Food & Drink

Where to eat in December

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Head to these London restaurants for everything from festive feasts to new flavour fusions

December is packed to the gills with parties, drinks and get togethers. But, amongst all the cocktails and canapés, sometimes all you want is a really great meal. So whatever you’re looking for, whether that’s a festive feast, the best British comfort food or a fusion of new flavours, here’s where to eat in December in London.

For a cosy night in: Odette’s

Neighbourhood restaurants don’t get much more iconic than Odette’s. Opened by Welsh chef Bryn Williams 10-years ago, the Primrose Hill restaurant is famed for its well-considered menu of classic dishes, packed with seasonal British produce. This December, it’s pulling out all the stops for lovers of cosy, low-key dining. Until Saturday 23 December it’s serving up a range of festive dishes, from classic roast bronze turkey with duck fat potatoes, pigs in blankets and bread sauce, to more indulgent ones, like Cornish crab lasagne and treacle-cured Welsh black beef. Perfect for a lazy family weekend meal in the run up to Christmas. Christmas set menus start at £45, odettesprimrosehill.com

For a Mediterranean festive feeling: Salt Yard

Salt Yard is where The Jackal heads when tip-top Italian and Spanish tapas is in order. This December, it’s ramping up the festive flavours, with £35 and £45 set menus offering a taste of the Med at Christmas. Dishes on offer include pork belly with chestnut, and pancetta, confit goose arancini with spiced orange and thyme, and a butternut squash and sage tortilla. To finish, blood orange sorbet with spiced cinnamon sable and caramelised pear tart offer all the joy of Christmas, without that heavy post-turkey lethargy descending. Christmas set menus start at £35, saltyardgroup.co.uk

For that apres-ski effect: Novikov

Alpine lodges are 10-a-penny come Christmas in London. But Novikov’s effort should really be awarded a ‘highly commended’ in the après-ski stakes. Its Mayfair lounge has been transformed into Tyrolean splendour for December, with wood panelling, plush sheepskins and cosy cashmere blankets. Menu-wise, glühwein figures high on the drinks list, while Bratwurst, fondue and tartiflette tick the festive food box. Infinitely better than nursing a tepid mulled wine in a freezing Christmas market, we think. novikovrestaurant.co.uk

For a Michelin-starred Christmas: Angler

If fish is more of your thing than turkey, then Michelin-starred restaurant Angler should be your first port of call for where to eat this December. Champagne and canapés are the order of the day to start (of course), before crab ravioli with blood orange, and then on to Dover Sole, bubble and squeak, black truffle and chestnut. Mince pie ice cream is a suitably indulgent way to finish. All in the refined setting of South Place Hotel, it’s the ideal place if you need to impress this Christmas. Christmas set menus start at £100, anglerrestaurant.com

For something a bit different: Asia de Cuba

Bored of turkey and all the trimmings? Try a Christmas dinner that’s out of the ordinary instead. Already a melange of diverse cuisines – Chinese and Latino – Asia de Cuba has upped the ante with its festive set menus this December. Highlights of these include the seven spice roasted chicken, with snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, black bean congri and manchego, which is a flavoursome alternative to turkey, while the lemon lime tart is a zesty substitute for Christmas pudding. Worried someone in your party won’t be convinced? Asia de Cuba will also be serving a traditional Christmas dinner, for any staunch turkey stalwarts out there. £45 per person, for parties of eight or more, asiadecuba.com