fits 8 to 16. of You get to choose either, turkey, lamb, beef or pork for the table of your closest friends who are well up for a cosy dinner.
Aquavit is a new Nordic restaurant in St James’ Market that can take plenty of situations you throw at it. Family in town for a special occasion? Aquavit will do. Dinner with a posh mate who has been to assorted Scandinavian countries? Aquavit will definitely do. And it’ll work just fine for a group Christmas meal that’s on the nicer side. They have two private rooms, which can handle between 15 and 60 people. As for the food, there are six set menus, starting with the vegetarian option at £40, and going up to £75 if you all fancy having venison for dinner.
If you’re serious about making this meal really ‘feel like Christmas’, gather your crew at The Bull And Last. At this gastropub, you’ll eat a traditional roast turkey dinner for £39 per person, you’ll drink some lovely alcohol, and then you’ll try to walk it all off on Hampstead Heath. This is how one does a proper Christmas meal. Write that down.
Plateau is easily the best restaurant in Canary Wharf, which you hopefully know by now if you work in Canary Wharf. This is a fine dining spot with impressive views, and they’re doing a Christmas meal that involves turkey or venison, starting at £45 for lunch and £55 for dinner. Load up on the wine and bubbles if you and your team made a ton of money from Brexit this year.