It’s sometimes said, understandably so, that Autumn is the prettiest month to be in London, but Winter does give it a pretty good run for its money. Each year, we’re lucky enough to witness some stunning Christmas trees and some seriously lovely Christmas lights. But there’s much more to see than just that! In fact, many of London’s restaurants also get in on the game. So here’s a list of the most festive Christmas restaurants in London to add to your ever-growing list of places to visit this winter.
1. Daphne’s, Chelsea
This acclaimed London Italian restaurant always goes all out with its balls-to-the-wall (and the ceiling) approach to Christmas decorations. This year’s display brings a Rennaisance-inspired Christmas to London with the launch of their latest campaign in collaboration with Malfy Gin, ‘Nativà Mistica’. Every square inch of Daphne’s has been festooned with festive adornments, with a roaring fire at the centre of it all. It’s cosy, charming, and utterly fantastically Christmassy!
📍 112 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AE.
🚇 Nearest station is South Kensington.
2. Seabird, Southwark
Seabird has given its rooftop a wintry makeover for the festive season and transformed into Snowbird. From its 14th-floor perch, guests can enjoy stunning views of the city, Mediterranean sharing plates, and plenty of festive libations from Grey Goose Vodka. It’s retro vibes a-plenty thanks to the 1970s-inspired decor and a menu with one foot in the present, and one in the past. Be sure not to miss their Arctic Espresso (see above) – a miniature riff on the espresso martini, which comes served in shot glasses made from ice.
📍 14th Floor, South Bank, 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NY.
🚇 Nearest station is Southwark.
3. Hithe + Seek, City of London
Hithe + Seek and The Westin (the hotel in which it is found) have been transformed into a Winter Candyland. They’ve brought a touch of festive magic to London with a life-size gingerbread house grotto, giant candy gumdrops, and an enormous advent calendar. Inspired by the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel, the makeover is (we have to say it) pretty sweet!
📍 Inside The Westin London City, 60 Upper Thames Street, EC4V 3AD.
🚇 Nearest stations are Mansion House and Cannon Street.
4. Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia
Over in Fitzrovia, the gorgeous foliage-filled dining destination that is Dalloway Terrace has transformed into ‘A Kind of Magic‘ terrace. Partnering up with Perrier-Jouët Champagne (because what’s Christmas without champagne?), they’ve decked the terrace out in “red Virgina Creeper, gilded anemones, berries, and twinkling fairy lights”. Inspired by the iconic Champagne house itself, they’re also offering up plenty of Champagne cocktails, wintry dishes, and festive afternoon teas to light up the darkest of days as you cosy up amongst the sheepskin blankets and heaters.
📍 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN.
🚇 Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
5. Sunday in Brooklyn, Bayswater
Following the successful arrival from across the pond in 2021, West London’s must-visit American hot spot, Sunday in Brooklyn has announced the return of their Christmassy grotto, ‘Snowday in London‘ on November 29. Guests can expect all-new winter cocktails, new sharing plates, and even some festive sing-alongs.
📍 98 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU.
🚇 Nearest station is Bayswater.
6. Tattu London, Tottenham Court Road
Tattu never fails to impress when the festive season rolls around, and for 2023 The Great Snow has once again returned, accompanied by exclusive dishes (such as the Snow Leopard dessert with honeycomb, white chocolate, & meringue) and special cocktails (like the namesake The Great Snow with Grey Goose vodka, elderflower, lemon and prosecco). They’ve even transformed their outdoor space into the Winter Terrace with heaters, furs everywhere, and plenty of glittering lights. Inside, even the venue’s iconic Cherry Blossom trees have been given a wintry makeover, with glittering, icy-blue branches.
📍 The Now Building Rooftop, Outernet, Denmark Street, WC2H 0LA.
🚇 Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
7. Coq D’Argent, City of London
Coq D’Argent has rebranded for the festive season once again into Lodge d’Argent, with the return of their seasonal partnership with Rémy Martin. Inspired by the French Alps, they’ve transformed into one of the most brr-illiant Christmas restaurants in London, with chalet-style dining and an exclusive menu of limited-edition Rémy Martin cocktails and snacks. There’s even a ski-lift photo spot for you to immortalise the night.
📍 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ.
🚇 Nearest station is Bank.
8. Aviary, Shoreditch
Aviary has partnered up with Grey Goose Vodka to launch their enchanting Nordic Nights Winter Terraces and Igloos. It’s all very cosy and warm, with incredible sights everywhere you look: within the igloos, on the rooftop, and out across the London skyline. There are even light projections across the winter terraces and igloos, to make it seem as if the Northern Lights are illuminating the space! Add to that plenty of delicious cocktails, as well as an impressive food menu, and you’re set for a festive night out to remember.
📍 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A IDX.
🚇 Nearest stations are Liverpool Street, Moorgate, and Old Street.
