Maybe it’s the thought of the cooking, or doing the dishes. Maybe you don’t have the space or the inclination to play host.
Maybe you’re visiting Scotland for the holidays, or you don’t celebrate Christmas but fancy getting out the house on what feels like everyone else’s holiday. Or maybe your family dynamic would benefit from a public
setting with witnesses. Whatever your reason for seeking seasonal sustenance somewhere other than home on Christmas Day, there are plenty of options on offer.
Both Hadrian’s and Number One at The Balmoral in Edinburgh are open to non-residents on Christmas Day. Hadrian’s Christmas lunch – served from 12.30-2.30pm – is £165 per person, including wine and Champagne,
with the children’s menu costing £82.50. Christmas dinner is served from 7.30-9.30pm, at £95 per person and £47.50 per child. For that you get a harpist, full viewing rights to the hotel’s always-sumptuous
Christmas tree, and a menu that includes Isle of Mull scallops, turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin ravioli, Stilton and Christmas pudding, plus mince pies. For reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0131) 557 5000.
Down in the hotel’s Michelin-starred Number One, lunch is served from 12.30-3.30pm and is £175 per person. After being greeted by Champagne and canapés, sit down to foie gras brûlée, turkey et al, monkfish with
langoustines, chocolate mousse with brioche ice cream and mandarin jelly, plus coffee and petits fours. To book email email@example.com or call (0131) 557 6727.
At the other end of Princes Street, the Galvin brothers’ Brasserie at The Caledonian has on offer ravioli of Scottish smoked salmon; oysters; St Brides turkey; Dover sole with shrimps and caviar; a tarte tatin of caramelised onion, Ricotta and fig, and Valrhona chocolate
trifle. Santa will be making an appearance with presents for all thechildren, and service is from 12.30-4pm – £90 per adult and £45 per child. For reservations call (0131) 222 8988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the hotel’s Pompadour, starters include an assiette of Scottish shellfish with Osciètre caviar; braised pig’s trotter with pig’s cheek ravioli, followed by options including roast crown of St.Brides turkey with chestnut and date ballottine and sea bass with saffron and chervil gnocchi. Desserts include Christmas pudding with Pedro Ximenez macerated figs and clementine soufflé with chocolate sorbet. Service
is from 12.30-3.30pm, and the cost is £160 per person, including Champagne and canapés – call (0131) 222 8975 or email email@example.com.
The Missoni hotel’s Italiano-style Christmas Day menu is priced at £60 and served from 12.30pm, either in the Cucina restaurant or one of the hotel’s private dining rooms. On offer is watercress and rocket salad
with pear, walnuts, warm Scamorza cheese and goat’s cheese dressing; bresaola with lemon and parmesan shavings; turkey stuffed with sausage, apple, chestnuts and prunes; roast cod with lentils and parsley sauce, and pannacotta with coconut ice cream and caramelised pineapple. There’s a gift from Santa for the kids, and for the adults there are Christmas cocktails including the Neve – a Venetian classic of vodka and Limoncello chilled with a ball of homemade lemon sorbet and finished with Prosecco. To book email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0131) 220 6666.
For festivities with a Gallic flavour, French bistro La Garrigue on Jeffrey Street has two sittings for lunch on Christmas Day, at 12 and 4pm, at a cost of £65 for adults and £32.50 for children. Choose from almond-coated goat’s cheese with orange and pomegranate dressing; lobster; venison with sprouts and creamed celeriac; turkey and trimmings; walnut tart with rum ice cream; bread and butter pudding with Baileys cream, and French cheeses. Call (0131) 557 3032 for reservations.
Edinburgh’s branch of Café Rouge has always managed to transcend its chain restaurant origins by being bustlingly cheerful and endearingly shabby, and their Christmas Feast menu is well-priced at £50 per adult, £15 per child and £6.75 per tot. You’ll be greeted by pink Champagne, olives and saucissons, and starter options include lobster bisque and a blue cheese and poached pear tart with a Gruyère crust. All mains are served with spiced red cabbage, winter veg, stuffing and roast parsnips and potatoes, and include steak Béarnaise, duck confit with plum sauce, and of course, roast turkey with cranberry and apricot stuffing and bacon-wrapped chipolatas. For dessert there’s cranberry and gingerbread Christmas pud with crème Anglaise, passion fruit torte and a white chocolate and raspberry crème brûlée, all rounded off with mini mince pies and (in a neighbourly gesture) Belgian chocolates. To book call (0131) 225 4515.
For those disinclined towards festive food altogether, Indian and Chinese restaurants have always been a good Christmas Day bet. For the former, the mighty Mithas is open for lunch and has a tasting menu for £24.95 per person, which includes aloo murgh, wild tandoori salmon, lamb nawabi, tandoori paneer tikka and a concessionary Christmas pudding. For reservations call (0131) 554 0008 or email email@example.com.
Edinburgh Zoo is open on Christmas Day from 9am-4.30pm, and makes for a perfect family excursion/distraction whether you’re celebrating the big day or not. While they are already fully booked for lunch, the very well-regarded Cool Jade Chinese restaurant across the road is not. Pop in on the penguins and then sit down to a four-course set menu served from 1-6pm, for approximately £35 per head. The menu hasn’t been finalised yet, but you can call (0131) 334 3823 for bookings and enquiries.
