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Christmas Lunch in London '09

Old Sep 1st, 2009, 11:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Christmas Lunch in London '09

Any recommendations for a restaurant or hotel for xmas lunch in central London....somewhere with some atmosphere but not too expensive? Poss Bloomsbury or Regents Pk area, haven't booked accomm yet.
jules60 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 12:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Is it that time of year already?

I'm afraid there really isn't any good news here. London closes down on Christmas day. A few of the grander hotels offer a xmas lunch but are eye-wateringly expensive (think around £150 per head).

So the best thing to do is eat in your hotel if it has a restaurant (and check it's open on xmas day - lot aren't).

What invariably happens now is that people come on and tell you that there will be places open in Chinatown (ie Soho). This is true. What they omit to mention is it's IMPOSSIBLE to get there other than on foot. There is no public transport on xmas day and the few cabs that do work need to be booked and charge an arm and a leg - if you're lucky enough to find one. So if you fancy chicken chow mein for your xmas lunch and dinner then be prepared for the trek to Wardour St and back - possibly in driving rain or (quite unlikely) snow.

For us xmas day is a day to get pissed with elderly relatives, watch the Queen on the telly, eat too much, drink some more, watch the kids break their new toys and then watch Goldfinger on the telly (it's always Goldfinger - it's the law) then watch elderly relatives attempt to dance withh the kids. We don't go out on xmas day. Never ever.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 397
CW has it to a T avoid England and London on Christmas Day. Restaurants get booked up quite early if they intend to be open and they do not provide atmosphere, the family groups do that for themselves. If you intend to stay arrive the day before at the very least and stay in Bloomsbury or Covent Garden if you want to walk to Chinatown. Some hotels will be offering a seasonal package which will include Christmas Dinner but it will not be cheap.
helen_belsize is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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How long are you staying? If a week or so, maybe booking an apt. might be cheaper and it gives you the option of cooking your own meal.
jkbritt is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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My family had a lovely Christmas day in London several years ago. Stayed at the Vanderbilt hotel on Cromwell Road. Walked to Brompton Oratory for morning church service, had a nice long walk after church, then returned to our hotel for a lovely long Christmas lunch. Some friends, also in London for the holidays, joined us for lunch and the hotel/restaurant went all out to make it cheery and festive. The dining room was full all afternoon.

That said, C_W and h_b are certainly correct that London shuts down for Christmas Day, so you do need to plan ahead and book for lunch somewhere close to where you're staying, if not in your hotel. We enjoyed the quiet streets. The weather was cold and frosty but dry, perfect for a long walk.
julia1 is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,864
Where are you staying? As the others say - that is where you should have Christmas lunch if possible. Anywhere else you'll have to walk to -- and if the weather is nasty that could be a real slog.

Christmas Day is a wonderful time to walk around London w/ virtually no traffic. But for eating out - not so much.

Most anyplace that does lunch/dinner will be VERY expensive.
janisj is online now  
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