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London Christmas Eve Favorites - What to do? Christmas Restaurants?

London Christmas Eve Favorites - What to do? Christmas Restaurants?

Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 05:29 PM
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London Christmas Eve Favorites - What to do? Christmas Restaurants?

Thank you for all previous information, this is a great site with great people and wonderful information.
Looking for where to go/what to do on Christmas Eve? Two parents and two college age lads looking for some food, drink and cheer! What streets, areas, pubs, etc. Hoping to eat at some point, what's the best approach to the day/evening? Going to Borough Market mid day to eat and buy some food for the flat but where after that?

Also, any Christmas Day restaurant recommendations? Hoping to not break the bank but also for a nice holiday meal. Open table lists open restaurants but local recommends would help sort things out. We are staying near the British Museum but aren't against a nice walk to dinner.
Thank you in advance!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 09:50 PM
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The standard Christmas ritual for those central Londoners who don't escape elsewhere is:

- get home by about midday on Christmas Eve, after finishing buying food. Bunker down at home for the rest of the day, possibly preparing Christmas presents and food. For children living with parents (a condition these days that can continue till mid-30s), socialise with others in same position during the evening
- on Christmas Day (most even of London's baptised population having nothing to do with religion), once up either go to relatives for lunch, or prepare lunch for visiting relatives. Spend evening with family (a euphemism for sleeping it off on the couch, not watching Xmas Specials on TV)
- Possibly a brief visit for some members of the family during Xmas Eve evening or Xmas Day lunchtime to a neighbouring pub.

For the overwhelming majority of full-time residents, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day involve virtually no contact with shops, pubs, restaurants or cultural activities outside one's own, or a selected relative's, home. If you want a typical London Christmas, you'll eat in your flat on Christmas Day.

If you want a Christmas meal that feels vaguely "traditional", the best source for places open (very few in this sector of the restaurant industry, though most hotel dining rooms - a category of eating establishment scarcely ever patronised by a Londoner - offer expensive, reservations compulsory, Xmas lunches) is http://www.timeout.com/london/food-d...-christmas-day The rest of http://www.timeout.com/london/christmas is also useful, and Britain being so Londoncentric, the Dec 21 posh Sundays and the Dec 24 posh dailies' Xmas Survival Guides will give you further insights.

Local residents, though, account for only a small proportion of the humans overnighting within the Circle Line over Christmas. So there's a parallel, if very unrooted, economy serving them. Well over half the pubs and restaurants in that area are open at least till tennish Xmas Eve and for lunch on Xmas Day.

Few are really geared to taking reservations, many don't make it to restaurant guides, precisely which do open is tough to predict, but when we tire of Cotswold Christmases we drive into London every few years and just choose a place almost at random. You might use the time before Xmas to select your candidate.

Within the Circle Line, there is no "area" to be particularly recommended - though the Xmas lights in secondary but upmarket shopping streets like Bond St, South Molton Street, Carnaby St and Jermyn St are exceptionally opulent and impressive this year, and Xmas Eve might be a particularly good to walk under them. Nor is there an area particularly to be avoided.

This all applies as much to Christmas Eve evening as to Christmas Day. Apart from tourists, central London starts emptying midmorning Xmas Eve.

One warning note. Because no-one shops on Xmas Eve, major stores start remerchandising themselves for post-Christmas Sales on Dec 24, and possibly Dec 23. So department store windows get tackified before Christmas. Though seasonal street lights stay up till Jan 6, at eye level much of the magic starts to fade early on Dec 24.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2014, 08:15 AM
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Covent Garden is also a good area. London Walks www.walks.com do a walk on Xmas eve and Xmas day.

Avoid The City (area around Bank station) as it will be closed up tight in the evening and Xmas day.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 03:08 PM
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Jamikins- London walks are a great idea, thank you we will consider both Xmas Eve and Xmas Day!
Flanneruk- Thank you for the comprehensive reply, I didn't realize some pubs would be open for lunch on Xmas day, great!
Any particular pubs for good food?
One more thing, I'm a little embarrassed to admit, I don't know what the Posh dailies are Thanks again
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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If they are open, I would go to Rules on Maiden Lane just off Covent Gardens for dinner It is one of our favorites. We love the food and atmosphere. They have a great bar and I imagine that it would be decorated beautifully for Christmas.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 06:07 PM
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Posh Sundays and Posh dailies are the newspapers like the Times/Telegraph/Sunday Times, etc.
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