Deck the halls and pour the mulled wine, December is finally here. The month of festive feasts, romantic winter terraces and the inevitable onset of gout, it’s an age-old excuse to spend the best part of the next three weeks slowly topping up, mouthful by mouthful, until by Christmas Day itself you daren’t look at another bowl of pigs in blankets for fear of the button of your jeans pinging off and landing in someone’s drink.
Navigating your way around the dishes of December can be a monumental task, so we’ve done some of the hard work so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.
1. Indulge in a Traditional Goose Feast
Clapham’s Trinity is embracing the traditional this December with the return of its Festive Goose Menu, available throughout the month for groups of 4 or more. A long-time entry on my dream dinner list, the restaurant received its first Michelin star in 2016 and from menus like this it’s clear to see why.
With the bird accompanied by goose fat potatoes, confit leg, baked stuffing, buttered sprout tops and cranberry sauce, following the starters of gin-cured salmon with pickles, creme fraiche and dill, barbecued sprouting broccoli with bagna caudal, hazelnuts and parmesan and burrata with spiced pumpkin and pickled walnuts, it’ll be tough to leave room for the chocolate cremosa with clementine and salted caramel ice cream for dessert. At a very reasonable £55 per head it’s a feast fit for a king.
2. Find a Vegan Chocolate Fix at Copperhouse Chocolate
Spare a thought for the vegans this Christmas; given the amount of chocolate that found its way in to my house last season, I struggle to comprehend how hard it must be to get through the season without a single After Eight, Terry’s Chocolate Orange segment or Quality Street (but on the purple ones, obviously).
Islington’s Copperhouse Chocolate is the only vegan chocolate shop and café in London and this year they’ve developed a new range of dangerously moreish vegan nut butter chocolate cups, in no fewer than seven delicious flavours including peanut butter & sea salt, almond butter & cherry jam and coconut salted caramel. For the festive season the café will also stock a range of vegan edible products including chocolate mince pies, gingerbread, fudges and biscotti, making light work of finding sweet treats for the vegan in your life. Warm up with a mug of their lusciously thick hot chocolate, unlike any other vegan hot chocolate and finished with deeply indulgent whipped coconut cream. The café also has a host of new vegan food on the menu including delicious new vegan sweet waffles, customisable with a host of toppings and all are served with thick chocolate sauce. Customers can choose to have them for breakfast by adding toppings such as fruit, nuts, yoghurt, homemade granola, or have as a dessert with coconut-based ice cream, caramel and marshmallows. Accompanied by one of the famed hot chocolates it’s a sweet tooth’s paradise.
3. Enjoy an Aussie Brunch at a City Oasis
December sees the Daisy Green Collection opening their second City of London site in Barbican. Located within the historic London Wall Place, Barbie Green will see the Aussie brunch kings serving up a brand new pizza offering.
Fully retractable glass windows will open up onto over an expansive al fresco terrace and over an acre of ancient gardens (perhaps more one for summer…) while huge Barbican meets Bondi-inspired artworks will ensure the new spot has just as much of a quirky interior as its siblings. We’re big fans of their sweetcorn and spring onion fritters and indulgent banana bread sandwich with mascarpone and fresh berries.
4. Get a Peek Inside a Hidden Members’ Club
Soho Members’ club TRADE, run by restaurateurs and Master Sommeliers, Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney, is opening its doors to non-members for the very first time. This month the club has partnered with Mark Jarvis, chef-patron of Anglo Restaurant, to launch Anglo@TRADE, a residency bringing Anglo’s simple yet refined cooking from Farringdon to Soho.
Dishes include Beef Tartare, oyster cream and powdered horseradish, sustainable sea bass with brown crab, confit of red peppers and sea vegetables, plus snacks such as ‘Anglo Cheese on Toast’ comprising malt loaf, Keen’s rarebit and shallot chutney.
5. Try a Christmas Dinner Burger
Yes, you read that correctly. For those who just can’t wait until the big day, St. Pancras’ Prime Burger has introduced their ‘Festive Feast’, a limited edition burger offering a full turkey feast with all the trimmings.
It features a juicy, succulent turkey patty, alongside a heavenly combination of crunchy Brussel sprout slaw, melted French Brie, pickled red onions and homemade cranberry sauce – topped off with not one, but two mouth-watering pigs in blankets, served in a bun spread with mayo and accompanied with fries. You certainly can’t complain that Christmas dinner is always boring…
6. Swap Turkey for a Lobster Feast
Gird your waistbands, Burger & Lobster has introduced the biggest lobster showstopper you can buy in a restaurant. With four out of ten in the UK apparently moving away from traditional turkey in search of something different, each giant lobster is heavier than a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
The world’s first Christmas Lobster Feast includes mountains of rosemary and garlic roast potatoes, seasoned British buttery winter market vegetables including Brussels sprouts and carrots, a delicious side of strong cheddar and mozzarella cauliflower cheese topped with breadcrumbs and a deeply indulgent roast lobster and thyme butter.
The Giant Lobster Feast is available now at all London Burger & Lobster restaurants, for a limited time for groups of up to nine, at £54 each.