Christmas is traditionally a time that families get together and enjoy a Christmas meal. In many cases members of the family who are playing host often have to cater for a lot of people, which is perhaps not ideal. So if you’d prefer to let someone else do the cooking and washing up for a change, then how about enjoying a festive lunch or dinner in a relaxing restaurant? With this mind we thought we would take a look at a couple of restaurants in London that are laying on special Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve at 108 Brasserie in Marylebone
108 Brasserie in Marylebone will be offering two special menus over the festive period to celebrate Christmas and to ring in the New Year without you having to lift a finger with the catering.
On Christmas Day itself, 108 Brasserie’ Executive Chef Russell Ford and his team, is laying on a festive feast with all the traditional favourites which includes an extensive choice of starters, main courses and decadent desserts.
You are spoilt for choice on the starter front between a Celeriac Soup Scallop and black pudding or Salt baked heritage carrots sprouted grains, whipped feta and pomegranate dressing. Alternatively, there is a Venison Tartar sloe gin jam with sourdough crisp and wood sorrel or a tempting sounding Lobster and Crab Salad gem hearts and Bloody Mary dressing.
For mains, my first choice would be the Caldecott Farm free-range bronze turkey with cranberry and orange stuffing, bread sauce and all the Christmas trimmings. However, some of you may prefer the Honey Glazed Suffolk Pork Rack with creamed turnips, cabbage and spiced pear, or perhaps the Salmon En Croute with buttered leeks, caviar and champagne sauce. And for those of you who prefer something a little lighter, then there is a Cranberry and pistachio nut roast with roasted ceps with butternut squash and sage cream.
And if you still have any room left, how about one of these tempting desserts? A traditional Plum Pudding with brandy custard and candied redcurrants or a Caramel Panna Cotta gingerbread. The Mulled Winter Fruits with cinnamon ice cream sounds delicious and for all you chocolate lovers, then the Chocolate Tart Kumquats with bergamot ice cream is for you!
If cheese is your thing, then 108 Brasserie are also offering a tasting of La Fromagerie cheeses with spiced fruit chutney and toasted walnut bread.
New Year’s Eve at 108 Brasserie
If you are going to be at home at Christmas or visiting relatives, then perhaps seeing in the new year at 108 Brasserie is a tempting thought, as they have prepared a special New Year’s Eve Menu that starts with a choice of Scallop Gratin Kohlrabi with smoked bacon. Or there’s a Crispy Confit Chicken Wing with poached foie gras celeriac remoulade and grapes or a Roasted cauliflower soup tempura cauliflower with shaved winter truffle.
For your main course you can choose between the Hereford Beef Rump Cap Guinness braised cheek, accompanied with salt baked heritage carrots and a Roscoff onion. Or there is the Fillet of Hake with charred radicchio and a blood orange or the Butternut Squash Stilton and sage pithiviers with a kale and walnut pesto. You can then round off the evening with a Glazed Fig Tart burnt with honey ice cream and caramelised walnuts or a Dark Chocolate crémeux mango with passionfruit and lime or I rather like the sound of the Blueberry Pavlova.
The Christmas Day Menu is priced at £90 per person whilst the New Year’s Eve Menu costs £70 per person. For more details please visit 108brasserie.com
Christmas and New Year’s Eve at Town House, The Kensington
The superb Town House at The Kensington in Queen’s Gate will also be celebrating the festive season with two tempting menus for both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
The Christmas Day menu kicks off with a Butternut Squash Velouté with chestnuts and parmesan and is followed with a choice of Sweet Potato and rosemary ravioli feta cheese and crispy sage or one of my favourites, a Seared Scallop with curried cauliflower, fresh apple and coriander cress. Or you can choose the Seared Foie Gras and focaccia bruschetta with figs and redcurrants. That is then followed with a palate cleansing Chilled Grape and Cucumber Soup before moving onto the main event.
Main course choices include the traditional Roast Bronze Turkey with chipolatas, apricot stuffing and cranberry sauce or the Roast Halibut wild mushrooms and Avruga caviar. Then there is the 28-day aged sirloin with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish or for vegetarians, they are offering a specially prepared Vegetarian Wellington celeriac with balsamic glazed shallot. And of course, all the main courses are served with family style vegetables, roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips, Brussels sprouts, braised red cabbage and chestnuts.
You can then round off your meal with a delicious Traditional Christmas Pudding served with a redcurrant and Brandy sauce or a Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart with clotted cream. Personally, I like the sound of the Apple Tarte Tatin accompanied with cinnamon ice cream, whilst others may prefer the British cheese board with crackers and chutney.
The Townhouse Christmas menu will be available between 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Christmas Day and is priced at £125 per person and includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët ‘Belle Epoque’ 2011 on arrival, or you can opt to include a fine wine pairing with your meal for £200 per person.
New Year’s Eve at Town House
Town House will also be offering a special New Year’s Eve menu if you fancy letting someone else do the catering as you see I the new year and new decade.
You will start your meal with a choice of Honey Roasted Beetroots Ricotta, smoked almonds and sourdough crisp or a Crab Raviolo sea vegetables with crab sauce or the Orange Glazed Duck Breast with root vegetables and a celeriac purée.
You’ll then be offered a palate cleansing Mint Sorbet before your main course, which includes either a Champagne and Périgord Truffle Risotto or Dover Sole with preserved lemon, capers and cucumber and served with tenderstem broccoli. There is also a Highland Venison Wellington with braised savoy cabbage and a poached quince.
And if that’s not quite enough, then how about finishing your meal with an indulgent Dark Chocolate Ganache Gâteau banana parfait or Apple Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream, or if those don’t tempt you then how about some Mulled Winter Fruits with cinnamon ice cream?
The New Year’s Eve menu costs £95 per person or £120 per person with a glass of Perrier-Jouët ‘Belle Epoque’ 2012 on arrival. For more information please visit townhousekensington.com
Festive London Landmarks Afternoon tea
If you don’t get the chance to enjoy one of these festive menus, then you can always pop in one afternoon and enjoy The Kensington’s festive afternoon tea in their relaxed and cost Drawing Room.
The popular London Landmarks Afternoon Tea takes its inspiration from London’s most iconic and historic landmarks, taking you on a tour of some of the city’s more recognisable buildings, from The Shard and Gherkin to Big Ben and the traditional red London Telephone Box.
The festive afternoon tea is priced at £42 per head or £54.50 when you include a glass of Champagne.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of 108 Brasserie at The Marylebone and Town House at The Kensington