Christmas Dinner in London, also Hampstead recs?
We will be spending a couple of weeks in London at Christmastime, living in a house-swap in Hampstead. We're looking for a good Christmas dinner -- a trick since most restaurants are closed. Any thoughts? Also, any local restaurant favorites would be appreciated. We eat all up and down the food scale, from cheap stalls to fine meals any and all ethnicities. We have 4 kids, but they are fairly intrepid diners. Thanks!
As you note, many restaurants in cities, including London, close on Christmas Day. However, there will be a goodly number open for lunch on the day and you're likely to find something near to where you're staying - Google on "Christmas Day lunch, Hampstead" should pull up likely candidates (restaurants in large hotels are usually open). Many places near me have started to advertise their openings during the fetsive season only in the last week or so. However, I wouldnt delay long in deciding and making reservations as they will get booked quickly. And that's in spite of the cost - likely to be anything, for somewhere decent, from £60 - £100 a leaf.
We meet again. I've done some searching around for a friend and the top restaurants with Christmas dinners are asking £200-£300. Imagine that in $$$. Maybe they are serving gold. :-) The most reasonable prices seem to be for non-traditional, Indian meals. I can highly recommend The Cinnamon Club which is charging £75 a person. It's a beautiful room with unusual, modern takes on Indian cuisine.
The Bull & Last is in Hampstead and very popular - book now for your stay.
So the bottom line is most posh starred places will be doing christmas lunch on christmas day... but the catch is of your they will be charging £150-300 per head for the privilege. If that's your thing I don't think you'll be spoilt for choice.
NB that public transport does not run on christmas day so you will need a car.
But if you're doing a house swap why not just cook yourself? After all you've got what is probably London's most fabulous Waitrose (pace Canary Wharf) just down the hill at Finchley Road. If you can't find something decent in that place you really shouldn't be on this board!
re: dining out options I'm fairly new to the area but Hampstead doesn't seem to have that many destination places. Jin Kinchi the Japanese place gets good notices. Dach & Sons does the trendy gourmet hot dog thing - probably a good bet for kids. Down in Swiss Cottage I'm very fond of both Singapore Garden and Atariya (Singapore and Sushi respectively). Chicken Shop has just opened up a little across the way towards Kentish Town - again probably a good option for kids.
All the best