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Christmas in London

I am going to be in London with my family and I realize lots of stuff closes down on Dec. 24,25,26, so I would like to get some ideas of where one could eat. I imagine that there are the up-scale expensive venues, and I would like to hear about some of those, but also some alternative places one might try that are a little different or just not so up-scale. Also we will be spending some time in Oxford at that time, too, so if you have any interesting suggestions there that would be great as well. Thanks in advance.

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  1. The Old Parsonage in Oxford is a great hotel and should have something special during the holidays. I recommend calling them or checking their website -- it's certainly the best spot in Oxford.

    1. The Magdalen Arms in Oxford has gotten good reviews this year. It's run by the people who were at Anchor & Hope in London. I've been meaning to try it one of these days. The cafe at the Ashmoleon is pleasant enough but I thought a bit overpriced. It makes for a nice stop after seeing the renovated museum.


      1. The Lebanese restaurants on the Edgware Road by Marble Arch are all open. I can't recommend a specific one though. Anyone else?

        1. it's worth doing a search as this thread comes up each year. obviously who is open will vary but it will give you some ideas - i tend to eat out on xmas eve and i've written before about previous years..

          1. Damn
            I thought I found a good deal - Gordon Ramsey at Claridges for 90 quid as the evening standard stated - however when I tried to book its 185 quid more than twice the price - not going to pay that much - so cooking my own lunch - if anyone has a link to a list of places that's doing christmas lunch this year , it'll be really useful.

            1. take a drive out to Murcott from Oxford to the Nut Tree Inn.


              I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

              1. I moved to London just before Christmas last year. We were afraid that everything would be closed, as we were warned about closures on the underground and buses, and so we ended up buying a trove of things at Borough Market on the 23rd to prepare at home. However, we took several long walks over the 24-26th, and we were quite surprised how many places were open. Many pubs were open (sometimes on limited hours, though) and a good variety of restaurants, high end to low end. Many restaurants even seemed kind of desperate to get customers in and were advertising good set price deals. In short, we were surprised by how many places were open for at least one of the three days in question.

                Do keep in mind that you might have to travel by cab around London if you want to go far, but there will be quite a few things open, particularly in the more touristy areas. Leicester Square/Chinatown was fairly lively, as was the whole stretch along Southbank. I don't have specific suggestions to make if you want to pre-book, but wanted to let you know that you'll probably do OK scouting out some options at the last minute.

                1. My family was in London last Christmas. We made reservations at Sofra, a Turkish restaurant, in Mayfair. It was very good. They had several levels of menu, basic was Turkish. We all ordered something a little more pricey, like salmon or steak. It was good, but the meze they served as part of the meal was wonderful. So next time, I think I would stick to just the Turkish menu. Neighborhood was nice to walk in. No tube on Christmas, so we took cabs wherever we went that day. Bagel Bites at Shepherd's Bush Green was down-scale, friendly, cheap and open for lunch on Christmas (3 hungry teenagers - so cheap was good). I think we ate in St. Paul's on the 26th. They have a very nice cafeteria, down in the crypt. Very reasonable. And across the street from Westminster Abbey in what is (or was?) the Methodist Headquarters is Wesley's Cafe. Pretty reasonable and tasty, Have a good trip.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: donethat

                    Just wanted to thank everyone for jumping with ideas and suggestions. We have our flight booked so we are definitely going to be there. Looking more like maybe spending Christmas in Oxford and travelling London on the 26th...assuming there are buses or trains moving that day. We are looking at the Megaro Hotel at 23-27 Euston Road, Bloomsbury. And either the Parsonage or Old Bank in Oxford. Also trying to see if the Old Bathe in Oxford has room if anyone knows anything about it.

                    1. re: Tdotfoodguy

                      do you mean bath place hotel in oxford? my experience was mixed - one room with damp which were upgraded out of into a very nice four poster. it's overpriced for what it is though - the breakfast was no better than a basic b&b.

                      1. re: abby d

                        Yes I think I did but we settled on the Old Bank so that's done. Thanks for the reply. Any suggestions of restaurants in Oxford...maybe interesting off-beat.

                        1. re: Tdotfoodguy

                          The Magdalen Arms in Oxford has gotten very good reviews. Whether or not it's open on Christmas is something only a call to them would discover. The dining room at the Ashmolean Museum is quite nice but I'm sure that's closed.

                  2. Try the Big Bang in Oxford. Not that much atmosphere but the food is great- sausages and mash. I just had drinks at the Old Parsonage on Thursday and it was lovely. Nice fire, festive atmosphere and good wine. I also like to duck into the Vault in St Mary's. If you are sightseeing (Radcliffe Camera, the Bod, All Souls) on that side of town, they have excellent lunches (only until they sell out, usually around 2) and a delicious cream tea. I usually go around 3pm and the scones are coming out of the oven. Mmmmm.