Halls may be decked and bells a-jingling, but stomachs are still rumbling. These fine venues see to Christmas cravings, sating appetites with festive food while impressing diners with their superior seasonal spaces.
1. The Doll's House, Peckham
Queens Road Peckham
Situated just off Peckham's vibrant High Street, this bar and restaurant replicates the décor of its Islington older brother, effusing old-time charm with its ornate mirrors and candlesticks. Christmas revellers can hire the whole venue, or gather in The Drawing Room, Dining Room or Parlour for their festive meal, with yuletide treats such as turkey ballotine, venison haunch and mulled wine truffles sure to warm the winter cockles.
High Street Kensington
This iconic High Street Kensington venue (and its resident flamingos) by no means closes its elegant doors for a hibernation period, but transforms into a glamorous Winter Garden for Christmas diners. Up to 500 guests can be accommodated for lunch or dinner in either a buffet or sit-down style, with evening parties rolling into the early hours thanks to DJ assistance.
Hyde Park Corner
This Mayfair townhouse is a dedicated events venue, blending Edwardian sophistication with contemporary service and hospitality. Naturally, Christmas guests are taken care of as they congregate in either the Argyll Room or the Bill Boeing Room, ready for the three-course dinner, with salmon wellington and apple cider cheesecake among the highlights. Flowing drinks and Christmas novelties add to the festivities.
Yuletide dining is a unique experience in one of London's oldest livery halls, which dates back to the medieval period. Feast below the crystal chandeliers and within the warm oak walls in a choice of refined rooms, and also take advantage of the drinks and entertainment on offer – all in the heart of the City of London.
Fun fact: the historically significant Theatre Royal was the first place the public ever heard the National Anthem. Currently staging a colourful production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the grand playhouse in the heart of Christmassy Theatreland hires out its other spaces for festive meals. The South Room and Grand Saloon – originally a vast rehearsal space – make for classy, banquet-style dinner venues.
For a more relaxed approach to the Christmas festivities, Marylebone's Opso offers spaces on two floors – including the chic Larder Room on the lower level – where modern Greek cuisine is served in a sharing style. Guests can tuck into quirky tapas such the pastitsio noodle box and the short-rib burger in a tahini brioche bun, as they kick back in a casual, welcoming setting.
7. The Doll's House, Islington
Highbury & Islington
On the opposite end of London to its little brother, the original Doll's House lures with its trademark brand of "debauchery and decadence" inside a three-story Victorian townhouse on Upper Street. North Londoners will have all the same seasonal selections as Peckham attendees, along with similarly charismatic venue spaces for parties of all sizes.
For more awesome venues, head to hirespace.com.