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London during the holidays - where to go? So many places closed! Please help...

Hello,

Avid 'hound from LA here asking for, no pleading for, some help....

I'm planning my wife's FIRST ever trip to London right now... a bit last minute. We didn't know we were able to go until just a few days ago.

We will be arriving on Xmas eve (12/24) and staying until Friday the 28th, when we leave for Paris... already have GREAT restaurants there. I'm fairly resigned to have eating options restricted to whatever is open near our hotel (Renaissance Chancery Court - the West End) on the 24th and 25th. However, would like to have fabulous dining, whatever the price, high end awesome food on the 26th and 27th. So far, every place (except one) I've called are closed that week! I've called the Fat Duck, Gordon Ramsay, Petrus, etc...

Any really great high end recommendations? I have booked a table for the 27th at La Chaumière, based on an earlier post by some and the Telegraph article. Could you please give me your impressions of that selection and any other recommendations for either the 26th or 27th? Price no object. I'm determined that my wife have a wonderful visit her first time to London. :).

As an aside, does anyone know anything about this Renaissance Chancery Court hotel? I spend a LOT of time in Marriott affiliated hotels, so am using points. I also can stay at the Grosvenor's House (not Grosvernor's Square) if people think it better.

Thanks for everyone's help.

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  1. We're not supposed to write about hotels here, so I'll also say something about food. The reviews for your hotel on www.tripadvisor.com (I trust them) says the hotel is fabulous and outstanding. Sounds good to me.

    My son and his family are facing the same restaurant problems as you - same dates. Of course, they can always come to mother if desperate. Lots of tourists don't realize that not only Christmas, but also Boxing Day right after find things fairly shut up tight in London. Perhaps you can find a high end Chinese or Indian open those days or try something in a hotel. I've enjoyed a great meal at Blake's in South Kensington.

    1. It may be worth you having a scoot round Top Table (our version of your Open Table).

      http://www.toptable.co.uk/

      1. you might find that things are pretty dead people-wise in that area as most offices are closed and its really not much of a residential area. If you want to take a short bus/ cab ride go up to Upper St in Islington as pubs and bars are likely to be busy on xmas eve and there are loads of restaurants up there - many of which are bound to be open. Enjoy your trip

        1. Thanks for the suggestions thus far. Any specific high end dining recommendations that might be open that week? Please help. Thanks again.

          1 Reply
          1. re: woojink

            I Googled 'London restaurants open Christmas' and came up with some sites. Granted, they are just names, but it's a start. I should have mentioned that Blakes is very high end and very expensive.

          2. Gordon Ramsay was cooking Christmas lunch at Claridge's. Check out his web site looks like Maze, Boxwood Cafe and The Narrow are all open on the 24th, 25th and 26th.
            http://www.gordonramsay.com/corporate...

            1. As it happens, your hotel has a well-reviewed restaurant (Pearl). I can't give you first hand impressions but this London blogger might enlighten you - http://cheesenbiscuits.blogspot.com/2...

              Other hotel restaurants would be a good starting place as well for being open over Xmas. Try Locanda Locatelli (amazing high end Italian), Ramsey at Claridges, Hartnett at Connaught, and the Dining Room at the Goring.

              Have a good trip.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tower1972

                Connaught is closed for renovation and it is rumoured that Angela Hartnett will not be cooking there when it does reopen as Ramsey has lost the franchise.

                1. re: PhilD

                  How do you keep up with all of this, Phil? :-)

                2. re: tower1972

                  Sadly, the Pearl is closed for the entire week. Bummer.

                  1. re: woojink

                    Not that much of a bummer, woojink. I was there a few weeks ago for a client lunch and was distinctly underwhelmed (except when the check arrived).
                    -mighty

                3. Time Out published a list of restaurants opened on Christmas day in its last issue http://www.timeout.com/london/christm...
                  I would probably recommend booking. Looking down the list, there are some pretty big name places open (eg Gordon Ramsay's Maze). I haven't been to a lot of the places mentioned, but of the ones I have been to would recommend Little Bay. It has very eccentric decor and a nice atmosphere.