It's not Christmas until Richard Caring's London restaurants, which include The Ivy, Scott's, Sexy Fish and Daphne's, unveil their spectacular festive decor. For maximalist merriment, head to 34 Mayfair on Grosvenor Square, which is festooned with more than 8,000 glistening Christmas baubles, and a further 7,000-odd decorations. On the menu, try the Nyetimber Golden Bell dessert (£12.50): a golden chocolate bell that cracks open to reveal a dark chocolate mousse and cherry compote filling, served with a glass of Nyetimber English sparkling wine.
Address: 34 Grosvenor Square, S Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2HD
Closest Station: Green Park
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12-10pm; Saturday and Sunday: 11.00am-10pm
Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
So-called after Virginia Woolf's best-known character, Dalloway Terrace is a perennial Instagram staple adjoined to The Bloomsbury hotel. This winter, the restaurant has been transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland by McQueens Flowers, tastefully draped in glistening foliage, fairy lights and frosted, winter blooms. Rivalling the decor, a new drinks menu includes a selection of warming Belvedere Vodka cocktails. Each tipple takes its name from a witty chat-up line, designed to 'break the ice'.
Address: 16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN
Closest Station: Holborn
The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
Another Richard Caring classic, The Ivy Chelsea Garden has unveiled a spectacular new festive façade, inspired by Santa's Workshop. Enter through an archway of glistening baubles and enjoy Veuve Clicquot cocktails, warming desserts and lashings of yuletide merriment. You can even pop a letter to Santa in the mailbox on your way out.
Address: 195 -197 King's Road, London SW3 5EQ
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 12.30am Sunday & bank holidays: 11:30am – 12.30am
No. Fifty Cheyne, Chelsea
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at No. Fifty Cheyne, which has adorned its pretty blue facade with festive garlands and fairy lights. Inside, the decorations continue with floral displays in autumnal colours, gold baubles and a large Christmas tree. The restaurant's cosy interiors and roaring fireplaces will make you want to settle in for good, and a look at the menu will be enough to convince you. Think roast scallops with shallot purée and bacon jam ragout in a champagne sauce; roast turkey with all the trimmings; and warm cinnamon and apple tarte tatin. Don't miss the Merry Mulled Cider, which is mulled for four days with port wine, agave, ginger, vanilla pods, seasonal spices, sliced citrus fruits and apples.
Address: 50 Cheyne Walk, SW3
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-3pm and 5-11pm; Sunday, 12-4pm; Closed on Monday and Tuesday
Pergola Paddington’s 'Miracle on Kingdom Street
Pergola Paddington is reopening this December as an immersive woodland forest, replete with wooden lodges, sheepskin rugs and toasty heaters. Created in partnership with Moët & Chandon, the outdoor space is available for private hire for mixed groups of up to 30, with considered spacing and tables of six allowing for social distancing.
Address: 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central, W2 6PY
Closest Station: Royal Oak, Paddington
Corinthia London's Winter Garden, Westminster
For those who usually head to the slopes at Christmas, Corinthia London’s alpine-themed Winter Garden should help fill the après-ski-shaped hole in your life. From 3rd December, the hotel’s al fresco restaurant The Garden will be redecorated for the festive season with alpaca blankets, glittering snow globes and two roaring fireplaces to keep you warm. Guests can enjoy a winter menu of macaroni cheese with lobster or shellfish, slow-cooked beef and baked fish pie, as well as a selection of hot chocolates and warm spiced Negroni cocktails.
When: 6 December - March 2021
Address: Corinthia London, Whitehall Place, SW1A
Closest station: Embankment
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 12noon-11pm
The Macallan Manor House at Rosewood London, High Holborn
Rosewood London's new winter terrace has been created in collaboration with Macallan whisky. The toasty wooden lodge is furnished with suitably Scottish interiors to resemble a Highland manor, including tartan rugs and maps of Speyside, while copper hanging lights are a nod to the copper stills used to make the world-renowned spirit. Tweed-topped staff serve comforting Scottish bites including rare breed pork with white pudding scotch egg and scallops in a malt broth, crowned with roasted artichoke puree and turnip. Complement the dishes with warming whisky cocktails or a rare single malt, carefully selected by Macallan and limited to just 465 bottles.
Address: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Closest station: Holborn
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 12pm-10pm
The Dorchester’s Winter Garden, Mayfair
Those who’ve strolled past The Dorchester on Park Lane recently may have noticed two glass pods perched in front of its forecourt. The heated globes are the hotel’s new al fresco Winter Garden, where up to five people can enjoy a special festive menu while snuggled under Johnstons of Elgin blankets. Tuck into chestnut soup with bacon and sprouts, côte de boeuf and flaming Christmas pudding, along with a range of Christmas cocktails such as Naughty or Nice mulled wine and Snowflake Negroni. The pods are also available to hire on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve (£320 per person, with a minimum spend of £1,200), while those who would prefer to stay at home can order The Dorchester Christmas dinner to be delivered direct to your door, in the lead up to and on Christmas Day itself.
When: 3rd December - March 2021
Price: £160 per person including a glass of Verve Clicquot La Grande Dame
Address: 53 Park Lane, W1K
Closest station: Hyde Park Corner
100 Wardour Street’s Alpine Lodge with Taittinger, Soho
Soho’s 100 Wardour Street has partnered with Taittinger to bring you the Alpine Lodge, an apres-ski pop-up bar serving champagne cocktails in the mountains (sort of). Take your pick from a list of winter-themed drinks, including On the Slopes, a mulled wine, tequila and Taittinger Brut concoction, and Cabin Fever, a blend of Hennessy cognac, sherry, Campari, raspberry and Taittinger Brut.
When: Until February 2021
Where: 100 Wardour Street, W1F
Winter Heights rooftop bar, London Bridge
A new rooftop bar is coming to London this Christmas. Located on the top of a six-storey office block a short walk from London Bridge station, Winter Heights will offer panoramic views of the city, with landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and The Shard in view. Hot cocktails, mulled wine, craft beer and treats from nearby Borough Market will be on the menu, including hotdogs made using Ginger Pig sausages and bottomless fondu from Drunk Cheese.
Price: From £70 for a table of four
When: 8 December — 3 January
Address: Colechurch House, SE1
Closest station: London Bridge
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:45am-10:45pm
Petersham Nurseries, Richmond and Covent Garden
Petersham Nurseries is London's not-so-secret garden restaurant, with a flagship in Richmond and a second outpost in Covent Garden. This December, both promise wild foraged displays, seasonal menus and plenty of yuletide cheer. Visitors can also partake in wreath-making workshops and freestyle their Christmas shopping in the charming Petersham Nurseries shop, filled with handcrafted decorations and beautiful homeware.
Address: Off Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; 31 King Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JD