Rogano offers a Christmas Day setting that would be hard to beat – unless your dining room happens to be an extravaganza of original 1930s Art Deco detail. Christmas lunch is served at 2pm, with Joseph Perrier Champagne and canapés on arrival, and is £79.95 per person for four courses. On the menu is smoked salmon with caperberries, pulled ham hough and foie gras terrine, king prawn and crab cocktail, roast Ayrshire turkey with all the trimmings, prawn and monkfish brochette with coconut risotto, clootie dumpling with Drambuie custard and a pear and almond tart with mascarpone ice cream. Call (0141) 248 4055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The very elegant Blythswood Square hotel is serving a very elegant Christmas dinner between 1pm and 6pm. Starters include Gressingham duck leg confit with foie gras bon bons and Armagnac dressing, hand-dived scallops with celeriac purée and truffle vinaigrette, and a wild mushroom velouté with herb crème fraîche and onion ash. These are followed by a palate-cleansing cranberry sorbet with clementine espuma and lime sherbet, and for main course choose from Mathers Black Gold Scotch beef fillet with parsley root purée and a layered thyme potato cake, seared Shetland salmon, a chestnut agnolotti with gruyère sauce and Parmesan foam, as well as turkey with the works. Desserts include Christmas pud with morello cherry ice cream and a selection of artisan cheeses with quince jelly, walnut bread and verjus chutney. Four courses, a glass of Champagne and coffee is £99 per adult, £49.50 for children aged 5-12, and under-fives eat for free. For reservations call (0141) 248 8888 or email email@example.com
One of the best Chinese restaurants in the city, Loon Fung on Sauchiehall Street, will be open and serving a four-course Christmas menu from 12pm till 2am, for £28.95. Choose from hot and sour or chicken noodle soup, with traditional dim sum to follow. Main courses include Schezuan king prawns, duck in orange sauce, salt and pepper squid or traditional turkey with trimmings, and for dessert choose from Christmas pudding or banana fritters. Call (0141) 332 1240 for reservations.
In the city’s West End, head to celebrity favourite One Devonshire Gardens for five-star food. Christmas dinner with coffee and mince pies is £99 per person, and the menu includes Jerusalem artichoke velouté with fruffled brioche, chicken and foie gras terrine with pickled beetroot and apple, and saffron risotto with chestnuts and pumpkin seeds to start. Choose from halibut with butternut squash risotto, venison Wellington with swede purée and St Bride’s Bronze turkey with trimmings for the main course, and Christmas pudding with Drambuie anglaise, gingerbread parfait with mandarin sorbet and pistachio cream, Devonshire chocolate éclair cake and a selection of cheeses for dessert. To book email Pevents.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 084473 64256.
For a festive curry head to Green Chilli Café on Argyle Street in the West End, where Christmas dinner is served at 12pm, 3pm and 5pm, and the five-course set menu is £24.95. Sit down to poppadoms and spiced onions while you mull over the menu options, which include monkfish kebab, Gressingham duck breast tikka and chilli king prawns for starter, and turkey tikka masala, aloo gobi, chicken sharabi, lamb desi or bhuna and chicken korma for the main course, from which you can choose two. Desserts include traditional Christmas pudding, sticky toffee pud with tablet ice cream and a platter of Indian sweets to share. Call (0141) 337 6378 or email email@example.com for bookings.
The five-star Marcliffe hotel has two Christmas lunch sittings. For families, lunch is served at 1pm in the Courtyard or Grand Ballroom Suite. There’s a Champagne cocktail on arrival, and the menu includes lobster salad and dressed crab, truffle confit duck, breast of turkey with chestnut and oatmeal stuffing, roast fillet of Scotch beef with beetroot boulangère and braised oxtail, a spiced vegetable and chickpea moussaka for vegetarians, and for pudding a composition of warm doughnuts, blackberry and lemon tart and chocolate torte, or Christmas pud with Anglaise sauce. There’s a visit from Santa Claus, magic tricks at the table and a post-lunch disco for working off the calories, all for £90 per person and £40 for under-12s. The later sitting, in the Conservatory and Invery Room from 2.30-6.30pm, is for adults and over-12s, and starts with Champagne and canapés. The menu includes ham hock and truffle velouté, pink grapefruit granité with lime sorbet, turkey and trimmings, Dover sole with brown shrimps, a chocolate sundae and clementine custard tart, and is £99 per person. Call (01224) 861 000 to book.
The historic Old Mill Inn five miles west of the city in Maryculter on the banks of the River Dee has three sittings for Christmas lunch – at 12.30pm, 1pm and 2.30pm – for £52 per adult and £26 per child. Starters include smoked salmon and prawn parfait, melon with winter berries and a port and orange dressing and game terrine with red onion chutney, while main course options include Grampian turkey with roast potatoes, festive red cabbage, sprouts, pigs in blankets, skirlie and gravy or peppers stuffed with couscous and a tomato and basil sauce. Round off the meal with traditional Christmas pudding served with brandy cream, Amaretto trifle or white chocolate and Bailey’s cheesecake. Santa will be stopping by too, with a gift for all the children. Call (01224) 733 212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.