Soon enough, and the presents will have been opened, the turkey eaten and the relatives all ticked off the ‘life update’ list for another year.
Christmas is almost here and we’re finding ourselves settling into a deliciously comforting routine. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be spending those few days between Christmas and New Year doing little more than picking at leftover food and eating as much chocolate as is feasible. And, dare we say it, you might even eventually find yourself a little bored.
But don’t throw all of your respect for us out of the window quite yet, because we’re not advocating making three days of jam-packed plans at this time of year – we’re not criminals. But after spending your days watching back to back festive films, it might actually be nice to leave the house for a couple of hours in the evening.
But let’s leave the Christmas theme for a minute while still making the most of indulgence before the new year hits. Round up your closest friends or tolerable family members and head out for a Baileys and a catch up. There’s a high chance by now that you’ve had enough roast dinners to last you a lifetime (we didn’t think it was possible either) so branch out with one of these alternate options.
And we’re not strangers to the fact that dragging yourself out the house at this time of year isn’t too appealing, so we’ve found a spot across each corner of London.
North – Pig & Butcher
We thought we’d ease you into this concept of “leaving the house” gently, so our first suggestion for a top notch Baileys on ice after dinner is in the comforting pub that is Islington’s Pig & Butcher. The relaxed atmosphere and incredible roasted meats mean you won’t feel too out of place during the festive period. The menu changes daily so it’s definitely one of those old-fashioned pubs where you’ll have to wait until you arrive to scour the menu but it’s worth it for the delicious surprises in store.
For any staunch “Christmas means nothing but roast dinners” fans, there’s a huge variety of meats on offer but if you’re wanting to escape the festive cheer momentarily then you certainly won’t be going hungry either. Take your pick between carefully crafted dishes like the Cornish hake, globe artichoke heart & rainbow chard or the Cumbrian Shorthorn Flank steak, roasted bone marrow & triple cooked chips, amongst many others. Then, let your slightly-too-full stomach relax with a Baileys in hand while you enjoy the afternoon.
East – Cat & Mutton
The Cat & Mutton on Broadway Market definitely doesn’t shy away when it comes to delicious food. Filled with flamboyantly bright and colourful dishes, it’s impossible not to feel cheerful (and hungry) when entering this pub. Take a break from Christmas cheer by waving goodbye to a roast dinner and instead saying hello to any number of mouthwateringly moreish dishes like salmon gravlax, salt and pepper squid or The Cat & Mutton’s famous wings.
Pull up a chair with your friends and order a Baileys to stick with a hint of festive spirit. Get comfy with your Baileys on ice while the sound of music fills the air around you. It’s one of the top places to spend a few hours in those days leading up to New Years Eve. 76 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
South – Flour & Grape
Homemade pasta might not seem like your typical Christmas period food but believe us when we say that if you’re going to branch out from roast turkey and mince pies, this is definitely the place to do so. Based in Bermondsey, Flour & Grape is a true gem of the neighbourhood featuring enough incredible pasta-based dishes to keep any number of family members happy.
It’s the place to visit between Christmas and the new year to pull your extended family members together for a Baileys and a wholesome meal. Enjoy some bruschetta, olives and main dishes before finishing with a Baileys over ice for an indulgent treat. 214 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
West – Little Blue Door
Fulham’s Little Blue Door is more like a visiting a good friend’s house for dinner than it is actually going out for a Real Adult Meal. Which means that if you’re really struggling to get yourself into a ‘leaving the house for anything more than 5 minutes’ mood, Little Blue Door should be your top choice.
Filled with calm lighting, an abundance of house plants and a delicious Baileys, it’s basically got everything you need for a cosy evening out. You’ll still find turkey on the menu here, but it’s food reminiscent of the country itself rather than a festive necessity. It’s the best place in London to pair your Baileys with an unusual choice, like the Ultimate Salt and Pepper Squid, inspired from Vietnam, or Switzerland’s Truffle Porcini Fondue. 871-873, Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HP
This post was sponsored by Baileys. 18+ only. Please drink responsibly. For all the facts, visit DrinkAware.co.uk
Also published on Medium.