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Christmas Day 2014: the kids hurriedly open Christmas gifts from Santa, Mum & Dad busy themselves in the kitchen with a behemoth turkey, and Grandad sits in the corner, slightly sloshed on sherry, attempting a 2000-piece jigsaw of a very pebbly beach. By the time everyone has worked their way through mountains of peanuts, turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, brussels sprouts, Christmas pudding, mince pies, and chocolates, the idea of washing up seems a daunting task. Which is exactly why you should let someone else worry about the texture of the gravy for a change. Sit back, relax, get merry and allow the professionals to work their festive magic.
Here are some great restaurants in London that are not only open on Christmas Day 2014 but also have some fantastic Christmas Day lunch special offers to take advantage of.
Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar
Waterloo / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Steak House
Celebrate Christmas Day with family and friends over a sumptuous Christmas menu in Gillray's with views of the River Thames, Houses of Parliament and London Eye. After a leisurely walk along the Southbank, pop into Gillray's for a delicious Christmas lunch or dinner. You will be in for a treat on Christmas too. Entrance is located above the London Aquarium. Table reservations between 12 noon and 10pm. Adults £110, or children aged 3-12 years £55. To check availability or make a reservation, email Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 902 8047
Mayfair / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
Christmas Day is a time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest around a table full of food, love and joy. This year let us take care of the food - your biggest decision is deciding which delectable dish to choose. Located in the very heart of fashionable Mayfair on prestigious Park Lane, Podium Restaurant and Bar offers great food and drink in a stylish and relaxed atmosphere. Christmas lunch buffet menu, £98 pp (which includes a visit from Santa), and Christmas dinner menu, £48pp. Call now to book (0)207 493 8000 or email email@example.com
Dean Street Townhouse
Soho / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
This gorgeous, Georgian-style eatery and hotel in Soho is open all hours, including Christmas Day, and is putting on a luxurious festive spread to mark the occasion this year. Starting with an introductory glass of champagne - what else? - the menu offers hearty British fare from roast beef or turkey to the enticingly-named 'tipsy trifle', among other more offbeat dishes. The cosy, wood-lined dining room provides a little bit of luxury in the centre of town, and bedrooms are available upstairs if it all gets too much. (12-6pm: reservation only, £95 per head.)
Shoreditch / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
If the sight of pound shop crackers and Paxo stuffing send you spiraling into a style crisis, get yourself to Hoi Polloi at the Ace Hotel. There's still turkey (Norfolk Bronze with the timmings) and Christmas pudding but you can also escape traditional family arguments over who carves over a plate of salmon ceviche with avocado and grapefruit. The warm wood panelled room, cocktails and East London location is a fusion of hip but warm and traditional. Hoi Polloi will make Christmas Day feel effortless and cool - not easy on a day where it's acceptable to drink advocaat in a onesie.
The Cinnamon Club Restaurant by Vivek Singh
Westminster / Restaurant / Cuisine: Indian
Don't allow leftovers doused in curry powder on Boxing Day to fuse Indian cuisine and Christmas. The elegant Cinnamon Club (which has a tree in the dining room all year round) serves beautiful food in sumptuous surroundings. South Indian style stir-fry of goose breast with red onion and curry leaf, layered paratha is served with Masala mash potatoes; a true escape from potentially bland gravy and overcooked meat. The expert spicing really is Christmassy, after all we have richly flavoured puddings which is why the Cinnamon Club's Garam masala Christmas pudding with nutmeg custard is going to be a big hit.
Skylon Restaurant & Bar
South Bank / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Skylon's huge windows mean that Christmas lunch can be accompanied by evocative views of London and the Thames powered with snow (OK we can't guarantee that). High ceilings, architectural decoration and the finer things in life like nice linens and glass wear make Skylon the destination for a very special lunch. The menu is full of foodie superlatives; Brixham crab (the best in the land), seasonal wild mushrooms, free range turkey and beef fillet with truffle mash are all present. After the champagne and picks from the cheese trolley the Southbank is right outside for a winter stroll - urban perfection.
Wandsworth / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Situated just off Wandsworth Common, The Hope pub is getting into the Christmas spirit this year, with a four-course banquet running the gamut from roast parsnip and honey soup to Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. The venue's ornate gastro pub feel, with its narrow dining room, excellent views and comfortable fixtures, can't help but induce a cosy, communal atmosphere not ill-suited to Christmas cheer. And you can tuck into the full spread guilt-free, safe in the knowledge that you can walk it off on the Common next door almost immediately! (£50 per head.)
The Honor Oak
Forest Hill & Honor Oak Park / Bar / Cuisine: Gastro
The newly-refurbished Honor Oak pub - located a short walk away from Forest Hill station - has added Christmas Day opening hours to its increasingly impressive list of assets, including private dining rooms, a generous beer garden and even a toddler's play area. Reservations are now being taken for Christmas lunch, with time-honoured classics such as roast turkey and beef on offer, with all the trimmings, in addition to roast partridge and seared Scottish scallops. Spacious and friendly, the Honor Oak looks set to be a welcome refuge for Christmas-weary parents and hyperactive youngsters alike this year.
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