‘Tis the season to eat to your heart’s content. Wolfing down plate after plate of festive fare is great, but there’s only so much turkey you can take, cranberry sauce you can cram in, and stuffing you can stomach. Thankfully help is at hand, with some tantalising twists on festive fodder, from Christmas pudding pizza, to Brussels sprouts as you’ve never seen them before.
1. Christmas Pudding Pizza Book Mayfair Pizza Co
Mayfair Pizza Co
Anything goes at Christmas. Even a pizza that is brought to your table on fire. Not ones to shy away from pizza experimentation, the team behind the strawberry and white chocolate pizza are at it again. Christmas pudding, flaming custard brandy and redcurrant brandy sit atop a classic pizza base. Somehow, it works magnificently.
2. Hawksmoor Christmas Burger Book Hawksmoor Knightsbridge
Hawksmoor Knightsbridge, Spitalfields Bar & Hawksmoor Manchester
Christmas dinner is great. Burgers are great. Can you see where this is going? Enough to make Ebeneezer Scrooge himself don some antlers and nip over to Chelsea, the Christmas burger at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge packs almost every seasonal favourite into one heavenly plate. Buttermilk fried turkey is joined by a sausage stuffing patty, smoked bacon, sprout tops, spiced cranberry ketchup and some melted cheese. For a final festive flourish it comes with a turkey gravy to dip it all in. Also available at Hawksmoor in Manchester.
3. Christmas Afternoon Tea Book Lanes of London
Lanes of London, Marylebone
Christmas eatings aren’t all about filled-dough wonders (though we wouldn’t be complaining if it were). Nip over to Marylebone for some festive post-lunch refinement in the form of Lanes of London’s afternoon tea. Expect classic savouries and scones, along with a cute-as-you-like snowman macaron, a tree-shaped brownie, and German-style stollen.
4. Christmas Pizza Book Fire & Stone
Covent Garden Fire & Stone
The king when it comes to pizza-customisation wizardry, Fire & Stone presents its dream-combo Christmas pizza. Combining all the best elements of your 25th-day dinner with a few extras thrown in for good measure, enjoy hand-stretched dough topped with roast turkey, sausage, apricot & herb stuffing, brie, roast potatoes, sautéed Brussels sprouts & sweet cranberries. We’ll take a slice. Or 12.
5. Christmas Afternoon Tea Book sketch Gallery
sketch Gallery, Regent Street
Festive cheer comes to sketch Gallery this year in the form of afternoon tea, complete with all of the restaurant’s trademark eccentricities. Your stand will feature creative indulgences including pistachio choux and cassis cheesecake, plus ‘Bûche de Noël’ treats from the trolley. As well as the edible artistry, designer Bethan Wood will create jewellery-inspired Christmas garlands, and a gold suspended tree.
6. Brussels Sprouts Pizza Book PizzaExpress
This year, family-favourite PizzaExpress brings the nation’s most divisive vegetable to its Christmas menu: the humble Brussels sprout. Festive-themed pizzas include the sprout & pancetta Romana pizza with chestnut mushrooms, or the ‘Brussels & truffle’ pizza with a drizzling of truffle oil. That’s one way to get the little ones (and even picky adults) to eat their greens.
7. Christmas Nuggets Book Hawksmoor Spitalfields
Yep, they’ve done it again. As if their fantasy-worthy Christmas burger wasn’t enough, Hawksmoor knock Christmas dining out of the park with their might-as-well-be-gold Christmas Nuggets. Enjoy these bite-sized balls of goodness on their own or as a side with your burger if you’re feeling particularly festive (slash gluttonous). Pre-Christmas dieters look away now: expect buttermilk-fried turkey with Ginger Pig sausage meat & bacon, wrapped around a cheese sauce core. Available at Spitalfields Bar only.
8. Fried Chicken Book Foxlow Clerkenwell
Sometimes wish your Christmas turkey, well, simply wasn’t turkey? Copy the Japanese tradition that, since a 1974 ad campaign, has taken Christmas by storm: swap your turkey for juicy fried chicken, served in bucket-sized quantities and sealed with the Colonel’s approval. Replicate this poultry party at Foxlow, with a plate of fried, free-range Yorkshire Ross chicken, served with habanero vinegar.
9. Christmas Burger
Saving the best (or worst?) until last, this frightening creation has taken the alternative Christmas dish concept to the extreme. Stuffed into a brioche bun, the list of festive ingredients is staggering: A five-bird roast, a beef and venison patty, deep-fried sprouts, fried stuffing, chestnut pieces, cranberry and port sauce, and turkey gravy. But wait, there’s more. Sitting proudly atop this beast is a candied pig in blanket. Dessert very much optional.
10. Christmas Burger
Haché, various London locations
Another one putting Christmas dinner between two glorious brioche halves is Haché: serving gourmet burgers to Londoners since 2004. Proper pigs in blankets are undoubtedly this Christmas burger’s USP: backed up with buttermilk turkey & breadcrumbs, homemade stuffing, grilled sprouts (no soggy mini cabbages here), squashy brioche and cranberry.