Figgy Pudding Not Required...
December 13, 2007 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Turtlegirl and I will be in London for a few weeks and we were hoping we could get some recommendations for places to eat ON Christmas day and/or Boxing day.

We completely understand that our options may be limited to restaurants run by groups not celebrating the holiday and that is okay by us.

So please recommend a nice restaurant (or more) with atmosphere and yummy foods.

posted by terrapin to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
I seem to remember a good boxing day supper at Joe Allen's. But that was some years ago. Check if it's open.

Beach Blanket Babylon is really a "glamorous" bar with a crap restaurant attached but might be worth dropping in if open if you like cocktails. Again check open.
posted by londongeezer at 2:26 PM on December 13, 2007

There's been a list of restaurants open on Christmas Day in Time Out for the last few weeks. Lots will be open, but may be booked up.
posted by patricio at 2:40 PM on December 13, 2007

If you can't find anything else, the restaurants in major hotels will be open, because they're always open. The hotel guests have to eat, so you should be able to eat there, too.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:50 PM on December 13, 2007

The answers may depends on where you are staying, because London is a big, big place and there's no public transport on Christmas Day.
posted by essexjan at 3:18 PM on December 13, 2007

Staying a few blocks north of Hyde Park. Thanks everyone!
posted by terrapin at 3:55 PM on December 13, 2007

Hmmm, many of those places on the Time Out site are on the expensive side. Lunch for 2 will end up costing us as much as our plane tickets :)
posted by terrapin at 4:14 PM on December 13, 2007

Well, it's Christmas Day, terrapin, staff will be paid double time, and you pay a premium for eating in a restaurant on a day when everything else is closed. Expect to pay at least £60 a head (not including drinks) in central London.
posted by essexjan at 4:21 PM on December 13, 2007

There's a .pdf here with info on Christmas in London. Around page 40, 41 or so for Christmas and Boxing Days.
posted by essexjan at 4:27 PM on December 13, 2007

As essexjan points out, there is NO public transport (cabs don't count, despite what Mayor Bloomberg asserts) on Christmas day so you'll need to stay local. As the listings in the Time Out guide is going to be expensive and quite possibly mediocre, I'd suggest walking around your local area and asking the independent restaurants if they'll be open. Ethnic is good and the Indian/Bangladeshi curry is the national food for good reason.

There's far more options for Boxing Day (26/Dec), most things should be open and you can get around.
posted by quiet at 5:35 PM on December 13, 2007

I have spent a Christmas in London, but that time I went to a friends' houses.

Thanks for the advice, all. We'll wing it without specific recommendations. The day isn't particularly important to us. We just know we'll be on our own and were looking for the equivalent of Chinese food on Christmas like many non-Christians do in the US.
posted by terrapin at 6:40 PM on December 13, 2007

Why not wrap up warm and have a picnic?...
posted by randomination at 5:02 AM on December 14, 2007

.........or wrap up warmly and have mulled wine and mince pies (or hot dogs and chips) at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Make sure you stay till it gets dark as the lights are gorgeous. Also go up the Wheel of Excellence there (like a little London Eye) and look down on the Skating Rink. Afterwards walk down Oxford Street and Regent Street. The lights will look amazing when you aren't battling the Christmas crowds.
posted by Wilder at 7:42 AM on December 14, 2007

Just bear in mind that over here, many, many people, regardless of their faith or background, see Christmas Day as a holiday to spend with family, so hope of finding a Chinese or Indian open might not pan out. I've never spent Christmas in London, so I don't know this for sure, but I would head towards the West End, because I'd assume that more places there (of all stripes) will be likely to be open to cater for lost tourists, rather than going to Ealing or somewhere in the hope that a significant number of the local community won't be celebrating Christmas so it will be business as normal. But yeah, walking round a relatively deserted London will be very cool.
posted by Helga-woo at 5:26 AM on December 15, 2007

There are a few London Buses routes operating on Christmas Day. They don't run after about 4pm, though.
posted by genghis at 8:49 PM on December 15, 2007

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