9. Wagtail, Monument
In conjunction with Aviary, and also in partnership with Grey Goose Vodka, Wagtail has also had a Nordic Nights makeover of their rooftop bar and restaurant. They’ve had a very similar makeover, with igloos and birch and spruce trees dotting the winter wonderland – and they’ve got the Northern Lights too! But can you really resist going to both venues, when they just look so pretty?! Tell yourself it’s research, or a very immersive game of Spot The Difference.
📍 68 King William Street, EC4N 7HR.
🚇 Nearest station is Monument.
10. The Little Scarlet Door, Soho
Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind, and at The Little Scarlet Door the team has gone all out this party season. The New York-apartment-inspired bar/restaurant has brought the holiday spirit with show-stopping enviable décor and seasonal specials. It’s time to get the party started!
📍 12-13 Greek Street, W1D 4DL.
🚇 Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
11. sketch, Mayfair
Time and time and time and time again, sketch makes a case for being simply the most stunning restaurant and venue in all of London. (If not, the entire world…) And for the festive season, they’ve gone and done it again with a winter wonderland transformation morphing every room into a festive delight. From the snow-capped tree inside an enormous snowglobe in The East Bar & Pods to a winter night’s tempest, frozen in time, in The Glade, each room remains stunning but true to its own identity. Honestly, we could just wander around this place for hours!
📍 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG.
🚇 Nearest station is Oxford Circus.
12. Gaucho, various venues
Gaucho is saying Gaucho-ho-ho this festive season, with Christmassy transformations and events taking place across a number of their sites. There’s the Terrazas Patagonian Terrace at their Piccadilly venue and the Snow Globe Dining Pods over in Canary Wharf. Head to Charlotte Street and you’ll find them hosting a festive film club, while in Sloane Square they’re hosting wreath-making workshops. Meanwhile, in Richmond, they’ve got a special selection of Riverside Grab and Go Christmas Cocktails, while doggy visitors to Hampstead will be treated to a Winter Wooferland instalment of Doggy Saturday on December 2. I’m getting dizzy just trying to keep track of it all! I guess I’ll just have to visit every single one of them, so I don’t miss a single festive second…
📍Multiple venues, find your nearest one here.
13. Kitchen at Holmes, Marylebone
Rounding off this list of the best Christmas restaurants in London for the 2023 festive season is the Marylebone-based Kitchen at Holmes. They’ve once again pulled out all the stops with a stunning rooftop cinema experience. Things start with a seasonal tasting menu before you snuggle up for a film under the stars. The ocassion is completed with Perrier Jouët Champagne, popcorn, and a Christmas cocktail amongst the Christmas trees and fairy lights as you catch a classic holiday flick.
📍 108 Baker Street, W1U 6LJ.
🚇 Nearest station is Baker Street.
14. Claridge’s Restaurant, Mayfair
All eyes turn to Claridge’s every year during the festive season, as we eagerly await the reveal of their always-unique Christmas tree. In the wake of the unveiling of the Louis-Vuitton-collaborative tree, the hotel has also given its eponymous restaurant a festive makeover. And what better way to make a restaurant feel festive AF than by plopping a sparkling, shimmering Christmas tree into the middle of the dining room? If you’re fortunate enough to visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you can also enjoy some truly indulgent, ultra-luxe menus.
📍 Brook Street, W1K 4HR.
🚇 Nearest station is Bond Street.
15. SUSHISAMBA, Covent Garden & Bishopsgate
SUSHISHAMBA is making sure none of their guests are left out of the festive feeling by giving both of their London restaurants a Christmassy makeover. At their Bishopsgate location, high up in Heron Tower, the restaurant has been filled with a sparkling installation of over 600 metallic balloons. Over at the restaurant’s Covent Garden location, meanwhile, they’ve also revealed a wonderful Winter Piazza Terrace in partnership with Grey Goose, with twinkling maple trees and sparkling winter trimmings.
📍 35 The Market Building, WC2E 8RF and Heron Tower, Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY.
🚇 Nearest stations are Covent Garden and Liverpool Street.
16. 100 Wardour Street, Soho
Over in Soho, this drinking, dining, and dancing hotspot has transformed into a warming winter wonderland. Everywhere you look it’s green and red and red and green, as 100 Wardour Street transforms into a Christmas in Soho destination. Grab a Toasted Marshmallow Martini from the exclusive espresso martini menu, and settle in for a festive night out!
📍 100 Wardour Street, W1F 0TN.
🚇 Nearest stations are Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road.
17. The Hawk’s Nest, Shepherd’s Bush
In the middle of Shepherd’s Bush Market, you’ll find The Hawk’s Nest, a charming pizza kitchen and bar. And yes, despite its 300-seater covered terrace, it truly does positively ooze charm. It’s now all the more charming and delightful with the news that they’ve strung up their Christmas decorations. They’ve thrown fairy lights and festive foliage here, there, and everywhere. Shelter from the cold and take advantage of their lovely cocktails and wood-fired pizza, or come down on any of the first three Sundays in December (3, 10, & 17) to enjoy the Christmas Makers Market.
📍 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush Market, W12 8DF.
🚇 Nearest station is Goldhawk Road.
Also published on Medium.